Pack’s Mitchell honored
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – B.J. Mitchell enjoyed the best game of his career Saturday against Idaho when he rushed for 149 yards and four scores in Nevada’s 62-14 homecoming victory at Mackay Stadium.
And, he was justly rewarded by being named the Western Athletic Conference’s XBox Live Offensive Player of the Week.
Mitchell scored on runs of 4, 7, 56 and 7 yards respectively to lead Nevada’s 265-yard ground attack. He has back-to-back 100-yard games for the first time in his career and hopes to make it three straight Saturday against Louisiana Tech.
Mitchell beat out fellow running backs Bryson Sumlin of Fresno State, Louisiana Tech’s Mark Dillard and Boise State wide receiver Drisan James for the award.
“B.J. is running very well,” Nevada coach Chris Ault said. “He’s a physical runner. He’s caught a couple of balls. He’s becoming a complete back.”
Mitchell credited the offensive line for doing a great job, and he said it was nice to see the offense get untracked.
“The offense hadn’t scored 22 points (a game) the last four games until today,” Mitchell said. “When you execute plays, good things will happen.”
WHERE ARE THE FANS?
It was disappointing to say the least.
Only 11,584 showed up at Mackay Stadium last Saturday to watch the Wolf Pack pound hapless Idaho 62-14 for their second straight Western Athletic Conference victory. It was the smallest crowd for a homecoming game since 1984 when only 11,026 watched the Pack lose 36-14 to Cal State Fullerton.
The crowd issue was one of the first questions Ault was asked during his post-game press conference, and the coach was asked what it would take to fill up the stadium.
“Playing consistent football at home,” he said. “Taking care of No. 1, and that’s winning at Mackay Stadium.
“We have lost the hard-core fan base we had in the 90s. It isn’t there anymore. We started to lose them in 1997 and 1998. It’s a ‘Show Me Now’ town, and I understand that.”
Nevada has played well at home, having won seven of its last eight games at Mackay, including a 24-14 win over Hawai’i in Chris Tormey’s last home game on Nov. 15, 2003.
Nevada could have beaten Idaho with nobody in the stadium. Howver, the Pack could use some help down the stretch starting Saturday when Louisiana Tech comes to town. There are also home games against Hawai’i and Fresno State looming, and both of those could determine a possible post-season bowl bid for the Wolf Pack (3-2, 2-0).
Nevada was hit with a season-high 12 penalties for 101 yards against Idaho.
“We had some dumb penalties,” Ault said. “We had a couple of holding calls. The offense came out of it. We had second-and-20 and we found a way out of it. The offense showed a lot of poise.”
ON A ROLL
Louisiana Tech has won four straight against the Wolf Pack by a combined 178-144 score during that stretch. Other than last year when the Bulldogs opened the season with a 38-21 win, the other games have been decided by eight points or less.
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