BY DARRELL MOODY
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO " Nevada linebacker Brandon Marshall played in and started his first collegiate game Saturday night and he made the most of it.
Marshall's first-quarter interception led to the Wolf Pack's first score in the 49-13 victory over Grambling State at Mackay Stadium.
Marshall finished with five tackles, including 2 1/2 behind the line. He was also credited with a pass deflection. Not a bad night's work.
"I've been waiting for this a long time, coming off a redshirt year last year," Marshall said. "I felt great coming in. I played as hard as I could. I wanted to make plays and step up."
GRAZIANO ON THE FIELD
Wolf Pack quarterback Nick Graziano played for the first game since breaking his foot last year against Fresno State and had a good experience.
"I felt comfortable," he said. "I had a couple of bad plays " a fumble and a sack " and those are inexcusable, but they give me something to work on."
A GAME OF FIRSTS
Besides Marshall's interception, safety Kevin Grimes also recorded his first interception for the Pack.
Tight end Virgil Green also made his first career start, as the Pack opened in a two tight end offense. Green caught his first-ever pass, a 2-yarder on Nevada's third scoring drive. He finished with two catches for six yards.
Brad Eskew started at strong-side guard, his first start at Nevada. He started alongside center Josh Catapano, who started ahead of Dominic Green.
THE PISTOL EVOLVES
As he promised this spring, Nevada coach Chris Ault has made some changes in the Pistol offense.
In the option package, he's using a wide receiver to carry the ball as Mike McCoy did three times. The Pack also used wide receivers Marko Mitchell, Tray Session and Chris Wellington on end-around plays and reverses.
Those kind of plays give opposing defenses one more thing to have to prepare for when they go up against Nevada.
"They (new plays) are a great addition to the Pistol," Ault said.
WELL WORTH THE TICKET
The halftime was extended to 25 minutes to allow the Grambling musicians, known as the No.1 band in the land, to perform.
It was well worth the extra time and the price of admission just for the band. The band performed several numbers and thrilled the crowd with their precision marching and gyrations.
Grambling and Nevada shared the field for a post-game concert.
Keith Hackett, Nevada associate athletic director, reported no big problems with alcohol abuse, at least in the first half. He did say that several fans were ejected for inappropriate behavior ...The announced crowd was 21,927 ... Ault is now 15-9 in season openers. Since Nevada went to the Division I status in 1993, Nevada is 4-13 in season openers and Saturday's win broke a four-year losing streak in season openers ... Nevada won the coin toss and deferred in the second half... Because of a miscommunication, Grambling coach Rod Broadway didn't make himself available to the media following the game...Nevada had 15 tackles behind the line, including six sacks.
- Contact Darrell Moody at email@example.com or calling (775) 881`-1281