By: Tarrian Rodgers
You always want to start a road trip with a win, and the mood for the Nevada Wolf Pack has been a lot more positive this week than it has been in recent weeks. The positivity steams from a hard fought victory this past Saturday against a solid New Mexico team, 35-17.
Nevada looks to capitalize off this early season momentum when they take their act on the road and travel to Wyoming to face off against a winless Wyoming team.
“I have a ton of respect for this team,” Coach Brian Polian said. “I’ve told our guys you can’t look at the 0-6. The other thing is we’re a .500 football team. We can’t take anything for granted. Every test for us is a battle and that’s what we’re preparing for.”
In this day in football you can’t take any team lightly because on any given Sunday or Saturday any team can beat anyone. Wyoming is definitely a team you can’t take lightly based on the amount of talent they possess on the offensive side of the ball.
Wyoming is led in large part by running back Brian Hill. Hill anchors a team that averages a solid 158 rushing yards per game. Hill himself is the number five rusher in all of college football. He currently has 797 yards and 5 touchdowns on the year. Hill is the definition of a workhorse back.
Quarterback Cameron Coffman is also very effective. He’s hit on 63.2 percent of his passes for 1,291 yards, 11 touchdowns. Wyoming also has two solid receivers in Tanner Gentry and Jake Maulhardt, who both have more than 30 catches.
When you look at the makeup of this team it’s hard to really pinpoint why they are winless. Because they have so much talent on offense. When you look at this team from a wider scope, their struggles become magnified.
For example, Wyoming averages only 19 points per game, which is in the bottom 10 in the nation. Their low scoring output has a lot to with their turnovers. They average two turnovers per game. Wyoming isn’t the best in the red zone either as they are dead last in the nation in converting red zone chances.
As far as their defense is concerned, it isn’t a very strong unit to say the least. Wyoming allows 33.8 ppg. Their run defense is horrible. They allow 229.5 yards per game. Which completely falls into what Nevada wants to do and what they do well. Wyoming’s pass defense isn’t bad they allow 173 yards per game.
However, teams don’t typically pass against them. I mean why would you? If a team allows 229.5 yards against the run. Nevada’s success in this game will be in the run game. Nevada will run the ball early and often.
Nevada’s offensive line versus Wyoming’s defensive line is the key match up in this game. The Wolf Pack line does come in banged up. However, they were banged up last week and had a season high in rush yards.
To Nevada’s credit they do get another favorable matchup this week. How Nevada capitalizes on this matchup is completely up to them.
But Nevada is in the favorable driver’s seat to win its second straight game and win another road game.
Tarrian Rodgers is a writer and journalism major at the University of Nevada, Reno. Tarrian has a year left to graduation and is looking forward to grad school where he will be studying Sports Management. When he isn’t studying trying to be the next Bob Costas, you can catch Tarrian at your local sporting event with his tablet in hand looking for the latest scoop.