2012 Nevada Wolfpack Football Preview
2011 Record: 8-5 (4-3 Mountain West)
Head Coach: Chris Ault, twenty-eighth season (226-103-1 all at Nevada)
Projected Returning Starters: 12
Spring Game: April 21st (Silver 43 Blue 26)
Notes: Coach Chris Ault’s career at Nevada, now, has spanned five decades. The unique thing about Ault is that he is now in his third stint at his alma mater. From 1976-1992, Ault served as head coach of the Wolfpack as a member of the Division II Independents (1976-1977), Division 1-AA Independents (1978), Big Sky (1979-1991), and Big West (1992). He returned in 1994 to coach two more seasons in the Big West. His third stint began when, as athletic director, he fired coach Chris Tormey and appointed himself as head coach. Ault has served, continuously, as head coach since 2004. The Wolfpack have seven straight bowl appearances under Ault, although he is only 2-5 in those games.
BVTSB Take: After finishing the 2010 season with a 13-1 record, including a bowl victory and a win over Boise State, leading the Wolfpack to a final ranking in the top 25, Nevada took a step back in 2011. It was to be expected, as the Wolfpack needed to replace quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Nevada suffered three losses by a combined nine points. Cody Fajardo and Tyler Lantrip split time at the quarterback position last season, with Mason Magleby getting some snaps as well. Only Fajardo returns this season – expect him to be the starter. Nevada loses their top two leading rushers, who combined for over 1600 yards on the ground and 13 of the 29 rushing touchdowns. Ault’s offense, the Pistol Offense, relies heavily on the run ground, especially with a quarterback who knows how to run the offense. Only one of the top three receivers returns this season – Kolby Arendse. Clearly, Nevada has some holes to fill offensively, but having Fajardo back is the key. Despite the number of players lost to graduation and the NFL, Boise State has a pretty manageable schedule. In non-conference play, the Wolfpack will visit California and Texas State, while hosting South Florida and Northwestern State. A 3-1 start is not out of the question for the Wolfpack – a worst-case scenario of 2-2. From there Nevada has a very favorable conference schedule, hosting the tougher teams – Wyoming, San Diego State, Fresno State, and Boise State. They play Hawaii, UNLV, Air Force, and New Mexico on the road. We have no reason to believe why Nevada can’t win all their Mountain West road games. They could do the same at home, as well.
2012 Early Projection: 11-1
To see the 2012 Mountain West composite schedule, click here.
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