Nevada football notebook
November 16, 2008
BY DARRELL MOODY
Nevada Appeal Sports Writer
RENO ” The seniors at Nevada take great pride in their four-year gridiron domination of in-state UNLV.
Behind UNLV, though, the team those seniors would most like to beat is Boise State, but they have come up empty the last three years, losing by a combined score of 156-88.
Nevada will have a chance to rectify that when they take on the unbeaten and nationally ranked Broncos on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. at Mackay Stadium.
“That’s the No. 1 game marked on my calendar, and it’s my senior day,” said center Dominic Green, the mainstay of the Pack’s talented offensive line. “We came close last year and that loss digs at you; it’s the one game on our minds all the time.
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“I don’t like it. I don’t go to sleep well thinking about that game. It’s on my mind all the time. Boise State is a great team. They will come in here with their heads held high and they should. Any team can be beaten. We have to come in prepared and understand what’s at stake.”
The close game Green alluded to was last year’s 69-67 four-overtime loss on the Smurf Turf at Boise State. That has been the only close game in the previous seven meetings. BSU has outscored Nevada 363-126 in that span.
“Two years ago we were in the same situation and we backed down and let up,” Green said. “That can’t happen. We have to execute on both sides of the ball.”
Senior safety Uche Anyanwu said he heard the game announcer give the crowd the Boise State-Idaho score a couple of times, and admitted that he didn’t want the Vandals to pull off an upset.
“I was happy Idaho lost, because I want to get them,” Anyanwu said.
DEFENSE ANSWERS BACK
Some quotes from San Jose defenders claiming they were better than Nevada’s defensive line apparently fired the Pack up.
“The coaches showed us (an article) where they said they had the better D-line,” Nevada defensive end Kevin Basped said. “We had to put it down on them and show who was better.”
San Jose managed just 278 yards against Nevada and allowed two sacks. San Jose State gave up 525 yards and zero sacks. The Spartans had 11 stops behind the line compared to nine for Nevada.
ALONE IN SECOND
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick rushed for two touchdowns and moved into second place all-time with 16 rushing touchdowns this season.
Kaepernick passed Luke Lippincott (2007), Chance Kretschmer (2001) and Frank Hawkins (1978). He still trails Chris Lemon, who had 19 in 1997.
Kaepernick’s six-yard run in the fourth quarter broke the school record of 34 shared by the 1978 and 1981 teams.
MAUGA ON THE OUTSIDE
Senior Josh Mauga, a fixture in the middle of the Nevada defense for the last three years, started the game at outside linebacker in place of redshirt freshman Brandon Marshall.
Mauga finished with four tackles, including a sack.
Ault said he based the move on down and distance and what kind of front was being run. He added that it was an attempt to get the best group out there.
Nevada’s Mo Harvey, normally a safety, made his first start of the season at cornerback … Nevada coach Chris Ault is now 197-89-1 all-time in his career … Sophomore running back Vai Taua topped the 100-yard mark in rushing for the fifth consecutive game and seventh time this season … This is the fourth time this season that Kaepernick and Taua have rushed for at least 100 yards each in the same game (UNLV, Hawaii, Fresno State) … Taua has 14 touchdowns this season, ranking him 10th all-time for a single season … Senior kicker Brett Jaekle connected on a 35-yard field goal in the first quarter and a 33-yarder in the fourth quarter. Jaekle is now connected on 11-of-14 field goals this year.