The Nevada Wolf Pack (3-3, 1-1) will travel to take on the Wyoming Cowboys (0-6, 0-2) in a Mountain West Conference Mountain Division matchup Saturday afternoon. Nevada has won the last two meetings, including a 35-28 overtime win at home on October 6, 2012 in the most recent matchup. Wyoming covered the line in that game as they were a 19.5 point underdog.
Nevada is coming off a 35-17 home win over New Mexico last week that evened their mark overall and in conference action. Wyoming was defeated 31-17 on the road by Air Force to remain winless on the year. This game is slated to kick off from War Memorial Stadium in Laramie, Wyoming at 4:00 pm ET and can be seen on ESPN3. Nevada is currently a 6 point favorite with the over/under sitting at 52.5 points in this contest.
Nevada shook off a slow start and knocked off the Lobos at home to square their record six games into the season. The Wolfpack outgained the Lobos 517-273 in the contest and both teams committed a pair of turnovers. After trailing 3-0 after the first quarter, Nevada took a 21-10 lead into the fourth quarter. The Wolf Pack allowed a touchdown on a strip sack that led to a scoop six for New Mexico to cut Nevada’s lead to 21-17 before bouncing back with a pair of fourth quarter scores afterwards.
The Wolf Pack has had their issues moving the ball through the air as they are 112th in passing offense (164.5 yards) while they are currently 21st in rushing offense (222.3 yards per game) this season. Nevada is scoring 25 points per game while they are tied for 77th in scoring defense by allowing 27.7 points per contest. Tyler Stewart is the starter at quarterback; he’s completed 95 of 165 passes for 987 yards with eight touchdowns and three picks while rushing for 195 yards plus three scores on the ground. The run game is very effective with a pair of good backs: James Butler leads the team with 87 carries for 571 yards plus two touchdowns while Don Jackson is a battering ram with 105 carries for 569 yards and six touchdowns. Jerico Richardson is the team leader in the passing game for Nevada with 37 catches for 388 yards and three scores; Hassan Henderson (25 grabs, 269 yards, 2 TD) and Wyatt Demps (12 catches, 117 yards) are the only other players with double digit receptions for Nevada. Brent Zuzo has been perfect on the year as he has hit all 19 extra points and seven of seven field goals this year.
Wyoming was on the wrong end of the scoreboard once again as they fell to Air Force. The Cowboys found themselves down 14-3 after three quarters and then saw the wheels fall off early in the fourth as Air Force scored two touchdowns in 19 seconds in the first minute of the final stanza to go up 28-3. Wyoming scored two fourth quarter touchdowns of their own but it was too little, too late in the game. Air Force outgained Wyoming 379-307 in the contest and the Cowboys hurt themselves with four turnovers in the game.
The Cowboys are 72nd in the nation in passing offense (223.7 yards) and 86th in rushing offense (157.8 yards) per game on the year. Wyoming is only averaging 19 points per game while they are 101st in scoring defense as they allow 33.8 points per contest. Cameron Coffman has completed 103 of 163 passes for 1,291 yards with 11 touchdowns and six interceptions on the season. The run game is pretty much Brian Hill as he’s run the ball 123 times for 797 yards and three scores. The rest of the team has combined for 110 carries for a total of 150 yards and two touchdowns; Shaun Wick is next in line with 43 carries for 97 yards and a touchdown. Tanner Gentry (33 receptions, 592 yards, 2 TD) and Jake Maulhardt (30 catches, 312 yards, 3 TD) are a solid 1-2 combination in the passing game; Jacob Hollister is next in line with 15 receptions for 178 yards and a score while Hill has nine catches out of the backfield. Tristan Bailey has struggled in the kicking game as he is 13 of 15 on extra points and only 1 of 5 on field goal attempts this season.
Nevada is 7-2 ATS in their last nine road games and 6-2 ATS in their last eight on turf. Wyoming is 15-36-1 ATS in their last 52 at home, 5-17 ATS in their last 22 on turf, 1-4 ATS in their last five conference games, 2-9 ATS in their last 11 after allowing at least 200 yards on the ground and 1-6 ATS in their last seven after scoring less than 20 points.
The Cowboys have struggled to stop opposing teams from scoring and they shoot themselves in the foot when it comes to hanging on to the ball. Nevada has a solid 1-2 punch on the ground and a decent, if unspectacular, quarterback running the show. The Wolf Pack should climb above the .500 mark on the year as they win by double figures.