When a team snaps a long losing streak, it can go one of 2 possible ways. Coaches sometimes make the mistake of telling their players, “Alright, we’ve been sad men for a long time, enjoy this one.” That vibe usually leads to 6 days of enjoyment and then another day of sorrow, when the squad loses again a week later.
Or, it can be a confidence-builder for a young group with potential to improve. The Nevada Wolf Pack would like to believe they’re in the 2nd scenario.
The Pack didn’t beat a patsy, either. Hawaii is a quietly above-average D1 program in most seasons, and it took a tremendous combined effort from junior QB Ty Gangi (4 TD passes) and sophomore RB Kelton Moore (216 yards on just 19 carries) to overwhelm the Rainbow Warriors 35-21.
But the difficulty level is about to change for Nevada, as they visit the division-leading Colorado State Rams this Saturday night. CSU crushed Oregon State to begin 2017, out-scored Alabama 10-7 in the 2nd quarter, beat the same Hawaii team by 30 points in the Land of Leis, and stomped on Utah State last week 27-14.
Does Gangi have a chance to produce against a stubborn Ram defense? Bookies don’t think so.
Who: Nevada Wolf Pack at Colorado State Rams
When: Saturday, October 14th, 10:15 PM EST
Where: Hughes Stadium, Fort Collins, CO
Lines: Nevada (+24.5) at CSU (-24.5) / O/U Total: (64)
Moore will have to keep it going for the Wolf Pack to cover. The 5’11” sophomore barely touched the ball before the Hawaii game, and his speed and agility could come in handy against the Rams in Fort Collins.
CSU has a knack for containing talented tailbacks. Alabama’s leading rusher in the program’s surprisingly-bothersome 41-23 win over the Mountain West leaders was QB Jalen Hurts. The Tide’s leading RB had 66 yards. But in a 51-21 win over Hawaii, the Warriors’ “human tongue-twister” Diocemy Saint Juste was allowed to rush for 241 yards on just 25 carries.
That shows that the Ram front-7 has a few soft spots. Nevada may have a chance to keep this conference-rivalry game close, if their WRs can get open and convert on 3rd down and manageable yardage.
Senior Nevada WR Wyatt Demps had over 100 yards receiving in the win over Hawaii, and has 39 catches on the year. Demps is 6’4″ and can leap over CSU cornerbacks to grab the egg.
Take Nevada and (+24.5) points. The Wolf Pack have an improved running game, a competent QB and were under-achieving throughout a 5-game losing streak. They’ll be competitive on Saturday.