Tag Archive: Nevada Wolf Pack

I remember being clearly excited for one game when I came to the University of Nevada in 2008. No, it wasn’t UNLV. It was Boise State. The Wolf Pack and Broncos face off (maybe for the last time) tomorrow and I couldn’t be more pumped. This is a real college football rivalry, one that I’ve had the pleasure to not only watch, but cover as well.

What makes this game special? Sure, beating UNLV is fun, but frankly, their fans don’t care. They accept their bad. Not BSU fans. They think their team is a cut above everyone else. And when they fall, oh man, it is fun to watch. Each year prior to last season’s meeting, the game almost had the same script. Broncos jump out early. Nevada rallies in the second half. It then became a thrilling question of whether the Broncos could hold on or if the Wolf Pack could mount the comeback. The game’s lost a little luster. Kellen Moore and Colin Kaepernick are gone. No highly ranked teams. But the game still has a lot of meaning. How sweet it would be to shut the Broncos fans up. Let’s face it, Broncos fans don’t like us. And we don’t like them. When we face each other, especially with how well Boise’s fans travel, it’s the quintessential college football atmosphere. This is why I was excited for college athletics. Games like these are the ones we can tell our children about.

When I covered the 2010 football season, this game was the only one I wished I could cheer. Inside, I was screaming. I wished I could yell in anger as BSU set up what appeared to be the game-winning field goal. Then sat in shock as Kyle Brotzman missed not one, but two field goals. Then of course, there’s the satisfaction in seeing all the BSU fans walking away in disappointment. All the while I wanted to jump, scream and shout. Instead, I sat as calmly and collected as I could be. That’s just it though. It was then I realized, if the Wolf Pack only wins one game a season, I want that win to be against Boise. Who cares about UNLV? Their fans don’t care as much about the game as we do. BSU fans care. And they care a lot. That’s why this game is special. That’s why this game was at the end of the season, not UNLV like most other in-state rivalries. That’s what we’ll miss the most if BSU doesn’t come back.

For the record, here’s my prediction.

Nevada: 37

Boise: 31

Go Pack.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Nevada’s 2012 recruiting class

Here is the list of the Wolf Pack’s 2012 recruiting class.

Name, position, height, weight, previous school (hometown)

Abe Abdulkarim, OL, 6-5, 310, Allen (Allen, Texas)
Alex Bertrando, OLB, 6-3, 215, Del Oro (Loomis, Calif.)
Reggie Coates, DE, 6-1, 240, Crespi (Calif.) High
Abel Deharo, OL, 6-3, 295, LA Valley College
Charles Faraimo, DT, 6-2, 275, Grant Union (Sacramento)
Travis Gardner, WR, 6-1, 185, Eastlake High (Chula Vista, Calif.)
Jarred Gipson, WR, 6-0, 205, Cypress Creek (Houston)
Brian Guendling, DE, 6-4, 220, Poway (Calif.) High
Nigel Haikins, DB, 5-10, 205, Diablo Valley College (Pleasant Hill, Calif.)
Aisea Hansen, OL, 6-4, 315, Kaiser (Fontana, Calif.)
Travis Hansen, LB, 6-2, 225, College of the Siskiyous (Weed, Calif.)
Hasaan Henderson, QB, 6-3, 210, Las Vegas High
Andrew Main, OL, 6-3, 270, Los Alamitos (Calif.) High
Marquis Newell, DB, 6-0, 175, Riverview (Sarasota, Fla.)
Shane Pennix, DE, 6-4, 256, Grossmont College (San Diego)
Jerico Richardson, WR, 6-0, 175, Bishop Alemany (North Hills, Calif.)
Markus Smith, DB, 6-1, 185, Riverside (Calif.) Community College
Chris Solomon, RB, 6-0, 185, West Covina (Calif.) High
Xavier Stevens, RB/LB, 6-0, 220, Tulare (Calif.) Union
Tyler Stewart, QB, 6-3, 210, Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)
Cody Tuttle, WR, 6-3, 215, Westlake (Westlake Village, Calif.)
Randy Uzoma, WR/S, 6-2, 215, Canoga (Canoga Park, Calif.)
Nigel Westbrooks, WR, 6-2, 190, Palomar CC (San Marcos, Calif.)
Cortez Woods, DT, 6-3, 260, American River College (Sacramento)

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@wordpress.com.

Welcome Wolfie jr. home!

Wolfie jr., who just won the Capital One Mascot Challenge today will be returning to reno on Tuesday. Here is a message from the Nevada spirit team inviting you to welcome Wolfie home.
Welcome the CHAMPION home! Come & cheer Wolfie and greet his hometown arrival! 10:15pm outside of security at the c gates upstairs at Reno airport Tuesday January 3rd!!!!! Pack Nation we will see you at the airport!!! Go PACK!!!!

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com

The Wolf Pack is coming off arguably its best season in program history. Nevada went 13-1, including a 34-31 overtime victory against then-No. 4 Boise State. But, with many of its stars on offense and defense departed, what’s in store for Nevada fans this year?

The offense

The days of Colin Kaepernick are gone. Senior quarterback Tyler Lantrip will start. Lantrip is more of a pure passer than Kaepernick was, but lacks the running ability. Expect the Wolf Pack’s offense to be a little more balanced in terms of passing and running. However, running backs Mike Ball and Lampford Mark will get a chance to shine in the running game after seeing former running back Vai Taua getting most of the carries last season. Ball had a five-touchdown game against UNLV in 2009, so Ball has the ability to have a breakout season.

Nevada’s wide receivers core could have a bigger year with a more pass-heavy offense. Rishard Matthews looks to build upon the momentum he gained against Boise State and in the bowl game against Boston College. Matthews could be the star of the offense as he has the big play ability and the chance to become the team’s top receiver. Senior Tray Session also will be looked upon to have a big season as Nevada looks to have a more balanced offense. The team may need both players as it also has to replace tight end Virgil Green, who was a big target for the passing game in the red zone.

However, it could be the offensive line that determines how potent Nevada’s offense is. After losing linemen like John Bender and Jose Acuna, it’s time to see whether “the Union” can continue to be a dominating force and pave the way for what has been one of the nation’s top rushing attacks over the past few seasons.

The defense

While the offense will be undergoing transition, the defense, despite the loss of Dontay Moch, should be a more consistent force for the team. Linebacker James-Michael Johnson will be one of the leaders while Brandon Marshall will have a chance to shine as well. The big question will be on the defensive line, specifically who can step up to help replace Moch’s production. Moch led the team in tackles-for-loss and sacks. Defensive lineman Brett Roy, who was second on the team in sacks, seems the most likely candidate to have a big year and help soften the blow.

The secondary, which was for so long the major weak spot on the team, now looks to improve more and become one of the strengths. Defensive backs Duke Williams, Isaiah Frey and Khalid Wooten look to lead a unit that has made strides, but still gave up too many big plays, including one that almost cost the team a victory against Boise State.

Special teams

Place kicker Anthony Martinez cemented himself into Nevada’s history when he made the game-winning kick against the Broncos. But, Martinez didn’t handle kick-off duties, which means freshmen kicker Allen Hardison could make an impact on special teams. The Wolf Pack will be debuting a new punter after losing Brad Langley from last season.

2011 outlook

Unfortunately for Nevada, the team starts its season with four road games, two of which are against opponents ranked in the top 10 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ preseason poll (Oregon and Boise State). Add the fact that the team will be getting used to a new quarterback under center and it’s easy to see Nevada going 2-2 or 1-3 in those first four games. However, Nevada hosts UNLV, which could serve as a turnaround game like it did in 2009 when the team started 0-3 but then, starting against the Rebels, reeled off eight-straight wins. The Wolf Pack should contend for a conference title and hosts both Fresno State and Hawaii. The question will be whether the team can stay healthy and if it can survive its early-season schedule without getting discouraged or frustrated.

The Mountain West Conference said that Boise State is not allowed to wear its blue uniforms while playing at home. I find it a little funny the MWC would make this rule. Now, I do believe that the blue field is somewhat of a gimmick. But to say it gives them an unfair advantage? Sounds like teams just have a little trouble admitting that Boise State has been a legitimate national contender over the past few seasons.

The Broncos are one of the most polarizing teams in the nation. But, in all honesty, to say it gives them an advantage is like saying the University of Oregon can’t wear its brighter uniforms because it distracts the other teams. I don’t buy that the blue on blue is just unnatural. Not once have you heard coaches like Chris Ault say the blue on blue has distracted the team. Sounds more like an unnecessary¬†controversy for the MWC.

Lukas Eggen

Former Nevada offensive lineman Jose Acuna will join the Dallas Cowboys. Acuna will join Colin Kaepernick, Virgil Green and Dontay Moch as players from last year’s team on NFL squads this year. Acuna was part of “The Union” which helped Nevada have one of the nation’s top rushing attacks last season. Acuna was not taken during the 2011 NFL Draft, but said he received interest from several teams.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Here is the men’s basketball team’s schedule.

Nevada's 2011 men's basketball schedule.

The non-conference has some tough opponents in UNLV, Arizona State, BYU and possibly Wisconsin. What do you think of the schedule?

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

LSU’s self-imposed sanctions of one-year probation, a reduction in scholarships and a reduction in official visits and recruiting calls is enough for the NCAA. Former LSU assistant coach D.J. McCarthy, who was Nevada’s receivers coach from 2000-03, arranged for transportation and housing for defensive lineman Akiem Hicks in 2009 and then tried to cover it up. McCarthy resigned in 2009.

The NCAA said all of LSU’s violations were major, but stressed that the school’s work and self-imposed sanctions is the reason why the punishment was not more severe.

Lukas Eggen

Former Nevada players Colin Kaepernick (San Francisco 49ers), Virgil Green (Denver Broncos) and Dontay Moch (Cincinnati Bengals) were all taken in the 2011 NFL Draft. Now, with the NFL lockout apparently nearing an end, the question becomes which player will find the most success in the NFL?

Colin Kaepernick

Kaepernick has the most to gain and lose this season. He will be in a battle for the starting job with quarterback Alex Smith and others. Now, the question remains, because of the lockout, or just because they don’t want to rush him, will the 49ers sit Kaepernick a season? Also, there’s always a question of how Kaepernick will adjust to the speed of the NFL game. People have been high on Kaepernick’s game recently, but it wasn’t so long ago that they looked at him as a flawed prospect. Still, his strong arm and quick legs could make him a strong asset and San Francisco’s offense has been average at best the past few seasons.

Virgil Green

The tight end will have an opportunity to shine the Broncos’ offense. He could be a starter and, could be a solid blocker and a great target in the red zone. Despite having surgery that saw his stock fall to the seventh round, Green has the hands and size to make him a dangerous weapon on offense.

Dontay Moch

Moch is a more developmental project, but he will see action as a third-down guy and on special teams. However, with Moch’s speed and strength, he can develop into one of the better outside linebackers in the league. The question is can he shine in a Bengals team that has largely underperformed for a long time? It will be interesting to see his progress and how much of an impact he has his rookie season. But, though he might be limited this season, Moch is one to watch down the road.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

As I sat watching the ESPY’s, one fact started to anger me. As VCU won Best Upset for its win against Kansas, I thought, why didn’t Nevada even get nominated? I know no one expected VCU to make it that far in the NCAA Tournament. But, by the time the it played Kansas in the Elite Eight, we knew VCU had at least a shot.

Despite being nationally ranked, no one gave Nevada a shot (though I did). People said Boise State should easily win by double digits. That the game wouldn’t be close. That Boise State’s undefeated season was all but assured. Not to mention the fact that the Broncos led by 17 heading in to the second half. Against a top-five team in the country, one that had not lost a game in more than a year, and coming back from 17 down? That’s not an upset? ESPN named that game the best college football game of the season.

Yet, the game received no love. Why wouldn’t Nevada deserve it? Besides, in the NCAA Tournament they always say any team has a chance. How many people said that heading into the Nevada-Boise State game?

I find it funny that the game got no love what so ever. Leave it to ESPN to not focus on a game that, clearly, had major ripple affects on the BCS standings.

What do you think? Comment here or send in your thoughts to eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Lukas Eggen