Nevada Wolfpack 2023 College Football Preview
June 28, 2023
Record – 2-10
ATS – 4-8
Well, that was ugly.
The Wolfpack got off to a good start and won their first two games over New Mexico St and Texas St. Things started to unravel mighty fast after that pair of wins as they were upset by something called Incarnate Word. In fact, they didn’t win another game all year and roll into 2023 on a 10-game losing streak.
Nevada Wolfpack 2023 Outlook
The Pack saw their offensive output almost cut in half LY going from 35.7 PPG in 2021 (#17 FBS) to a measly 18.8 PPG (#120). The QB play was atrocious (54.5%, 7-8 TD to INT) so they’ve brought in Brendon Lewis from Colorado to try and fix the offense. Lewis displayed good wheels during his time with the Buffs but he’ll need to become an improved passer if Nevada plans on doing some damage (career 58%, 10-3 TD to INT). The WR/TE positions look fairly weak on paper but maybe LY’s #2 WR Dalevon Campbell (467, TD LY) or one of the imported transfer portal bodies can make a significant impact. The biggest loss on offense is RB Toa Taua who led the team in rushing LY (911, 11 TD) whilst catching 41 balls out of the backfield. They’ve added a pair of Power 5 transfers (Oregon, Cal) to try and fill that void. Only three starters are back up front and they’ll be working with a new LT. They’ll have more bite this season but we can’t imagine them being better than “average” in 2023.
Nevada ranked 10th in the Mountain West in run defense as well as pass efficiency defense LY and allowed 30 PPG for the first time since 2019. Eight starters are retained on this side of the football but they’ll be without their top-three tacklers as well as their leading sack producer from the 2022 squad. The LB corps is the strength of the defense as they return a trio of experienced players including Drue Watts (#4 tackles, #2 TFL LY) and Naki Mateialona (#5 tackler). The defensive line has some beef on the inside but may lack a pass-rushing threat on the outside. The Pack boast a pair of senior CBs but have to reload at safety.
The kicking game looks strong with the return of punter Matt Freem and PK Brandon Talton who can hit from DOWNTOWN (10-12 FG, 15-15 XP LY). They’ll need to find a new primary KR and PR given the departure of Bentlee Sanders.
Overall – It’s pretty balanced. They’ll get torn to shreds at USC but there are a pair of very winnable games on the non-conference docket (Idaho, at Texas St). They avoid Boise St but have to play Fresno St and San Diego St ON THE HIGHWAY.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Nothing overly-spooky is noted.
Season Win Total
Market consensus June 28
Over 4 -150
Under 4 +130
The Pack look a little bit better on both sides of the football and the schedule isn’t a killer. If you wanna get involved with the ‘over’ we recommend taking the flat ‘4’ at increased juice, as opposed to ‘4.5’ in the -110 range.
Reno is famously known as the “Biggest Little City in the World” thanks to a 1929 contest in which some dood was awarded $100 for coming up with the slogan.
We certainly aren’t in love with the roster but the Wolfpack might have a bit more upside than some of the other dregs of the Mountain West. They’ve got a dangerous dual-threat QB and a loaded LB group that will stabilize the defense. We wouldn’t be shocked to see them slither into bowl season but six wins is probably the high-water mark. AWOO! Go Wolfpack!