Time to talk about one of the most interesting, tricky opponents on the 2009 schedule: Nevada. Needless to say, Mizzou fans are still a bit scarred from the last time Mizzou played a weeknight ESPN game, and I think most fans are treating this game with a healthy amount of paranoia. The good news is, Nevada doesn't have DeMarcus Ware like Troy 2004 did. The bad news is, they do have Colin Kaepernick and an impressive backfield to work with, and the athletic-but-green Mizzou defensive line will likely have its hands full. To the links!
2008 Recap Links!
- CFN.com: 2008 blurbs
Cumulative Season Statistics. Colin Kaepernick almost managed a 3,000/1,000 line, while Vai Taua went for 1,521 yards rushing, resulting in, as you'll see in tomorrow's BTBS preview, a Top 10 rushing offense. Mizzou shut the rushing attack down, for the most part (enough, anyway), in 2008--if they want to win on a Friday night in the desert, they'll have to do the same.
2009 Preview Links!
- 2009 Schedule
ESPN.com: Bruce Feldman's Top 10 potential BCS busters
The Pack are a long, long shot but they are a fun team to watch. Lanky QB Colin Kaepernick is a little like a cross between Robert Griffin and Terrelle Pryor. He's also got a few quality RBs to balance out the offense some. Their D-line's also pretty good. In terms of the schedule, the Pack would need a lot of help. They open at Notre Dame, which I think is going to be improved. The problem is if Nevada upsets the Irish in the opener. Chances are no one will put any stock in the Irish again the rest of the season and that would devalue the win quite a bit. The Pack host Mizzou, which figures to be down. If they win those games and come into the final game at Boise with both teams somehow unbeaten and pull the upset, that would get Nevada into a BCS bowl, but I think that's highly unlikely. Going 10-2 is still probably on the north side of optimistic.
Reno Gazette-Journal: 10 Most Important Players of 2009
Chris Wellington is the only returning receiver with significant experience and production, but there are a number of very promising first-year players at the position, most notably [Brandon] Wimberly. He has to be the guy he showed he can be on the scout team last year, and there is no reason to doubt he will. Four years from now, Pack fans might consider him one of the best to ever play here.
CFN.com: Spring Preview 2009 - The WAC
The most important position to watch is ... Wide receiver. The Wolf Pack has some huge holes to fill with the loss of Marko Mitchell and Mike McCoy. With the multiple receiver sets the coaching staff likes to use, it’s vital for new prospects like Maurice Patterson and Joe Washington to step into roles with Malcolm Shepard, Art King, and Dwayne Sanders returning. Nevada might butter its bread with the running game, but with a quarterback like Kaepernick, the passing game has the potential to be every bit as effective.
Spring Football Links!
NevadaWolfpack.com: Lantrip, Collins Shine in Spring Scrimmage
Tyler Lantrip threw for three touchdowns and Luke Collis tossed another as the Nevada football team held its final spring scrimmage on Saturday at Mackay Stadium. Lantrip and Collis, both sophomores, received 100 percent of the snaps during spring as starter Colin Kaepernick sat out spring while recovering from an ankle injury. The two sophomores are vying for the backup job.
NevadaWolfpack.com: 2009 Post-Spring Depth Chart
- Reno Gazette-Journal: Football season ticket sales already brisk
NevadaWolfpack.com: Luke Lippincott Granted
Twenty-ThirdSixth Year (seriously, that dude's been there forever)
Reno Gazette-Journal: Q&A with Chris Ault
I was really excited, really pleased with Luke Lippincott, who goes out and breaks the record for the Nevada Run. (Lippincott, a running back, missed nearly all of last season with a torn ACL and received a hardship waiver for a sixth season by the NCAA.) I've got to tell you, that's special. This Nevada Run is not for the quail heart. We've been doing this for 25 years, when you break that record, that's pretty special. I was really excited to see that. He's just getting back in the groove, and he told us, "I'm going to set the record." So I think Luke was just outstanding.
And finally...one community, one Pack...