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CFN Take: Nevada Run Over By BYU

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 30, 2013


2013 Nevada Wolf Pack ... Head Coach: Brian Polian


Nevada Wolf Pack

2013 Record: 4-8  
8/31 at UCLA L 58-20
9/7 UC Davis W 36-7
9/14 at Florida St L 62-7
9/21 Hawaii W 31-9
9/28 Air Force W 45-42
10/4 at SDSU L 51-44 OT
10/12 OPEN DATE
10/19 at Boise State L 34-17
10/26 UNLV L 27-22
11/2 at Fresno State L 41-23
11/9 at Colorado St L 38-17
11/16 San Jose State W 38-16
11/23 OPEN DATE
11/30 BYU L 28-23
BYU 28, at Nevada 23
Basically … Shut out in the first half, BYU roared back as Jamaal Williams ran for a 66-yard score and Taysom Hill threw two touchdown passes and ran for a 35-yard score as the team fought through a slew of mistakes to get past a tough Nevada team. The Wolf Pack started out the scoring with a two-yard Kendall Brock touchdown run, and Cody Fajardo ran for a three-yard touchdown and threw a four-yard scoring play to Brandon Wimberly, but the Cougars held on late.
- BYU committed 14 penalties for 142 yards, and Nevada committed four penalties for 25 yards.
- Nevada QB Cody Fajardo completed 23-of-33 passes for 259 yards and a score with a pick.
- BYU RB Jamaal Williams ran 15 times for 219 yards and a score.
- BYU QB Taysom Hill completed 14-of-18 passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran 26 times for 154 yards and a score.

at Nevada 38, San Jose State 16
Basically … Nevada broke open a tight game after halftime with 17 unanswered points with Don Jackson running for a 39-yard score and cody Fajardo running for a 17-yard touchdown. San Jose State settled for too many field goals, getting three from Austin Lopez from 47, 44 and 50 yards out, and David Fales found Billy Freeman for a five-yard score, but Kendall Brock ran for two short touchdowns and Brandon Wimberly caught a two-yard touchdown pass on the way to a 21-16 halftime lead.
- Nevada QB Cody Fajardo completed 20-of-27 passes for 171 yards and a score, and he led the team with 104 rushing yards and a score on 14 carries.
- San Jose State QB David Fales completed 28-of-43 passes for 326 yards and a score.
- Nevada outgained San Jose State 311 rushing yards to 58.
- Nevada WR Brandon Wimberly caught 11 passes for 93 yards and a score.

at Colorado State 38, Nevada 17
Basically … Nevada was up 17-16 late in the third quarter as Cody Fajardo ran for a 68-yard touchdown and Chris Solomon ran for a one-yard score, and then it was all Kapri Bibbs. The Ram running back tore off 312 yards for the game and had a 28-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, and then he came up with three straight touchdown runs from 59, one and 85 yards away as part of 22 unanswered points. Jared Roberts hit three field goals for the Rams.
- Colorado State RB Kapri Bibbs ran 30 times for 312 yards and four touchdowns.
- Nevada QB Cody Fajardo completed 31-of-46 passes for 246 yards, and he ran 13 times for 87 yards and a score.
- Nevada WR Hasaan Henderson caught ten passes for 110 yards.
- Colorado State QB Garrett Grayson completed 20-of-27 passes for 239 yards with a pick.

at Fresno State 41, Nevada 23
Basically … Derek Carr threw for 487 yards and three scores with touchdown passes to Davante Adams from five yards out early and to Josh Harper from 17 and 32 yards away, but Nevada wouldn’t go away. Kendall Brock started out the scoring with a 43-yard touchdown, and Cody Fajardo helped bring the Wolf Pack back from a 24-7 deficit with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Wimberly and a 32-yard play to Hasaan Henderson to make it 31-23 Fresno State midway through the fourth. The Bulldogs scored the final ten points on a 40-yard Colin McGuire field goal and a three-yard Marteze Waller touchdown run.
- Fresno State QB Derek Carr became the school’s all-time leading passer, completing 39-of-55 passes for 487 yards and three scores.
- Nevada QB Cody Fajardo completed 14-of-24 passes for 206 yards and two scores with a pick, and he led the team with 98 yards on 17 carries.
- Josh Harper led the Bulldogs with 17 catches for 253 yards and two scores.
- Fresno State outgained Nevada 647 yards to Nevada’s 424.

UNLV 27, at Nevada 22
Basically … Caleb Herring threw for 335 yards and three touchdowns, connecting with Maika Mataele from 16 yards out and finding Devante Davis for a 44-yard touchdown in the second and an 11-yard score in the fourth. Nevada overcame 13 penalties with three Brent Zuzo field goals and a 61-yard Richy Turner touchdown catch, but a nine-yard Aaron Bradley touchdown catch with just over three minutes to play was it. The Wolf Pack pulled within 27-22, but the offense stalled with one more shot, and UNLV was able to run out the clock.

at San Diego State 51, Nevada 44 OT
Basically … Eric Judge caught a five-yard touchdown pass in overtime, and the San Diego State defense held without a problem to avoid a total collapse. The Aztecs held a 44-23 lead in the fourth quarter helped by a 72-yard scoring dash from Donnel Pumphrey, two Adam Muema scoring runs, and two of Quinn Kaehler’s three touchdown passes, but Nevada mounted a furious comeback in the fourth. The Wolf Pack scored points in the final frame with two short scores and a five-yard touchdown catch from Richy Turner to help force overtime. Kendall Brock ran for three scores for the Pack.
- The San Diego State offensive line cranked out the big game the team needed against a bad defense. The Aztecs finally got a terrific game out of Adam Muema, who ran 24 times for 135 yards and three touchdowns, while Donnel Pumphrey tore off 112 yards helped by his 72-yard scoring dash.
- This is a different Nevada offense – it’s not cranking out the running game like it should. There were chances to stick around and not let the game get out of hand, but two Cody Fajardo fumbles were costly and forced the big comeback attempt. Fajardo was fantastic late, completing 33-of-52 passes on the day for 393 yards, but it would be nice if the running game could be more explosive.
- Brandon Wimberly is having a very, very nice season for the Wolf Pack passing game. The veteran receiver followed up a 15 catch game against Air Force with a more explosive 12-catch, 127-yard, one touchdown game. He has a scoring grab in each of his last five games.
- This was a season saver for the Aztecs. It would’ve been bad enough to lose to Nevada and go 1-4, but to collapse in the fourth quarter would’ve been absolutely devastating with a road trip to Air Force and a date with Fresno State up next. A bowl bid is back on the table.

at Nevada 45, Air Force 42
Basically … In a wild game, down 12, Nevada came back with a Cody Fajardo nine-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Bradley with just under six minutes to play, and he ran for a two-yard score with under two minutes to go to take the lead for good. Fajardo threw three touchdown passes on the game and ran for two more to overcome a huge day from the Air Force running game that rumbled for 375 yards and got two rushing scores and a touchdown pass from quarterback Karson Roberts. Charles Garrett stopped the possible Air Force comeback with an interception in the final seconds.
- The Air Force offense apparently had not problems whatsoever without Jaleel Awini. Karson Roberts ran 23 times for 161 yards and two scores and completed 5-of-10 passes for 55 yards and a touchdown with a pick as the Falcon attack rumbled. Nevada was better in the clutch.
- It wasn’t the prettiest performance by the Wolf Pack, but Cody Fajardo looked like his old self, completing 38-of-54 passes for 389 yards and three scores, and running for 81 yards and two touchdowns. The ground game isn’t like normal, but it was effective.
- The Wolf Pack defenders didn’t quite figure out what Air Force was doing – and it’s not like they haven’t seen this before. There were almost no big plays in the backfield and there were too many plays made well down the field. Air Force averaged 7.4 yards per carry.
- Nevada receivers Aaron Bradley and Brandon Wimberly were unstoppable. Wimberly caught 15 passes for 134 yards and a score, and Bradley caught 11 balls for 135 yards and a touchdown.

at Nevada 31, Hawaii 9
Basically … Still without starting quarterback Cody Fajardo, Nevada got by on three touchdown passes from Tyler Stewart with two to Kolby Arendse in the first half and a seven-yarder to Brandon Wimberly to put it away in the third. Alex Bertrando got the defense into the act with a fumble return in the fourth. Hawaii got on the board first with a 28-yard field goal and Chris Gant caught a 21-yard touchdown pass late in the first.
- Nevada’s offense didn’t exactly explode, but it was effective enough. The old running game just isn’t there, and while Hawaii has a decent defense, the Wolf Pack should be able to run for more than 138 yards. They only outgained the Warriors on the ground by five yards.
- Six turnovers. The Hawaii quarterbacks threw four picks to go along with two fumbles that turned drive after drive into a disaster. Four Warrior passers combined to complete 24-of-45 passes for 243 yards with a score and four picks. None of them were particularly sharp – the picture isn’t any clearer.
- While he’s not Cody Fajardo, if Tyler Stewart can continue to be effective and efficient, the offense can get by. However, the Wolf Pack can’t keep running this poorly, and it can’t count on the D coming up with so many turnovers. Brock Hekking came up with three sacks and Markus Smith was terrific with two picks.
- Art Laurel continues to fight the good fight. The Hawaii linebacker is playing at an all-star level, making ten tackles with a sack and three tackles for loss.

at Florida State 62, Nevada 7, Sept. 14
Basically … The Seminoles were explosive and efficient, overcoming an early 7-3 deficit with 59 unanswered points helped by two second quarter touchdown passes form Jameis Winston and a ten-yard scoring run in the third. FSU ran for 377 yards with scoring runs from six different players, highlighted by a 65-yard dash from Karlos Williams in the third. Nevada’s score came on an 11-yard catch from Brandon Wimberly early in the second quarter.
- Nevada didn’t have any sort of a chance without Cody Fajardo. The starting quarterback was out with a sprained knee, and Devin Combs and Tyler Stewart couldn’t move the offense combining for just 86 passing yards.
- How many fast Seminole runners are there? Each one was tearing off big dash after big dash with four Noles averaging 12 yards per pop or more. The running game averaged 9.2 yards per pop, and that’s the key; Jameis Winston doesn’t have to do everything.
- Chris Solomon did his best for the Nevada offense, running 26 times for a tough 108 yards, but he didn’t get much help. The quarterbacks were taken out of running plays early on.
- It’s hard to complain with a nearly-perfect defensive effort for FSU, but there’s still a question mark about the pass rush from the ends. The Noles failed to generate a sack.

at Nevada 36, UC Davis 7, Sept. 7
Basically … Cody Fajardo ran for a score and threw for two more as Nevada had no problems with UC Davis. Kendall Brock ran for two scores for the Wolf Pack including a six-yarder early in the second half as part of a run of 16 unanswered points. UCD scored late in the first half on a 23-yard Tom Hemmingsen catch.
- There’s the Cody Fajardo that’s going to come up with a huge season for the Wolf Pack. He connected on 18-of-21 passes for 239 yards and two touchdowns and was deadly when it came to moving the chains – Nevada converted 11-of-19 chances.
- Kendall Brock might not be flashy, but he’s going to be an ultra-effective back for Nevada all year. He ran for an efficient 116 yards and two scores on 27 carries, grinding out the clock and the game.

at UCLA 58, Nevada 20, Aug. 31
Basically … Brett Hundley controlled the game from the start for UCLA with a 37-yard touchdown run. He added four touchdown passes and an 11-yard run, but it was a blocked punt for a score in the third quarter that helped the Bruins pull away. Nevada hung around with two touchdown runs from Cody Fajardo, but the balanced UCLA offense was too much to deal with scoring 21 unanswered points in the fourth to make it a blowout.
- 345 rushing yards, 302 passing yards. That’s how the UCLA offense is supposed to work. It was explosive, effective and very, very efficient. Hundley was terrific throwing for 274 yards and two touchdowns and running for 63 yards and two scores. Jordan James added 155 yards and a score on 21 carries.
- The problem for UCLA? Penalties, with a sloppy 12 for 93 yards. They didn’t turn out to matter, but the team has to tighten up before dealing with Nebraska soon.
- UCLA started to pull away and Nevada couldn’t do anything to stop it. Cody Fajardo was a one-man gang throwing for 164 yards and running for 106 yards and two touchdowns, but he didn’t get any help from the defense.
- The Wolf Pack owned the time of position, but the defense couldn’t get off the field. UCLA converted 9-of-12 third down chances.

Spring Analysis

Why To Be Excited There might be some huge losses on both sides of the ball, but the defensive line returns intact. Unfortunately, it was one of the team’s weakest links with no push into the backfield, not enough sacks and too many problems against the run. There isn’t a ton of size, but just about everyone is back including young ends Brock Hekking and Lenny Jones, the team’s two leading pass rushers combining for 13 sacks. Offensively, quarterback Cody Fajardo is an early Mountain West Player of the Year favorite.

Why To Be Grouchy Several key parts are gone, including legendary head coach Chris Ault. Brian Polian will be more than fine taking over for the Hall of Famer, but it’s still going to be an adjustment. It doesn’t help that Stefphon Jefferson, the nation’s second-leading rusher, made the strange move of leaving early, and it’s going to hurt losing guards Chris Barker and Alex Pinto along with star tackle Jeff Nady. Leading receiver Brandon Wimberly and future NFL tight end Zach Sudfeld won’t be easily replaced. While the quality is gone on offense, the quantity is leaving on defense with corner Charles Garrett the only starter returning in the defensive back seven.

What Needs Working On The defensive interior has to be a wall. Hekking and Jones will get into the backfield and should turn into even more disruptive forces, but tackles Jack Reynoso, Jordan Hanson, Cortez Woods and Rykeem Yates need to form a tougher rotation. There isn’t a ton of bulk inside, and while it would be nice to have a 310-pound anchor, the Wolf Pack will have to make up for it steadier production a year after allowing 27 rushing scores and being eaten alive by the better guards.

Team Concerns For 2013: Even though Chris Ault has retired, the offense should still be able to crank out big yards on the ground with quarterback Cody Fajardo back. However, leading rusher Stefphon Jefferson and backup Nick Hale have to be replaced along with three starters up front. As good as the Wolf Pack running game was, that's almost as bad as the run D was giving up over five yards per pop. The defense has to come up with more stops on third downs and has to keep the deep completions to a minimum.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Offensive tackle. The Wolf Pack needs Superiorr Reid and Don Jackson to go from junior college to the Mountain West right away for the Stefphon Jefferson-less ground attack, while several other prospects were brought in to pave the way. JUCO transfers Braxton Isaac and Avery Poates will at least provide offensive tackle depth, but Ziad Damanhoury and Chad Specht will be for down the road. JUCO transfer Ian Seau will be the star of the class as a potential starting linebacker for this year, but Beau Hershberger might become the better talent in a few years.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 114. That Class Was Heavy On ... The program didn’t exactly capitalize off the big 2010 season with last year’s class, but it come up with a boatload of running backs meaning head coach Chris Ault can look elsewhere. He’ll get quarterbacks for 2015 with the 2009 class providing several options in development and with Cody Fajardo appearing to be the franchise for the next few seasons. The defensive back seven could use more options for down the line, but several young players will be a part of the 2012 season. 

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 101. That Class Was Heavy On ... Running backs. After the record-setting Colin Kaepernick/Vai Taua rushing era has ended, the program needs reinforcements. The good quarterback crop of 2009 should kick in starting this year, so Tanner Roderick should get plenty of time to learn. The running backs might not have the talent of other Nevada positions, but Kendall Brock, Teondray Caldwell and Superiorr Reid fit the Pistol.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 91. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. The quarterbacks were brought in last season so the offense was taken care of. This year, something had to be done to boost the depth on a defense that can't stop anyone's running game. Seven prospects were signed for the defensive line with a premium put on speed, quickness, and pass rushing ability. There isn't the bulk needed to clog up the middle, but there pass rush will be a strength.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 106. That Class Was Heavy On ... Quarterbacks. With Colin Kaepernick set to be the franchise for the next few years, Nevada’s two new passers, Mason Magelby and David Fales, will get plenty of time to develop. However, JUCO transfer Maurice Patterson is a good-looking receiver who’ll get Kaepernick throwing to him this year.


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