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Joe Santoro
For the Nevada Appeal

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October 26, 2012
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FODDER: Nevada defense on 4-week audition


Sports fodder for a Friday morning . . . The Nevada Wolf Pack football team's defense is now on a four-week job interview. The Pack defense is to blame for the Pack's only two losses this season - one-point disasters to South Florida in September and to San Diego State last weekend - and simply needs to stop giving games away. If things don't improve over the final four regular season games the Pack needs to take a long hard look at what is wrong. Head coach Chris Ault took a coaching position away from the defense last off-season and flipped it over to the offense, a group that didn't need any more help. Right now that change doesn't appear to have worked.

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All four Pack defensive assistants are solid, hard-working coaches with a passion for the game and would be a valuable member to any staff in the nation. But if things continue to go sour this year, it might be time to look at bringing in a new, fresh, innovative mind on this defensive staff. But that's just one thing that needs to be looked at. How has Boise developed one of the top defenses in the nation? Is it because of coaching or is it because they have better athletes on defense than the Pack? Is defense an afterthought when the Pack goes out recruiting? These are all issues that will need to be analyzed this off-season if this season blows up over the next month. The bottom line is that if the Pack ever wants to become the next Boise State, it has to do it on defense.

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The good news is that two of the Pack's final four opponents - Air Force tonight and New Mexico on Nov. 17 - don't throw the ball. And the Pack doesn't need its defense to be great or even good. It just needs its defense to stop giving games away in the fourth quarter. Despite the events of last Saturday, this team can still finish 10-2 and find itself ranked in the Top 25 by the end of the regular season. This Pack offense is simply that good. Then again, they could also finish 6-6. Stay tuned.

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No matter what happens the rest of the way in the World Series, the San Francisco Giants are one of the more remarkable success stories in baseball in recent years. They have a chance to win two of the last three World Series with very different teams. The bulk of the 2010 Series winners - players like Jose Guillen, Cody Ross, Bengie Molina, Aaron Rowand, Edgar Renteria, Jonathan Sanchez, Andres Torres, Pat Burrell - are no longer around just two years later. Manager Bruce Bochy is doing it with almost a new team this year. The guy is the best manager or coach in the Bay area since Bill Walsh.

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It's time the entire Giants' organization also starts to get some credit for being one of the best in baseball. They got Melky Cabrera for Sanchez and Angel Pagan for Torres last winter. And while the Los Angeles Dodgers were busy putting together a fantasy team at the trade deadline the Giants quietly went out and acquired two guys - Marco Scutaro and Hunter Pence - that led them to the National League pennant. And you have to give Bochy and his staff amazing credit for finding a way to get the most out of a struggling Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito in the postseason. If Bochy was the manager in 2002, the Giants might be on their way to their third World Series title in the last 11 years.

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Wyoming football coach Dave Christensen was caught dropping about a dozen F-bombs in the direction of Air Force coach Troy Calhoun after a recent loss. It is one of the most disgusting and disturbing coaching meltdowns in recent memory and it's all there on You Tube for your R-rated listening pleasure. The Mountain West simply reprimanded Christensen and Wyoming fined him $50,000 and suspended him for this week's game against Boise State. If Roger Goodell was commissioner of the Mountain West Christensen would be spending the remainder of the season in a desolate cabin up near Gillette right now pondering how he ruined his career. The Cowboys should get rid of him after the season. Christensen embarrassed the university, the conference, the state and college football. This is a guy you want teaching and guiding your young athletes? It's no wonder why Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith was given two personal fouls and ejected from a 35-28 loss to the Pack a few weeks ago. Look who he has learned from.

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The Wolf Pack has a solid chance of sharing the Mountain West football title with Boise State. Boise currently leads the league at 3-0 with the Pack, San Diego State, Fresno State and Air Force all at 3-1. If the Pack wins out, that will mean Air Force and Fresno State will have at least two league losses and Boise one. San Diego State will likely get its second loss against Boise State. So the Pack season will likely come down to a Dec. 1 meeting with Boise at Mackay Stadium, just like everyone expected back in August.



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The Nevada Appeal Updated Oct 26, 2012 03:45AM Published Oct 26, 2012 03:43AM Copyright 2012 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.