Top 40: QBs who faced Nevada Wolf Pack and went on to the NFL, part 2
The Nevada Wolf Pack football program has spent the bulk of its history toiling in obscurity but that doesn’t mean it has avoided playing future National Football League quarterbacks – 40, to be exact.
The Pack has a long – sometimes painful – history against future NFL quarterbacks, including one whose bust is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
In part two of the four-part series, a look at numbers 21-30.
30. Austin Davis, Southern Miss
DAVIS VS. PACK: Davis faced the Wolf Pack in the Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve 2011. He completed just 18-of-41 passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns in a 24-17 victory.
DAVIS IN NFL: Davis, who went undrafted, played 16 games with the St. Louis Rams, Cleveland Browns and Seattle Seahawks from 2012-17. He was 3-7 as a starter and passed for 2,548 yards and 13 touchdowns in his career. Davis is now the Seattle Seahawks quarterbacks coach at the age of 30.
29. Brett Hundley, UCLA
HUNDLEY VS. PACK: Hundley was 22-of-33 for 274 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for two scores as the Bruins beat the Pack 58-20 at the Rose Bowl on Aug. 31, 2013. Pack QB Cody Fajardo, who was 2-7 against future NFL QBs, rushed for 106 yards and two TDs and passed for 164 yards.
HUNDLEY IN NFL: Hundley, a fifth-round pick by the Green Bay Packers in 2015, has appeared in 18 games in the NFL (with the Packers and Arizona Cardinals) since 2016. He has made nine starts with a 3-6 record and has passed for 1,902 yards and nine touchdowns.
28. DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame
KIZER VS. PACK: Kizer completed 15-of-18 passes for 156 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in a 39-10 win over the Pack at Notre Dame on Sept. 10, 2016. He also ran for 35 yards and a touchdown.
KIZER IN NFL: Kizer, a 2017 second-round pick by Cleveland, has appeared in 18 NFL games. Kizer has made 15 starts (all for Cleveland in 2017) and has lost all 15 games. He has passed for 3,081 yards and 11 touchdowns for Cleveland and Green Bay and is now on the roster of the Las Vegas Raiders.
27. Chase Daniel, Missouri
DANIEL VS. PACK: Daniel was 23-of-28 for 405 yards and four touchdowns (Jeremy Maclin caught three) in a 69-17 Missouri win on Sept. 13, 2008 in the biggest loss of Chris Ault’s coaching career.
DANIEL IN NFL: Daniel, now a backup quarterback with the Detroit Lions, was not drafted in 2009. He has, however, played in 65 games from 2010-19 with New Orleans, Kansas City, Philadelphia and Chicago, passing for 1,430 yards and seven touchdowns with five starts (2-3).
26. Akili Smith, Oregon
SMITH VS. PACK: Smith didn’t play much on Sept. 13, 1997 at Mackay Stadium. He started and stuck around only long enough to complete 5-of-8 passes for 35 yards before being lifted for Jason Maas. Maas completed 20-of-33 for 255 yards and two TDs in a 24-20 Oregon win. Pack QB John Dutton was 33-of-55 for 381 yards and two touchdowns, completing 18 passes for 201 yards to Geoff Noisy.
SMITH IN NFL: Smith was the No. 3 overall pick in the 1999 draft (behind Tim Couch, Donovan McNabb) by the Cincinnati Bengals. He would play 22 games for the Bengals from 1999-02, throwing for 2,212 yards and five touchdowns with 17 starts (3-14).
25. Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame
CLAUSEN VS. PACK: Clausen, throwing to future NFL players Kyle Rudolph, Michael Floyd and Golden Tate, completed 15-of-18 passes for 315 yards and four touchdowns in a 35-0 win over the Pack and Colin Kaepernick on Sept. 5, 2009. The game was also Manti Teo’s first for Notre Dame and the Irish also had a special teams coach named Brian Polian, who would later coach the Pack (2013-16).
CLAUSEN IN NFL: Clausen was a second-round pick by the Carolina Panthers in 2010. The Panthers were so impressed with Clausen that they drafted Auburn QB Cam Newton with the No. 1 overall pick the following year. Clausen appeared in 22 games in the NFL from 2010-15 with Carolina, Chicago and Baltimore with 14 starts (losing 13), passing for 2,520 yards and seven touchdowns.
24. Doug Pederson, Louisiana-Monroe
PEDERSON VS. PACK: Pederson was 25-of-34 against the Pack for 287 yards (no TDs, one interception) in a 27-14 loss on Nov. 24, 1990 in the Division I-AA playoffs in Reno. The Fremont Cannon blew a hole in the jersey of Wolf Pack player Steve Bryant before the game.
PEDERSON IN NFL: Pederson, who went undrafted in 1991, appeared in 100 games from 1993-04 for Miami, Green Bay, Philadelphia and Cleveland. He made 17 starts (3-14) and passed for 2,762 yards and 12 touchdowns. He has been as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles the last four seasons, winning the Super Bowl over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots after the 2017 season.
23. Craig Whelihan, Pacific
WHELIHAN VS. PACK: Whelihan met the Pack twice. He completed 20-of-33 for 200 yards and a touchdown in a 31-23 loss at Pacific on Oct. 20, 1993 and was 19-of-42 for 276 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-26 loss at Mackay Stadium on Oct. 8, 1994.
WHELIHAN IN NFL: Whelihan was drafted in the sixth round of the 1995 draft by the San Diego Chargers. He appeared in 19 games and made 14 starts (2-12). Whelihan passed for 3,160 yards and 14 touchdowns in the NFL and also played in the original XFL and Arena League.
22. Luke McCown, Louisiana Tech
McCOWN VS. PACK: McCown faced the Pack three times, winning three high-scoring games. McCown completed 27-of-43 passes for 407 yards and four touchdowns in a 45-42 win in Reno on Oct. 13, 2001. He was 20-of-28 for 376 yards and three touchdowns in a 50-47 win in Ruston, La., on Oct. 26, 2002. On Oct. 25, 2003, he was 23-of-34 for 283 yards and two touchdowns in a 42-34 win in Reno.
McCOWN IN NFL: McCown was selected in the fourth round of the NFL draft in 2004 by the Cleveland Browns. He appeared in 62 games with 10 starts (2-8), passing for 2,370 yards and nine touchdowns for the Browns, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Atlanta and New Orleans.
21. Mike Moroski, UC Davis
MOROSKI VS. PACK: Moroski met the Pack twice, winning 37-21 on Nov. 12, 1977 at Davis and losing 12-7 at Mackay Stadium on Sept. 23, 1978. He was 22-of-35 for 219 yards and also ran for two touchdowns in 1977 and was 7-of-19 for 93 yards and two interceptions in 1978. Frank Hawkins ran for 142 yards in 32 carries for the Pack in the 1978 game.
MOROSKI IN NFL: Moroski played in 69 games for the Atlanta Falcons, Houston Oilers and San Francisco 49ers. He started nine games (3-6) and passed for 2,864 yards and eight touchdowns, one of which went to Jerry Rice of the 49ers in 1986.