2008 Nevada Wolf Pack Season

Posted Feb 8, 2009

2008 Nevada Wolf Pack Season, Game Recaps, Scores and Reviews

2008 Nevada Wolf Pack

Dec. 30
2008 Humanitarian Bowl
Maryland 42 … Nevada 35

In a fun shootout, Maryland's DaRel Scott came off the bench after being benched for over two quarters for missing curfew and ran for 174 yards with scores of 49 and two yards out to break a 28-28 tie. Nevada came back with a 15-yard Colin Kaepernick touchdown run with just over two minutes to play, but the Pack never got the ball back. Kaepernick played through a sprained ankle to throw three touchdown passes including a 17-yarder to Vai Taua in the third and a 21-yarder to Marko Mitchell in the fourth to tie it up before Scott went to work. Chris Turner threw two touchdown passes for the Terps, Morgan Green ran for a 53-yard second quarter touchdown, and Torrey Smith answered an early Nevada touchdown with a 99-yard kickoff return for a score.
Player of the Game: Maryland RB DaRel Scott ran 14 times for 174 yards and two touchdowns in just over a quarter. 
Stat Leaders: Nevada - Passing: Colin Kaepernick, 24-47, 370 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Vai Taua, 23-101, 1 TD. Receiving: Mike McCoy, 13-172
Maryland - Passing: Chris Turner, 13-27, 198 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: DaRel Scott, 14-174, 2 TD. Receiving: Ronnie Tyler, 5-55, 1 TD
Inside The Box Score ...  5 Thoughts on the Humanitarian Bowl …Maryland LB Alex Wujciak made 12 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss .... Each team had three turnovers … Rushing yards: Maryland 258 – Nevada 114 … Third down conversions: Maryland 4-of-14 – Nevada 8-of-18 … Sacks: Maryland 3 – Nevada 2

- 2008 Nevada Preview
- 2007 Nevada Season

2008 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2008 Record:

Aug. 30 Grambling St W 49-13
Sept. 6 Texas Tech L 35-19
Sept. 13 at Missouri L 69-17
Sept. 20 OPEN DATE
Sept. 27 at UNLV W 49-27
Oct. 4 at Idaho W 49-14
Oct. 11 New Mexico St L 48-45
Oct. 18 Utah State W 44-17
Oct. 25 at Hawaii L 38-31
Nov. 7 at Fresno State W 41-28
Nov. 15 San Jose St W 41-17
Nov. 22 Boise State L 41-34
Nov. 29 at La Tech W 35-31

Humanitarian Bowl
Dec. 30 Maryland L 42-35

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2007 Record:

Sept. 1 at Nebraska L 52-10
Sept. 8 at Nwestern L 36-31
Sept. 15
Nicholls State W 52-17
Sept. 29 UNLV W 27-20
Oct. 6 Fresno State L 49-41
Oct. 14 at Boise St L 69-67 4OT
Oct. 20
at Utah State W 31-28
Oct. 27 Idaho W 37-21
Nov. 2 at NMSU W 40-38
Nov. 16 Hawaii L 28-26
Nov. 24 at San Jose St L 27-24
Dec. 1
La Tech W 49-10
New Mexico Bowl
Dec. 22 New Mexico L 23-0

Nov. 29
Nevada 35 … Louisiana Tech 31
Down 31-14, Nevada mounted a comeback with 21 unanswered points capped off by a 22-yard touchdown run from Vai Taua with just over three minutes to play. Colin Kaepernick threw four touchdown passes including plays to 62 and 18 yards to Marko Mitchell in the third quarter, but Louisiana Tech got up early with two touchdown passes from Ross Jenkins and touchdown runs from Daniel Porter and Patrick Jackson. The Bulldog offense sputtered in the last 20 minutes and Nevada got hot with the short passing game. Kaepernick hit Mike McCoy for a 27-yard score early in the fourth to get the Pack close, and Taua put it away. Nevada outgained Tech 500 yards to 443.
Player of the game: Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick completed 24-of-42 passes for 397 yards and four touchdowns and an interception, and he ran for 28 yards on 13 carries.
Stat Leaders: Nevada - Passing: Colin Kaepernick, 24-42, 397 yds, 4 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Vai Taua, 22-61, 1 TD. Receiving: Chris Wellington, 8-93, 1 TD
Louisiana Tech - Passing: Ross Jenkins 17-31, 258 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Patrick Jackson, 10-79, 1 TD. Receiving: Phillip Livas, 5-70, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... After the way the Pack lost an emotional game to Boise State, to mount a huge comeback to beat Louisiana Tech, and to secure a bowl bid, is big. With Tech slowing down the Wolf Pack running game, Colin Kaepernick and the passing game came through when they had to. With Hawaii locked into the Hawaii Bowl, now Nevada has the No. 2 bowl slot in the WAC. There have been some major disappointments this year, but the 7-5 record and the three wins in the final four games have turned things around.

Nov. 22
Boise State 41 … Nevada 34
Boise State appeared to be on its way to an easy win with a 24-3 halftime lead helped by two Kellen Moore touchdown passes, but Moore suddenly got cold. He threw three interceptions in the third quarter with Jerome Johnson returning one 28 yards for a score and Joshua Mauga taking another 46 yards for a touchdown. Thanks to a 66-yard Ian Johnson run, Boise State stayed ahead, and Moore settled down enough to hit Austin Pettis for a 10-yard score in the fourth. But Nevada fought back with a nine-yard Marko Mitchell touchdown catch and a 25-yard Brett Jaekle field goal, followed up by an onside kick. Down seven, the Wolf Pack had one last shot, but Colin Kaepernick's final pass into the end zone was batted down.
Player of the game: Boise State QB Kellen Moore completed 29-of-43 passes for 414 yards and three touchdowns with three interceptions
Stat Leaders: Nevada - Passing: Colin Kaepernick, 19-50, 241 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Vai Taua, 14-75, 1 TD. Receiving: Vai Taua, 6-44
Boise State - Passing: Kellen Moore, 29-48, 414 yds, 3 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Ian Johnson, 7-71, 1 TD. Receiving: Austin Pettis, 9-126, 2 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Nevada showed good fight against Boise State as the defense came up with the big plays needed in the third quarter to get back into the game, but the offense wasn't the typical offense, struggling with the running game and not getting a sharp enough game from Colin Kaepernick throwing the ball to overcome the inconsistencies. While the Pack has a good shot to go bowling with six wins, but it needs a win over Louisiana Tech to secure it. To do that, the pass defense, the worst in the nation, has to come up with its best performance of the season.

Nov. 15
Nevada 41 … San Jose State 17
Nevada got up 17-0 and rolled from there with 333 rushing yards helped by 147 from QB Colin Kaepernick, who ran for scores from seven and six yards out, and Vai Taua who ran for 125 yards with a 57-yard dash. San Jose State was held to -23 rushing yards but got two third quarter touchdown catches from David Richmond. The Wolf Pack held on to the ball for over 36 minutes.
Player of the game: Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick completed 15-of-31 passes for 192 yards and a touchdown, and he ran 16 times for 147 yards and two touchdowns
Stat Leaders: San Jose State - Passing: Kyle Reed, 15-27, 215 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Brandon Rutley, 4-3. Receiving: David Richmond, 9-91, 2 TD
Nevada - Passing: Colin Kaepernick, 15-31, 192 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Colin Kaepernick, 16-147 yds, 2 TD. Receiving: Marko Mitchell, 5-80, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Nevada's running game is unstoppable, but the win over San Jose State came from the defensive front. The pass rush was fantastic and there wasn't any Spartan running game whatsoever. The Pack is peaking at just the right time before dealing with the two best teams in the league (other than itself) with Boise State and Louisiana Tech to close things out. Nevada is bowl eligible, and while it might be out of the title hunt, this can become a special season with a big win over the Broncos.

Nov. 7

Nevada 41 … Fresno State 28
Nevada ripped off 472 rushing yards led by Vai Taua's 263 yards, but it took a 25-yard Taua scoring run in the fourth to finally put the game away. The Wolf Pack got a 16-yard Colin Kaepernick touchdown run to start the scoring, his first of two scoring dashes on the day, and a 36-yard Mike McCoy touchdown catch, but Fresno State wouldn't go away. Tom Brandstater and Seyi Ajirotutu hooked up on touchdown catches from 23 and three yards out, and A.J. Jefferson returned a kickoff 92 yards for a score, but Nevada owned the fourth quarter, hanging on to the ball for 13:46, to close.
Player of the game: Nevada RB Vai Taua ran 28 times for 263 yards and a touchdown.
Stat Leaders: Fresno State - Passing: Tom Brandstater, 23-43, 260 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Lonyae Miller, 6-60, 1 TD. Receiving: Seyi Ajirotutu, 7-95, 2 TD
Nevada - Passing: Colin Kaepernick, 7-17, 128 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Vai Taua, 28-263, 1 TD. Receiving: Marko Mitchell, 4-51
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Nevada made a big statement by pounding its way to the win over Fresno State. By controlling the clock with Vai Taua and Colin Kaepernick on the ground, the porous Wolf Pack defense was kept on the sidelines just long enough to survive. That's going to be the situation for the rest of the year. The Pack D can't be out there; it gets burned every time it is. Bowl hopes are back on, but the final stretch is nasty facing San Jose State, Boise State and Louisiana Tech; three of the WAC's best teams.

Oct. 25
Hawaii 38 … Nevada 31
Greg Alexander came off the bench to throw for 205 yards with two touchdowns including a 24-yarder to Malcolm Lane with 20 seconds to play for the win. Nevada mounted a comeback with Colin Kaepernick connecting with Mark Mitchell for a five-yard touchdown and then tying it with a 34-yard pass to Chris Wellington with 1:31 to play before Alexander led the way on the final drive. Nevada ran for 308 yards highlighted by a 79-yard touchdown dash from Vai Taua, but fumbles were a problem with John Fonoti returning one nine yards for a score in the first quarter and a second turnover leading to the first of two Michael Washington touchdown catches.
Player of the game: Hawaii QB Greg Alexander completed 17-of-22 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran nine times for 21 yards.
Stat Leaders: Nevada - Passing: Colin Kaepernick, 14-28, 173 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Vai Taua, 16-160, 1 TD. Receiving: Marko Mitchell, 6-55, 1 TD
Hawaii - Passing: Greg Alexander, 17-22, 205 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Greg Alexander, 9-21. Receiving: Malcolm Lane, 6-63, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Nevada just can't put together a complete game. The offense struggled early with turnovers against Hawaii, but the running game worked. The defense couldn't come up with the stop needed late after Colin Kaepernick did what he needed to do to get the Wolf Pack in a position for overtime, and now there's work to be done for a bowl game with at Fresno State, San Jose State, Boise State and at Louisiana Tech coming after an off-week.

Oct. 18
Nevada 44 … Utah State 17
Colin Kaepernick sat in the first quarter but came out to hit Marko Mitchell on a 75-yard touchdown pass and run for two touchdowns. Utah State stayed alive in the first half with a 15-yard Otis Nelson catch, but the Wolf Pack attack proved to be too much, despite four turnovers, cranking out 523 yards of total offense. Nelson caught a 52-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, but it was far too little, too late. The two teams combined for 20 penalties.
Player of the game: Nevada RB Vai Taua ran 17 times for 122 yards and a score and caught four passes for 66 yards
Stat Leaders: Utah State - Passing: Diondre Borel, 19-38, 262 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Diondre Borel, 21-50. Receiving: Otis Nelson, 4-86, 2 TD
Nevada - Passing: Colin Kaepernick, 10-20, 197 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Vai Taua, 17-122, 1 TD. Receiving: Marko Mitchell, 4-122, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... After the tough, strange loss to New Mexico State, Nevada bounced back with its fourth straight 40-point game in the easy win over Utah State. The WAC title is still there for the taking by winning out, and Boise State has to come to Reno. If the running game keeps producing, the Pack has a shot, but the pass defense has to get better in a big hurry.

Oct. 11
New Mexico State 48 … Nevada 45
In a wild shootout, New Mexico State got three touchdown passes from Chase Holbrook and a 83-yard fumble return for a touchdown to pull off the upset. Nevada roared on the ground with 313 yards helped by a 32-yard scoring run from Colin Kaepernick, but it was the four touchdowns from Vai Taua that helped the Wolf Pack keep up the pace. Kaepernick hit Chris Wellington for a 19-yard touchdown pass to pull the Pack within three with just under four minutes to play, but the Aggies were able to run out the clock. The two teams combined for 56 first downs and 1,020 yards.
Player of the game: New Mexico State QB Chase Holbrook completed 28-of-47 passes for 409 yards and three touchdowns with an interception, and ran for a score
Stat Leaders: Nevada - Passing: Colin Kaepernick, 15-26, 194 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Vai Taua, 20-188, 2 TD. Receiving: Marko Mitchell, 5-97
New Mexico State - Passing: Chase Holbrook, 28-47, 409 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Marquell Colston, 24-118, 1 TD. Receiving: Wes Neiman, 7-82, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Devastating. Nevada can't afford to lose home games, much less home games to New Mexico State. The Wolf Pack defense was non-existent despite generating a decent pass rush. Vai Taua was magnificent as he showed he's more than good enough to finally be a workhorse for the attack weeks after Luke Lippencott was knocked out with his knee injury. QB Colin Kaepernick was his normal great self, and he was able to lead the way to a key late score, but the defense couldn't get him the ball back. Fortunately, Utah State is up next to cure all the ills.

Oct. 4
Nevada 49 … Idaho 14
Nevada took advantage of Idaho miscues with Vai Taua running for three short scores and Colin Kaepernick ran for an 18-yard score in the dominant win. The Wolf Pack cranked out 507 yards of total offense, but Idaho had its moments with Eddie Williams catching touchdown passes from 10 and 12 yards. Nevada got up 28-0 before Williams' first score and was never threatened. The Pack outgained Idaho 264 yards to 24 on the ground.
Player of the game: Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick completed 19-of-24 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran five times for 57 yards and a score
Stat Leaders: Idaho - Passing: Nathan Enderle, 18-36, 226 yds, 2 TD
Deonte Jackson, 15-52. Receiving: Eddie Williams, 10-142, 2 TD
- Passing: Colin Kaepernick, 19-24, 243 yds, 2 TD
Vai Taua, 21-90, 3 TD. Receiving: Marko Mitchell, 6-121, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
Nevada came up with a workmanlike effort to blow past a bad Idaho team. Colin Kaepernick continued to shine, while Vai Taua provided a nice second rushing option with 21 carries. Kaepernick was nearly flawless throwing the ball, while the defense stuffed the Idaho running game and never let the game get close. With winnable home games against New Mexico State and Utah State up next there's no reason to not be 5-2 going into the trip to Hawaii.

Sept. 27
Nevada 49 … UNLV 27
Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick ran for 240 yards with touchdown runs from four, 66 and 28 yards out, and he connected with Virgil Green for a 40-yard score. UNLV hung tough in the first half with two Omar Clayton touchdown passes, and cut the lead to eight in the third quarter on a seven-yard pass to Ryan Wolfe, and then it was all Nevada with 14 fourth quarter points. The Wolf Pack outgained the Rebels 620 yards to 381.
Player of the game: Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick completed 11-of-16 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns, and ran 18 times for 240 yards and three touchdowns.  
Stat Leaders: UNLV - Passing: Omar Clayton, 18-38, 327 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Omar Clayton, 12-47. Receiving: Ryan Wolfe, 8-167, 1 TD
- Passing: Colin Kaepernick, 11-16, 176 yds, 2 TD
Colin Kaepernick, 18-240 yds, 3 TD. Receiving: Mike McCoy, 3-26
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... And that's what Colin Kaepernick can do. Against UNLV, Kaepernick showed off the mobility and the home run hitting ability to make up for the loss of RB Luke Lippincott, and he was tremendously efficient throwing the ball. The defense struggled a bit with the UNLV passing game, but it stuffed the running game and got the Rebel offense off the field. Nevada will win a lot of games if it can convert 10-of-14 third down chances.

Sept. 13
Missouri 69 ... Nevada 17
Missouri cranked out 651 yards of total offense with Chase Daniel throwing four touchdown passes and Jeremy Maclin scoring three times highlighted by an 80-yard play three minutes into the game for a 14-0 Tiger lead. The offensive show didn't stop as Maclin scored on the fourth play of the third quarter on a 49-yard pass, and then game got out of hand as WR Tommy Saunders connected with Chase Coffman on a 32-yard touchdown pass. The bench emptied from there as Missouri scored the final 31 points of the game ad shut out Nevada's offense in the second half. Nevada got a one-yard Colin Kaepernick touchdown run and a 42-yard interception return for a score from Marko Mitchell.
Player of the game: Missouri QB Chase Daniel went 23-of-28 for 405 yards and four touchdown passes, and ran once for 12 yards.
Stat Leaders: Nevada
- Passing: Colin Kaepernick, 17-31, 152 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Colin Kaepernick, 8-71, 1 TD. Receiving: Mike McCoy, 6-29
- Passing: Chase Daniel, 23-28, 405 yds, 4 TDs
Rushing: Derrick Washington, 8-75, 2 TDs. Receiving: Jeremy Maclin, 6-172, 3 TDs

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
Missouri's offense is on fire, so there's no reason to get too upset about getting blown away. However, there has to be a worry that in game one without RB Luke Lippincott, the offense struggled. Colin Kaepernick was the most effective rushing weapon, but the game got out of hand so there wasn't much of a chance for the backs to get involved. The passing game wasn't able to keep up the pace. Now the team has a week off before dealing with UNLV.

Sept. 6
Texas Tech 35 ... Nevada 19
Texas Tech sputtered a bit by its own high standards, but it came up with the big play with Eric Morris returning a punt 86 yards for a touchdown and Michael Crabtree catching an 82-yard scoring pass to finally pull away. The Red Raiders never trailed after getting down 3-0, but the Wolf Pack stayed alive on four Brett Jaekle field goals and Marko Mitchell caught a 48-yard scoring pass in the fourth. Shannon Woods ran for two Tech touchdown runs and Morris added a 13-yard scoring run to stay one step ahead in the second half.
Player of the game: Texas Tech LB Bront Bird made 14 tackles with a sack and two tackles for loss
Stat Leaders: Nevada - Passing: Colin Kaepernick, 24-35, 264 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Colin Kaepernick, 17-92. Receiving: Marko Mitchell, 9-147, 1 TD
Texas Tech - Passing: Graham Harrell, 19-46, 297 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Baron Batch, 6-47. Receiving: Michael Crabtree, 7-158, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
The Pack is going to hate itself in the morning. It outgained Texas Tech, did a great job of keeping the high-octane passing game in check, and had chance after chance to take hold of the game, but drives have to result in touchdowns, not field goals against a team like the Red Raiders and there can't be so many stalls against Missouri next week. This should be a bit of a confidence booster for the pass defense, it limited Graham Harrell to 19-of-46 passing, but a loss is a loss.

Aug. 30
Nevada 49 ... Grambling 13
Colin Kaepernick ran for three touchdowns and Vai Taua ran for two short scores as Nevada blew past Grambling. GSU managed a 61-yard Desmond Lenard interception return for a score in the third quarter, but the offense didn't get in the end zone until the final few minutes. Nevada gained 426 yards on the ground to just five for Grambling.
Player of the game: Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick completed 10 of 17 passes for 122 yards and an interception, and ran six times for 51 yards and three touchdowns.
Stat Leaders: Grambling State - Passing: Greg Dillon, 13-25, 225 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Cornelius Walker, 8-14. Receiving: Kenneth Batiste, 6-95, 1 TD
Nevada - Passing: Colin Kaepernick, 10-17, 122 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Vai Taua, 12-103, 2 TD. Receiving: Mike McCoy, 6-67
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... This is what tune up games are for. The running game was dominant against Grambling with 426 yards, but there were a few mistakes, some turnovers, but nothing to get worried about going into the Texas Tech showdown. Colin Kaepernick was the star, showing off his running ability as well as his passing skills, while Nick Graziano was fine in his time completing seven of 12 passes for 75 yards.

2008 Recruiting Class

Star of the Class

Thaddeus Brown, DB/RB, 5-11, 177, Fr.-HS, Pasadena, Calif. (Notre Dame HS)
Brown rushed for 1,316 yards and 14 touchdowns for Notre Dame, eight times going over the 100-yard mark. His best game was an 177-yard, three touchdown performance against defending D-I champion Loyola of Los Angeles.

Potential Instant Impact Players

Marlon Johnson, S, 5-11, 185, Fr.-HS, Ingelwood, Calif. (Ingelwood HS)

Steve Werner, OT, 6-5, 310, Fr.-HS, Tulare, Calif. (Tulare West HS) 

Rest of the Class
*Brandon Wimberly, WR, 6-3, 195, Fr.-HS, Los Angeles, Calif. (Gardena HS)
Michael Ball, RB, 5-10, 225, Fr.-HS, Las Vegas, Nev. (Desert Pines HS)
*Zack Sudfeld, TE, 6-7, 230, Fr.-Nevada, Modesto, Calif. (Madesto Christian HS)
Christian Barker, OL, 6-4, 315, Fr.-HS, Fontana, Calif. (Estiwanda HS)
Aaron Huck, OL, 6-3, 295, Fr.-HS, San Jose, Calif. (Oak Grove HS)
Jeff Nady, OL, 6-7, 255, Fr.-HS, Minden, Nev. (Douglas HS)
*Albert Rosette, LB, 6-2, 225, Fr.-HS, Concord, Calif. (De La Sal HS)
*Brett Roy, LB, 6-4, 240, Fr.-Nevada, Yucaipa, Calif. (Yucaipa HS)
Mark Forrest, DE, 6-7, 210, Fr.-HS, San Jose, Calif. (Oak Grove HS)
Jon Rabe, DT, 6-5, 285, Fr.-HS, Upland, Calif. (Damian HS)
*Mark Avery, DT, 6-4, 270, Fr.-HS, Stockton, Calif. (Amos Alonzo Stagg HS)
Jack Reynoso, DT, 6-3, 260, Fr.-HS, Loomis, Calif. (Del Oro HS)
Isaiah Frey, DB, 6-0, 190, Fr.-HS, Olivehurst, Calif. (Jesuit HS)
Khalid Wooten, DB, 6-0, 195, Fr.-HS, Rialto, Calif. (Carter HS)
Ahmad Wood, Ath, 5-11, 185, Fr.-HS, San Pedro, Calif. (San Pedro HS)

Junior College Signees
Michael Andrews, DT, 6-3, 275, So.-JC, Kailua, Hawaii (Arizona Western College)
Antoine Thompson, DB, 6-1, 195, Jr.-JC, Norfolk, Va. (Reedley College)
Dayton Guillory, Ath, 6-0, 180, Jr.-JC, Bossier City, La. (Yuba CC)
Maurice Harvey, Saf, 6-4, 215, Jr.-JC, Titusville, Fla. (Reedley College)
* – Already enrolled

2007 Recap

The Wolf Pack may have bowled for a third year in-a-row, but the 2007 season will be remembered for lost opportunities and an inability to close out tight games.  Of Nevada's seven losses, five were by eight points or less, pushing the program into a three-way tie for fourth place in the WAC with middling Louisiana Tech and San Jose State.  The best news for the Pack was the development of Colin Kaepernick, the conference Freshman of the Year and the future at quarterback in Chris Ault's Pistol offense.

Offensive Player of the Year:
RB Luke Lippincott

Defensive Player of the Year: LB Ezra Butler

Biggest Surprise: Kaepernick.  Nick Graziano was the starter for the first five games before injuring his foot, opening the door for Kaepernick's improbable emergence.  Yeah, he made the typical rookie mistakes, but also lit a fire under the offense, throwing 19 touchdown passes to just three picks and scrambling for 593 yards and six more scores.   

Biggest Disappointment: Potential breakthrough wins over WAC daddys Hawaii and Boise State both wound up being heartbreaking two-point losses.  In one of the wildest games in league history, Nevada lost to the Broncos, 69-67, in four overtimes despite getting 420 total yards and five touchdowns from Kaepernick.   

Looking Ahead: Nevada welcomes back two quarterbacks with starting experience, a 1,400-yard rusher, and one of the league's top receiver, the building blocks of an explosive offense.  It'll have to be in order to compensate for an already flimsy defense that's losing its two most consistent players, Butler and NG Matt Hines.


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