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Pack notebook: Three Aggies will challenge defense

Darrell Moody
Appeal Sports Editor

RENO ” A.J. Harris, Chris Williams and Chase Holbrook have helped put the New Mexico State offense on the map the last few years, and they want to end their season in a blaze of glory.

The trio is dangerous when they have the ball in their respective hands, and they hope to wreak havoc on the Nevada defense when the teams collide Saturday afternoon (1 p.m./ESPN Radio 630AM) at Mackay Stadium.

Harris and Williams rank Nos. 1 and 3 in the Western Athletic Conference in receiving, while Holbrook is No. 2 behind Boise State’s Kellen Moore in passing.

Harris averages a conference-best 6.5 grabs per game. He has 26 catches for 251 yards and two scores. Williams has 23 grabs for 378 yards and one score. Harris averages nearly a first down per reception, while Williams averages 16 a catch.

Holbrook, meanwhile, averages 280 yards a game through the air. He’s passed for 1,123 yards and 10 TDs. His efficiency rating is 155.6 through four games.

Impressive numbers to be sure, but these guys want wins and those have been pretty elusive thus far.

“Definitely,” Holbrook said when asked about going out strong. “We’re running out of games. We’re trying to get wins before we get out of here.”

Williams, who will get plenty of attention from Nevada linebackers and defensive backs, said he isn’t feeling the least bit melancholy about his career wrapping up.

“I’m just enjoying the ride,” said the easy going Williams, who was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award despite missing five games. “I’m just enjoying football. I’m trying to enjoy life while I have it.”

CONTRASTING STYLES

Holbrook and Colin Kaepernick will be a contrast in styles this weekend.

“You have two distinct styles,” Nevada coach Chris Ault said. “One will throw the ball 45 to 50 times who knows. The other (Kaepernick) is more balanced. They are two of the best quarterbacks in the West. People will see two quality players.”

Kaepernick had another big game against Idaho, throwing for 243 yards and two scores. He also rushed five times for 57 yards and a score. In the last two games, Kaepernick has accounted for 716 yards of total offense and eight touchdowns.

In the past two games, Kaepernick has had a passing efficiency rating of 197 and 203, respectively.

“That’s big,” Ault said.

FINALLY A HOME GAME

It’s been 35 days since Nevada last played at Mackay Stadium, and the players are excited to be back home for the next two weeks.

Nevada has split its two home games this year, beating Grambling State and losing to Texas Tech.

One player, freshman running back Lampford Mark, is excited by that prospect.

“This is my first game ever in Mackay Stadium,,” Mark said. “It will be great to play in front of family.”

LIRANZO, HARVEY SHINE

Linebacker Adam Liranzo had the best game of his career, registering a couple of sacks against Idaho in the 49-14 win.

“He did a nice job on our outside pass defense,” Ault said.

Ault also was pleased with the play of safety Mo Harvey, who had a second-half interception. The veteran coach wants to use Harvey more.

LUNCHEON IN CARSON

The Wolf Pack Quarterback Club will hold a luncheon on Oct. 20 at noon at the Gold Dust West in Carson City.

Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and the program begins at noon. The cost is $16 for the buffet lunch.

Ault will speak about the Utah State game from the previous Saturday.

For more inofrmation, call Heather Pennington at 682-6965.

– Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281