No change in Nevada return policy
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – Barry Sacks, Nevada’s special teams coordinator, said no changes are planned in terms of punt returners for Saturday’s home opener against Division 1-AA Nicholls State.
The work of Nevada’s punt return unit left much to be desired against Northwestern. The Pack returned three punts for minus-1 yard and had two fumbles in the 36-31 setback. The fumbles came on back-to-back Northwestern punts in the second half, as both Jon Amaya and Alex Rosenblum failed to hang onto the ball. Nevada did recover both fumbles, however, but it did cost the team some field position. All told, Nevada put the ball on the ground four times, but lost just one.
“The gunner (outside kick coverage man for Northwestern) got an inside release,” Sacks said. “The second one was kind of a rugby kick, and Jon didn’t handle it cleanly on the bounce.
‘We’re fine. It’s a matter of concentration. It’s a tough job. Not every player can do it.”
Sacks also pointed out some problems with kicker Brett Jaekle, whose kickoffs never got deep enough for a touchback. Northwestern averaged 26 yards a return, and the average drive start for the Wildcats was their own 34. Some of the success for Northwestern can be attributed to the new kick-off rule where teams are kicking off from their own 30 instead of the 35.
“We gave up way too many return yards on kickoffs,” Sacks said.
Sacks also said that Jaekle has to do a better job of kicking the ball deep and to certain areas of the field.
CHANGES AT MACKAY
Because of the construction of the athletic academic center, there are a few changes that will affect football fans this year.
There is no parking lot outside the front entrance of the stadium, thus the will-call booth has been moved to the Legacy Hall ticket office. If you want to purchase tickets on the day of the game, you can go to the Lawler Events Center office or ticket booths located in the northeast and northwest corners of the stadium.
New to the stadium area is Wolf Pack Alley, an intercative fanfest located north of the stadium and the main attraction of Pack Town. Beginning three hours prior to kickoff, there will be live entertainment, bounce houses, food vendors, interactive games and more. Admission is free.
Fans now have the option to purchase reserved parking for home games. Parking passes are being sold for the top three levels of the West Stadium Parking Complex as well as the Lawlor surface lot located south of the arena. A season parking permit is $100 for the garage and $50 for the surface lot. Permits for single-game parking in the surface lot can be purchased for $10.
LUNCHEON ON MONDAY
The Quarterback Club will hold its weekly luncheon on Sept. 17 at Bully’s in Carson City. Coach Chris Ault will be available, and he’ll discuss the Nicholls State game plus look ahead at the game against UNLV on Sept. 29.
Tickets for the luncheon are $13, and if interested call Heather Pennington at 682-6965.