Even more up-tempo
Overall, the team showed much promise on the offense and defensive side of the ball. The offense displayed a new look offense that is very similar to that of former Oregon and current Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly. The team hopes to display a faster pace to their offense. "We want to be able to play a little bit faster, and be more up-tempo.” Said coach Polian after the scrimmage. To play this type of style the team will cut out some verbiage to their offense and add different placards. This will make the process of play calling a lot smoother, and most importantly won’t give the opposing defense anytime to rest.
"We want to be able to play a little bit faster, and be more up-tempo.”
Quarterbacks and Runningbacks
For senior Quarterback Cody Fajardo this sort of offense has the potential to open up the flood gates for a big year for him and his plethora of play makers. A lot of those play makers were on full display and made a number of amazing plays during the scrimmage. The run game seemed in mid-season form with a lot of wide lanes for running backs. Third year running back Don Jackson and freshman James Butler, both had solid outings scoring on long explosive runs. Jackson told reporters afterwards his legs felt fresh, and they certainty looked that way as Jackson ran with reckless abandon the whole practice. James Butler had a combination of big runs on offense, but he also made a name for himself on special teams with two solid returns. For Nevada to have a chance this year they need strong performances from both backs. Sprinkled in with a big season from Kendall Brock.
New Look OffenseThe new look offense also had a big impact on the wide receiving corp. As they lined up in multiple formations. Jericho Richardson had the biggest impact today of the wide receivers lining up in the slot position. Richardson made a number of acrobatic catches to move the chains. The teams projected number two wide receiver Hassan Henderson wasn't nearly targeted as much as Richardson, but he will be a strong focal point of the offense. Another name that was mentioned a lot in practice today was freshman Wyatt Demps. Coach Polian singled him out as one of the guys he felt had a strong practice. “Wyatt Demps was a young guy that made a lot of plays out there and I was really pleased with his effort.” Demps is just one of the young wide receivers vying to make a name for himself in this offense. Andrew Celis was another young wide receiver that showed soft hands and knowledge of the playbook. The maturation process of the young wide receivers should be an interesting storyline coming into the season.
“Wyatt Demps was a young guy that made a lot of plays out there and I was really pleased with his effort.”
Banged Up Offensive Line
An area of concern for the Wolf Pack has to be their offensive line. Coach Polian described it as a “Mash Unit.” At this stage of camp having healthy bodies on both sides of the ball is vital. The offensive line throughout camp has been banged up. So it's hard to get a feel of what the depth will truly look like once the season starts. One name to keep an eye our for is Jake Henry. He spent time in spring drills as a tight end but converted back to the offensive line on the eve of the season and will compete for playing time.
Flipping sides to the defensive side of the ball the defensive line was rather aggressive and did very well on it's red zone defense. They played a lot of bend but don't break styled of defense. They allowed some big runs, but were very stingy in the red zone. Freshman Patrick Choudja got into the backfield a lot and was very disruptive. Polian came away impressed with Choudja’s motor. In the defensive back field Charles Garrett didn't allow many targets to Hassan Henderson. Freshman Asaunu Rufus showed quick hips and a lot deep ball range filling in for an injured Evan Favors.
On the up an up it was a solid days work for the Nevada Wolf Pack. The team will take the field for the start of the 2014 season Saturday, Aug. 30, hosting Southern Utah at Mackay Stadium. Kickoff is set for noon.
Tarrian Rogers can be reached via Twitter Follow @Tarrian_Rodgers
Mark Rauh can be reach via RauhPhotography.com