Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Barkboard Staff Nevada Game Predictions

Five games into in the season the Barkboard staff has shared their thoughts and predictions thus far and this week is no exception. The boys are back to share their latest on what to expect.

Last week’s winner was Lorenzo Reyna but being the only one to predict a loss to UNLV. So the boy’s are back and have had time to asses the situation heading into the home game against Tulsa.

LUCIO OURIQUE @redwavereport

We’re almost at the halfway point of the season and the Bulldogs are 1-4 heading into the game against Nevada.Heading into the season there were hopes that the Bulldogs could make some noise in the division. Now we’re left wondering if they can win another game.

Last weeks loss to UNLV was a hard one for Fresno State. It could have very well been their last best opportunity for win. Fresno State’s offensive line is still bad, Virgil has been inconsistent missing wide open receivers with and without a pass rush facing him. When he does hit the open receivers they do him no favors by dropping the passes. The running game is still MIA and the defense is being asked to do too much.

While there were a lot of negatives there was finally one positive thing that came out of that UNLV game. A kicker has emerged.  

PREDICTION: FRESNO STATE 17 - NEVADA 28

LORENZO J. REYNA @LJ_Reyna

When a traditionally bad program like UNLV runs all over Fresno State, that's when you know how bad it has gotten for the Bulldogs.

To pour more salt on this wound, a high school football star from FS's backyard (Charles Williams, Bullard High) repeatedly sliced through the Bulldog defense like a butcher knife cutting up tri-tip at Doghouse Grill.

Much like last week, FS is facing a familiar scenario: The 'Dogs are going against a team that lost to a hapless opponent the previous week. In this case, Nevada is coming off of an embarrassing 38-17 road loss to Hawaii, which is in a rebuilding stage. But again, I advise Bulldog fans everywhere to not take the Wolf Pack lightly.

Nevada's running attack, once again, is a strength and you can be assured the Pack will test the Bulldog run defense. Also, UNR knows how to spread the ball around to its receivers, with five wideouts hauling in more than 12 catches in the first five games. The good news? Nevada has been terrible in the second half especially in the third quarter, as opponents have outscored UNR 49-10.

Whoever wins the second half battle takes this contest. But FS hasn't been a strong second half team either.

THE PREDICTION: NEVADA 41, FRESNO STATE 27

JACKSON MOORE @JacksonM_Scout

The Bulldogs’ 1-4 start capped most recently by a disheartening loss at UNLV leaves little room for hope going forward, but Fresno State does face a Nevada opponent that was dominated last week at Hawaii.

Though Nevada is not at its best, Fresno State still travels to Reno as a touchdown underdog. I point at one stat in particular as to why.

Saturday’s game features two of the worst run defenses in the nation. Fresno State is 126th out of 128 as 279.2 rushing yards per game. Nevada is only one spot ahead of the ‘Dogs at 272.6 yards per game.

So which team can take advantage of such deficiencies? Not the Bulldogs, in all likelihood. Fresno State ranks 122nd in rushing yards per game, just 104.6 yards per game on the ground. You can’t blame competition for that one. Nebraska and Toledo were tough, sure, but Tulsa’s strength was only in its offense and Sacramento State and UNLV were by no means defensive juggernauts.

Meanwhile, Nevada’s leading rusher James Butler averages 110.6 yards per game by himself - more than the Bulldogs’ entire offense. The Wolf Pack run for 177.4 yards per game total, putting them just above the national average.

Neither team has an arm that will put one team over the top of the other. As long as Nevada comes out motivated and controls that line of scrimmage as the number suggests, the Wolf Pack will win, and likely cover. If Nevada comes out flat after last week’s game, perhaps the ‘Dogs steal a ‘W’.

PREDICTION: NEVADA 34 - FRESNO STATE 21




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