- 2017-18 Record: 3-9 (3-5 Mountain West)
- Current Record: 1-1
- Previous Game Result: Loss @Vanderbilt (41-10)
- Head Coach: Jay Norvell
- Total Offense 2018 Ranking: 56th in FBS (443.0 YPG)
- Total Defense 2018 Ranking: 90th in FBS (408.0 YPG)
Tale of The Tape
While certainly not a powerhouse by any stretch, Nevada has usually been a pretty good team. Boasting an official record of 543 wins, 483 losses and 33 ties, Nevada has shown that it has the ability to win football games on a consistent level. Their last conference championship came in 2010, while they were still members of the WAC. The next year, they would join Boise State in the Mountain West conference.
Despite having a 3-9 campaign in 2017-18, Nevada was considered by some to be a dark horse candidate for the Mountain West crown thanks to an experienced defense and an offense that had put up almost 400 yards per game. And after thrashing an awful Portland State team 72-19, those expectations seemed to be validated. Then the Wolfpack traveled to Nashville to play the Vanderbilt Commodores, a team that has been the doormat of the SEC for years. They proceeded to get decimated by a score of 41-10. This is the kind of loss that can either rally a team or demoralize one. How Nevada plays against the Beavers will likely be a strong indicator as to what kind of team Nevada is. Expect a very hostile crowd on Saturday.
Player To Watch
Ty Gangi (Quarterback, Sr.)
The Beavers have struggled with their pass rush recently, and that will need to change if they want to slow down Ty Gangi. The senior quarterback out of Glendale, CA will be looking to redeem the Nevada offense after only putting up 10 points against Vanderbilt. Gangi certainly has the ability, having helped put up 72 points on Portland State while throwing for over 340 yards, however it remains to be seen if he can do it consistently.
Biggest Question Mark
Can the Nevada offense score enough points to keep up with the Beavers?
Coach Jay Norvell won’t be expecting a ton of help from the Nevada defense after submitting 41 points last week. As a result, the Wolfpack will likely be looking to turn the game into a shoot-out. The task certainly is far more daunting than it appeared only one week ago, with the Beavers holding a potent Southern Utah offense to only 7 first half points and just under 200 yards of offense before letting off the gas in an eventual 48-25 win. If Nevada is going to have any shot at winning, they will need to put up a lot more points than they did against a Vanderbilt defense that ranked 65th in the country in total defense in 2017.
History With Oregon State
The Beavers and the Wolfpack have faced off 3 times, with the Beavers winning all 3 games. The first meeting between the two schools took place all the way back in 1903! The game was a 15-0 win for the Beavers in Corvallis. The second took place in 1998, more than 95 years after the first meeting. Head Coach Mike Riley led the Beavers to a 48-6 blowout victory in Reser Stadium. The following year, new OSU coach Dennis Erickson led the Beavers to a 28-13 victory in Reno.
Fun Fact: My Uncle, Michael Fessler (1996-2000) was the punter for the Beavers in both the 1998 and 1999 games. He holds the current record for the longest punt in Civil War history (A 70 yard punt in the 1998 double OT game) and ended his OSU career at the Fiesta Bowl in 2000.
Oregon State will fly back to Corvallis for their PAC 12 opener against Khalil Tate and the Arizona Wildcats. Nevada will be flying out to Ohio for a match-up with Toledo before they begin MWC play on the road against Air Force.