Schedule and Odds
Nevada is in an unfamiliar situation as it enters the 2015 season. The Wolf Pack are undecided at quarterback, which is something that hasn’t been the case in eight years. In his second year, head coach Brian Polian led them to seven wins in 2014, but reaching that mark again may be tough. Still, their over/under is set at 7 wins (at 5 Dimes).
Nevada’s quarterback spot is still an unknown after Cody Fajardo played every single snap a year ago. Competing for the starting position is Tyler Stewart, Dante Mayes and Hunter Fralick. Polian hasn’t given much indication of who he’s going to pick so that will likely be decided in the fall. The good news for whoever starts is that the running Game will have the same pieces as a year ago (outside of Fajardo). Don Jackson (957 yards, 7 TDs) is back for his senior season, while James Butler (635 yards, 5 TDs) is expected to put up bigger numbers as a sophomore.
Top receivers return as well with Jerico Richardson (56 receptions), Hasaan Henderson (45 receptions) and tight end Jarred Gipson (33 receptions). They’ll just need someone capable to throw them the ball. The offensive line could be another issue for a team that likes to run a lot. They are a young group that is expected to start Four sophomores, with two of them being returning starters.
The Wolf Pack were average defensively last year, which isn’t a bad thing as they haven’t been known for having a good defense in some time. The front seven of the unit is expected to be one of the best in the Conference with five starters returning. Ian Seau and Lenny Jones are top guys on the end, while Rykeem Yates and UCLA transfer Kevin McReynolds will stuff the middle. They also return three seniors at linebacker, so no drop-off is expected there. What could hold them back is the secondary, however, with an extremely young core that doesn’t have much starting experience. They weren’t great against the pass last year, so it’s a wonder how the new guys will change that.
A bonus for them will be at special teams, where they probably have the best kicking and punting duo in the conference.
Nevada’s Schedule isn’t terrible, but getting Arizona and Texas A&M in non-Conference play is tough, especially after they won three out-of-Conference Games last year. Even their Game at Buffalo won’t be easy. Fortunately, the Wolf Pack’s MWC Schedule isn’t too bad as they drew New Mexico, Wyoming and Utah State out of the Mountain division. Their home slate is extremely favorable with UNLV, UNM, Hawaii and San Jose State. They were a solid road team last year and getting one or two road wins in MWC play will be key in them reaching seven wins again.
With a question at quarterback and offensive line, it’s hard to see this team getting more than seven wins. In fact, reaching seven wins is going to be tough in itself, although definitely attainable with a favorable Schedule.
2015 Nevada Football Schedule
Sept. 3 vs. UC Davis
Sept. 12 vs. Arizona
Sept. 19 at Texas A&M
Sept. 26 at Buffalo
Oct. 3 vs. UNLV
Oct. 10 vs. New Mexico
Oct. 17 at Wyoming
Oct. 24 vs. Hawaii
Nov. 5 at Fresno State
Nov. 14 vs. San Jose State
Nov. 21 at Utah State
Nov. 28 at San Diego State