Well, last week was a bummer.
Nevada’s Mountain West title hopes took a serious blow with a 28-21 road loss to a Wyoming team that entered with a zero in the win column. Arguably the team’s worst showing of the year came one week after its best—in a win over New Mexico.
The Wolf Pack’s defense struggled after carrying the team the first three weeks of Mountain West play. The Cowboys ran for 272 yards on 51 carries.
Hawaii, Nevada’s opponent on Saturday at Mackay Stadium, doesn’t pose much a running threat but has always been known to throw the football all over the place.
Nevada needs this one at 3-4, 1-2.
Kickoff is at 1 p.m. and will be aired on the Mountain West Network.
About the Rainbow Warriors
Coach: Norm Chow (Fourth season, 10-34)
2014 Finish: 4-9, 3-5 (Fourth in Mountain West—West)
2015 Record: 2-5, 0-3 MWC
Quarterback: Although he’s seen time in every contest, Ikaika Woolsey started his first game last week, a 28-27 loss to New Mexico. He completed 13-of-25 passes for 195 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Woolsey will run the ball but is more dangerous with his arm. He’s ran the ball 18 times this fall for 56 yards and hasn’t scored.
Dangerous Weapons: Hawaii doesn’t boast a run game that’s going to scare anyone out of the stadium. The Warriors own the conference’s worst rushing attack. So naturally, Hawaii does its damage though the air, although there isn’t a dominant pass catcher on the squad. Dylan Collie, Macus Kemp and Quinton Pedroza have caught 21, 20 and 19 passes respectively this fall.
What to look for
-Nevada’s secondary allowed Cameron Coffman and the Wyoming passing to complete all but two of 20 passing attempts for 213 yards and a trio of touchdowns while failing to pick off a pass. Things don’t get any easier on Saturday against a pass-happy Hawaii offense.
-The Wolf Pack’s rushing attack should have continued success on Saturday. Nevada has the conference’s No. 4 run game and will line up against the Mountain West’s second-worst rushing defense (226.6 yards per game).
-Tyler Stewart threw for a career-high 287 yards in last week’s loss to Wyoming. The Warriors allow a middle of the road 202 passing yards a game but as a whole, are the worst total defense in the conference.
-Last week’s loss was a blow to the Wolf Pack’s conference title aspirations and to its ego. So no, it didn’t take long for Nevada to find itself some adversity. Coach Brian Polian’s group rebounded from the UNLV with its best performance of the year against New Mexico followed by last week’s dud. The Wolf Pack needs a New-Mexico-like bounce back on Saturday or the 2015 season could be sent in a tailspin.
The Wolf Pack is entering the waters of mediocrity heading into the thick part of its conference schedule. Despite, its losing record, Nevada should take of business on Saturday against a Hawaii team that’s lost four straight since starting the season 2-1.
Nevada 35, Hawaii 27