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California Golden Bears vs. Nevada Wolfpack

Friday Night Football

9/17/10

Friday night football sends the California Golden Bears to play the Nevada Wolf Pack in a battle of unbeatens. The Wolfpack registered easy wins over Eastern Washington (49-24) and Colorado State (51-6). The Golden Bears crushed UC Davis (52-3), and then vanquished Colorado (52-7). This game matches a strong Pacific 10 team against the second best team in the Western Athletic Conference. The victor in this non-conference game will have big momentum as they play conference foes the following week. Friday night games are always fun to watch and bet. Let's see how California and Nevada stack up!

Senior QB Kevin Riley is on a tear to start the 2010 season after posting nice stats in 2009. Although he was facing a lesser opponent, it was impressive to see him toss 4 TD passes against the Colorado Buffaloes. RB Shane Vereen picked up 1,000 yards last year in the absence of Jahvid Best. He had 2 TDs against Colorado. He wasn't too effective outside of the red zone. Junior WR Marvin Young looked impressive reeling in a 62 yard catch and finishing with 77 yards and a TD. Freshman Keenan Allen was also rock solid grabbing 6 receptions for 66 yards and a score. The offense for the California Bears is a well oiled machine at this stage of the young 2010 season.

If the California offense looks good, the Nevada offense looks even better. They scored on every drive against Colorado State in week 2 play. QB Colin Kaepernick had 402 total yards of offense and accounted for 4 TDs, 2 rushing, and 2 passing. The Wolf Pack 631 total yards and scored every time they had the ball. Of course doing so against the much stouter defense of California won't be so easy. Kaepernick was Offensive Player of the Year in the WAC a season ago. He has a strong offensive line protecting him. The senior will make trouble for California playing in a primetime home game.

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Nevada was very solid at home last year with a record of 5-1. Their only loss came to a strong Missouri team. Nevada played a strong game, but was defeated 31-21.They were 7-6 ATS in 2009. California was 5-7 ATS last year and 2-3 as an away favorite which they are likely to be in this game. Nevada has a record of 1-22-1 against California, but they haven't met since 1996. The Wolfpack has lost 7 straight against BCS teams. The Golden Bears have been strong historically against the WAC with a record of 61-12-1.

The defense of the Wolf Pack boasts strong DE in Dontay Moch. The senior had 6.5 sacks last year. One of the weaknesses of their defense is their inability to produce turnovers. They had just 8 INTs as a team in 2009. California's defense brings back 6 starters. LB Mike Mohamed had 112 tackles, 2 sacks, and 3 INTs last year. The senior is a huge part of the defense and he was 1st Team All Pac-10 last year. The biggest weakness of California's defense is their secondary. Nevada QB Kaepernick can burn them deep if they aren't careful.

Nevada has improved their win total in each of the last 3 years, going from 6 wins in 2007, 7 in 2008 and 8 last year. They return 9 starters from an offense that had the #1 rushing game in the country last year. But here's the problem. They play in the WAC. We aren't sold on Boise State, never mind Nevada. Yes, so far so good. They have put  a bucket of points on the board in two times out against Colorado State and E Wash, but then, so has Cal. If you take a look at Nevada anytime they have stepped up in class over the years, they were simply hammered. Not even close. Cal's record against WAC teams and and Nevada specifically, show us something we talk about all the time here. Talent gaps. There's a big one between the PAC-10 and the WAC.

We need to see more from Nevada before we buy in. The line on this one opened up California -1 and we aren't quite sure what the oddsmakers were thinking. If you were watching our free live odds screen Sunday night, you could have grabbed -1 and set yourself up for a nice potential middle opportunity as the line on this game is now Cal -3.5 and may go even higher. At -3 or less we'll back Cal here. We'd need +7 or more to get interested in Nevada.


 

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