Nevada Wolfpack 2021 College Football Preview
Created July 17, 2021
Record – 7-2
ATS – 6-3
The PACK had a really good season in 2020 and came THIS close to getting to play for a Mountain West Championship. They rocked out of the gate winning five straight including wins (close shaves) over Wyoming and San Diego St and headed into the regular season finale with a WIN AND IN scenario vs San Jose St. They blew a double digit lead in that one but rebounded nicely in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl to take down a scrappy Tulane squad (W 38-27).
Nevada Wolfpack 2021 Outlook
QB Carson Strong emerged as a legit star LY and posted a remarkable stat line (70%, 8.1, 27-4 TD to INT). The Pack were #12 in the FBS in passing offense (#12 efficiency) and will be potent once again given the serious talent they have at WR and TE. Romeo Doubs is one of the best WRs in college football and comes into this season off a yuuuge campaign (1002, 17.3, 9 TD) and Cole Turner is an elite pass catching TE (49-605, 12.4, 9 TD). WR Tory Horton averaged 16.8 YPC (5 TD) AND THE HITS KEEP COMING. WR Elijah Cooks missed almost all of last season and recall his wonderful 2019 season (76-926, 12.2, 8 TD). Nevada only picked up 122 YPG on the ground LY but RB Toa Taua is a load. Both he and #2 RB Devonte Lee averaged over 5 YPC in 2020. The front line looks solid with four returning starters and they did a good job LY. This just might be the best offense in the Mountain West.
The Wolfpack played good defense LY, particularly vs the run were they allowed just 138 YPG. They allowed a very respectable 23.3 PPG which ranked them #5 in the MW. Things look promising heading into 2021 as they return 10 starters and 17 of their top 18 tacklers. The DL features a pair of 2nd Team MW honorees in DE Sam Hammond and DT Dominic Peterson who combined for 8.5 sacks LY. LB Lawson Hall led the team in tackles LY and registered 8.5 TFL. Nevada finished a solid #37 in the FBS in pass efficiency D LY and return an experienced group whilst adding Wake Forest transfer CB Isaiah Essissima. The stop unit has a chance to be really good if they can find a way to get a bit more pressure on the QB (23 sk LY, #7 sacks per game MW).
The Pack finished #27 in the FBS in the Phil Steele special teams rankings LY and have all the key contributors returning for battle. PK Brandon Talton is one of the best in the MW (15/18 FG LY, 3-4 40+) and they finished #9 (!) in the FBS in net punting thanks to the work of P Julian Diaz. They have experienced and talented PR and KR.
Overall – They have a pair of layups in non-conference play but also have two challenging road dates (at California, at Kansas St). They open Mountain West play at Boise St (!) and also have to play San Diego St and Fresno St ON THE HIGHWAY.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at Kansas St (September 18th)
That’s a tough road game and the epic showdown with Boise St is up next.
Season Win Total
per 5Dimes July 17
Over 7.5 -110
Under 7.5 -110
This is one of the best teams in the conference and we think they’ll find a way to book 8 or more wins.
The Nevada football program was founded as the SAGEBRUSHERS in 1896. Amaze your TRIPLE-MASKED PAL with that trivia nugget.
Riddle me this. Were the Pack UNDERRATED in 2020 (7-2, 13 points away from undefeated) or OVERRATED (didn’t beat a team with a winning record) ? Regardless of the answer, it’s clear that HC Jay Norvell has things moving in the right direction as they’ve got a WL record of 22-13 since 2018. This team is balanced and a legit threat to win ALL THE MOUNTAIN WEST MARBLES if they can successfully navigate a tough road schedule.
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