2015 Outlook

The Mountain West Conference media days are right around the corner (next Tuesday the Pack will be featured) and it’s time to post my season predictions. This season features a relatively light schedule when compared to years past.

Sure, Arizona and Texas A&M are on it but beyond that there aren’t any games that the Pack can’t win. I’m not saying they can’t beat Arizona or Texas A&M, but they will likely be double digit underdogs heading into both games. Here is how I see the season playing out as of right now.

UC Davis – This is a game the Pack should easily win. It will be close in the first half as Nevada works off some of the rust of the offseason but they should pull away in the middle of the 3rd quarter. Nevada 38 UC Davis 14

Arizona – The first true test of the season will be a Saturday afternoon game televised on CBS Sports. Last year the Wolf Pack gave Arizona, the eventual PAC-12 South Champion, all they could handle in a heartbreaking 35-28 loss. 3 years ago the final game of the Chris Ault era was a 49-48 loss to Arizona in the New Mexico bowl (we don’t have to discuss how that game played out). Will the 3rd time be a charm? Not likely. The Wolf Pack will still be breaking in a new QB and that will be too much to overcome, even at home. Arizona 42 Nevada 28.

@Texas A&M – The Wolf Pack travel to College Station to take on the Aggies from the SEC. ESPN has the Aggies pegged as an early top 10 team. Nevada has to play a perfect game to win. Unfortunately, I believe the Aggies strength and speed will cause a lot of issues for the Pack. A&M 42 Nevada 21

@Buffalo – I’m still trying to figure out why this game was scheduled. I’ve always assumed it’s due to Polian’s connections to the Buffalo area but I’m not sure. But this is a very winnable road game for the Pack. Buffalo is coming off of a 5-6 season, they had a game against Kent State postponed last year that was never made up. Nevada 35 Buffalo 21

UNLV – This is the most important game of the season and needs no introduction. Nevada introduces UNLV’s new coach properly to college football. Nevada 49 UNLV 10

New Mexico – Nevada was lucky this year and was able to avoid Air Force’s triple option. Unfortunately, New Mexico also runs the triple option. Bob Davie has New Mexico improving and it’s possible they could make a bowl game. This game could decide who goes bowling and who stays home. I give the Pack the edge because they’re at home but it will be close. Nevada 35 New Mexico 31

@Wyoming – Another win or sit at home during the offseason game for both teams. This game is a toss-up for me as of right now. I’m giving Wyoming the edge because they’re at home. Wyoming 28 Nevada 27

Hawaii – The Rainbow Warriors are my dark horse to win the west this year. I expect they will be bowling and Norm Chow will keep his job. But they won’t be leaving Reno was winners. Nevada 38 Hawaii 24

@Fresno State – The Bulldogs have had the Pack’s number the last 3 years. But I really think this year will be different. This is a game the Pack can steal. Nevada 28 Fresno 20

SJSU – Senior night, early afternoon game, winning record & a shot at the division crown if the Pack keeps winning. I don’t expect SJSU to spoil the afternoon for anybody but it’s a long way from now. Nevada 35 SJSU 17

@Utah State – The second Aggies the Pack will face this year, again on the road. Nevada will be catching Utah State a week after they played Air Force and a week before they play BYU. We know how difficult it is to prepare for the Falcons and then play another team the next week (see our game against Fresno last year….be sure to drink before watching or looking at the score). This has trap game for the Aggies written all over it so I’m going to be bold and say….Nevada 24 Utah State 17

@ San Diego State – Assuming my predictions above pan out, Nevada will enter this game 7-4 (5-2 in conference). A win here could put Nevada in the MWC championship game but the Aztecs should be the favorite to win the West and this game. SDSU 28 Nevada 21

Bowl Game – Book your plane tickets to Boise for the Potato Bowl! On second thought don’t, because I don’t want to be held liable if we go to a different bowl and you booked plane tickets because some guy on the internet told you to…..

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