Pack players are 0-for-UNLV
RENO – UNLV has been so dominant in recent years that not one University of Nevada football player has been part of a win against the Rebels.
That’s been tough for guys like Harvey Dahl and Chris Barry, both seniors, to swallow. They hope they can end the four-year losing streak Saturday night (7 p.m.) when the in-state rivals meet at Sam Boyd Stadium.
“It would just be great,” Dahl said after Monday’s practice. “That would probably be the highlight of my year if we can do it.
“We’ve played with them the three years I’ve been here (involved in the game). We have a lot to prove in terms of what kind of team we are.”
Barry also said he was looking forward to the match-up.
“It’s always a fun game,” said the defensive tackle. “It’s a good rivalry.”
The last two games have been extremely close. UNLV won 21-17 in 2002 and won 16-12 in 2003.
“There’s always the should have, would have and could have,” Barry said. “You just have to look at the games and learn from them.”
Both players admitted that under Ault they expect things to be more intense this week.
“He’s one of the guys that established the tradition (rivalry),” Barry said. “He’s been talking a lot about it. It’s been fun to hear the stories.”
“He’s been involved in so many of these games,” Dahl said. “He’s won a lot of the games. He knows what he’s talking about.”
No doubt Barry and Dahl will give their younger teammates a crash course on the emotions and importance of Saturday’s game.
HOMECOMING FOR WADHAMS
It should be an exciting weekend for sophomore center Jimmy Wadhams, who made the team as a walk-on in 2002 and red-shirted last season.
Wadhams, who prepped at Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman High School, is making his third consecutive start of the year after Thomas Stevens suffered an ankle/foot injury.
Wadhams is the third center the Wolf Pack have used this season. Junior Kyle Gosselin was injured at the beginning of fall camp, and Stevens started the season at center.
3-4 DEFENSE HERE TO STAY
Head coach Chris Ault and co-defensive coordinator Dave Fipp said that the Wolf Pack will continue to use the three-man front the rest of the season.
Nevada lost starting defensive tackle P.J. Hoeper and reserve defensive end Charles Wilson to injury, leaving it very thin across the defensive front.
“It’s part of our package,” Ault said. “Down and distance will determine when we use it.”
“That will be part of us the rest of the season,” Fipp said. “It’s something we had ready to go. It has the ability to confuse some people.”
Chris Barry moves to the nose in the 3-4, and Fipp says it will enable Barry to get to the passer even more. The senior tackle has four sacks thus far.
“He’s going 1 on 1 with the center in pass protection,” Fipp said. “We like that match-up.”
HAWTHRONE EYES STARTING JOB
Strong safety Nick Hawthrone, who played for the first time in two weeks against San Diego State last week, is making a strong bid to reclaim the starting job he lost to redshirt freshman Shannon Sevor.
Darrell Moody can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1281.