The Nevada football team is ranked in a national poll this week, although it’s the one that everyone tries to avoid.
The Wolf Pack is No. 3 in ESPN’s “Bottom 10” rankings, a long-running feature at the site that pokes struggling teams with (mostly) good-natured ribbing. Nevada (2-6 overall and 0-4 in Mountain West games) trails only Charlotte (1-7) and Akron (1-6) in the latest Bottom 10, released Wednesday.
“Reno casinos don't have windows so that patrons lose track of time, and it indeed seems like an eternity since Nevada opened the season with a win over New Mexico State,” ESPN said in its Nevada entry.
Fellow Mountain West member Hawaii came in at No. 8. The Warriors beat the Wolf Pack, 31-16, on Oct. 15.
Nevada, under first-year head coach Ken Wilson, began the season at 2-0 before beginning its current long losing streak with a loss to FCS-level Incarnate Word. The Pack defense has had some bright spots — including forcing 16 turnovers, one of the best totals in the nation — but the offense (282.0 yards per game) has struggled for consistency.
The Wolf Pack finishes the season with a tough four-game stretch: at San Jose State, vs. Boise State, vs. Fresno State, and at UNLV. Those teams are a combined 16-12 heading into Saturday’s games.
Sanders a Thorpe Award semifinalist
Nevada safety Bentlee Sanders gained more national attention this week, being named a semifinalist for the 2022 Jim Thorpe Award.
Sanders is one of 12 semifinalists for the honor, given annually to the best defensive back in college football. For the year, he is tied for the national lead with five interceptions and is tied for second with three forced fumbles.
Sanders also leads the Wolf Pack defense in tackles (51). Nevada's defense ranks ninth in the country with 16 total takeaways.
Sanders is the only Mountain West player still on the Thorpe Award candidates’ list.
The semifinalist list for the Thorpe Award will be narrowed to three finalists on Nov. 29.
Wolf Pack football
Who: Nevada (2-6, 0-4 MW) at San Jose State (4-2, 2-1)
When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: CEFCU Stadium
TV/radio: CBS Sports Network/94.5 FM
Line: San Jose State by 25; total of 44.5
Notable: The Wolf Pack has won 11 of the past 13 meetings.
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