Offense makes strides | NevadaAppeal.com

Offense makes strides

THOMAS RANSON
Appeal News Service

RENO – Nevada football coach Chris Ault is in a happier mood with his offense after the team’s second scrimmage this month.

The Wolf Pack offense scored three times while the defense recovered a fumble for a touchdown, all in the first half, in Friday afternoon’s scrimmage at Mackay Stadium.

“I thought the first offense did much better,” Ault said. “Defensively, we did a good job getting turnovers. I liked what I saw from the defense for the most part. It was a good scrimmage.”

Jeff Rowe completed 13-of-20 for 156 yards and one touchdown, and Caleb Spencer caught five passes for 98 yards. Both Kyle Sammons and Mike McCoy caught three passes for 86 yards, and Dwayne Sanders finished with four catches for 44 yards. Tight end Anthony Pudewell had the only touchdown in the air.

“It’s exciting,” Rowe said about the season opener at Fresno State on Sept. 1. “The butterflies are gone. It’s time to get on with my senior year.”

Back-up quarterbacks Nick Graziano and Colin Kaepernick combined for 182 yards, but Graziano threw two interceptions. Graziano completed 50 percent of his passes for 11 yards while Kaepernick was 3-of-11 for 71 yards.

Ault stressed inconsistency with the back-up offense.

“When our second offense came in, our quarterbacks were really inconsistent,” he said. “The mental mistakes (with the receivers) were inexcusable.”

On the ground, Luke Lippincott led the team with 44 yards on 12 carries, including a touchdown, and Kyle Eklund ran for 37 yards on eight carries and a touchdown. Robert Hubbard ended with 10 carries for 33 yards.

Defensively, Danny Wadhams returned a fumble for a 26-yard touchdown.

“We’re better right now defensively then we were this time last year,” Ault said. “I’m pleased with the hustle.”

Keith Hackett, assistant athletic director for facilities, said changes to the two scoreboards at Mackay Stadium should be finished within a week. Hackett said the project cost $1 million through private donations.

“It will serve a couple of different purposes,” Hackett said. “We will have three different camera angles, one at the field level, one in the end zone and one from the top of the press box. It will provide excellent shots for our fans to view.”

The main scoreboard underwent a change to the instant replay screen where the new screen is triple the size of the original. On both scoreboards, the scoring is now digital.

Although Baylor King, Fred White and Kevin Porka didn’t dress out because of injuries, Ault said there was nothing serious.

Darrell Moody assisted with this story.