I’ll be honest. Before Notre Dame played them in 2009, I hardly even knew that Nevada had a major college football team. Now I watch them every opportunity I can.
Sure, the Wolfpack play in the WAC – which would be a completely obscure football conference if not for Boise State – and they’ll never play for a national title, but they are just such an exciting team to watch.
And now they’re also a ranked team for the first time since 1948 after beating BYU.
Nevada is fifth in the nation in scoring offense with 44.8 points per game. Last year they ranked sixth in that category and the year before, they ranked 12th.
What’s at the root of the Wolfpack’s offensive success? A little offense called the pistol and a guy who would be in the thick of Heisman discussions if he played in a different conference – Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick is ranked 39th in the nation in passing with 231 yards per game. He’s thrown seven touchdowns and just one interception. Not bad. But throw on top of that the fact that he’s averaging almost 113 yards on the ground, which is 15th in the nation among all rushers, not just quarterbacks, and the fact he has more rushing touchdowns than Michigan’s Denard Robinson and you’ve got a dynamic player there.
Oh, let’s not forget that Nevada also has a running back that is ranked 14th in the nation in rushing and has added five touchdowns of his own.
The one thing holding Nevada back in the past has been its defense, which ranked 86th in scoring defense last year and honestly, that’s what made their games that much more exciting. But this season, the Wolfpack is averaging less than 19 points allowed per game, an impressive improvement over last year.
Boise State is still by far the best team in the WAC, but Nov. 26 in Reno is one game I’m hoping finds its way onto the television schedule. It should be one to watch.