Saturday, July 18, 2009

Preview Review Part 3

Phil Steele starts off with his top draft eligible players by position. Nevada players making the list include:
QB Colin Kaepernick #6
RB Vai Taua #57
OG John Bender #18
OT Alonzo Durham #40
OT Mike Gallett #64
DE Kevin Basped #61
We think he missed on Langley and maybe Moch. And he should have had Basped higher than 61.

Next up is the Top Individual Units rankings. Nevada shows up here as well with the following:
QB #7: The basic concern here is Kaepernick getting injured. Other opponents include the Irish at #12, BSU at #21, and Hawaii at #23.
RB #9: Steele likes having both Taua and Lippincott in the backfield. Why not! Other opponents include ND at #17 and Fresno at #22.
OL #32: We just made the list here. Other opponents include ND again at #5, Missouri at #14, Colorado St at #27 and La Tech at #28.
DL #22: He doesn’t write about the lower numbers, but he obviously knows about our ends. Our only opponent on the list is La Tech in the final spot at #33.

Now, Phil Steele has a ton, and we mean a ton, of info in his book. So we aren’t going to concern ourselves with every little thing. We are going to stick to mainly the areas Nevada shows up.
So the next place we see the Pack is in Steele’s top 50 count-down. And Steele is pretty high on the Pack as he rates us #35 in the nation and writes that he feels Nevada may be favored in every game outside of ND and BSU. That would be a real nice feeling, and even a nice feeling to post a 10 win + season.

Now we skip ahead to the WAC round-up. Steele has the following going 1st team all wac:
QB Colin Kaepernick
RB Vai Taua
OT Alonzo Durham
DE Kevin Basped
Going 2nd team all wac:
WR Chris Wellington
OT Mike Gallett
DE Dontay Moch
CB Antoine Thompson
Going 3rd team all wac:
LB James-Michael Johnson
SS Jonathon Amaya
And going 4th team all wac:
RB Luke Lippincott
WR Maurice Patterson
OG John Bender
LB Brandon Marshall
FS Mo Harvey
P Brad Langley
We think they have Bender and Langley too low, and they totally missed on Green at TE.
Steele has Nevada at #2 in the WAC behind BSU. He projects the November 27th match-up to be of unbeatens for the WAC championship. Then he has a bunch of 2008 stats that we don’t really need to cover.

Skip ahead to Nevada’s two page preview and Steele pretty much just runs down the position by position outlook, which we mostly already know about. He does do a forecast where again he spends a ton of time running down history in the WAC, however the last paragraph is pretty good where he Nevada having 3 net close losses and that 78.5% of the time that happens the team improved their record the following year. He also showed the the defense had a yards per point 12.4 which, broken down over time shows that 70% of the time the team improved the following year. Steele says that Nevada lost 39 starts to injury last year, which was 15th most in FBS (we were snake bit in other words) and that although tying for 2nd in the WAC, Nevada had 108.5 yards per game better output than the #3 team.
We like the numbers, math, history, and details that he puts behind his reasonings as to why he believes the Pack will be a 10 win team this season. We don't like that he predicts we'll lose the two biggest games of the season. We'll find out soon enough. Just 7 weeks from today.

Lastly at the end of the magazine Steele ranks his "Heisman Candidates" and has Kaepernick rated as a "possibility". This is one step up from last years rating as a "dark horse".
A big game at Notre Dame and a win could change that in the right direction.

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