With questions at the quarterback position for Nevada, since Colin Kaepernick is now backing up Alex Smith in San Francisco with the 49'ers, a lot of the weight of the offense has fallen to the running backs and in particular Mike Ball.
Ball is on track to smash previous career-highs with the Wolfpack as last season he finished carrying the ball only 38 times for 259 yards, and through two games this season Ball is only 28 yards away from smashing that number.
The Las Vegas native is leading Nevada this season with 231 yards and two touchdowns, and carried the team to victory in its last time out against San Jose State earning him WAC Offensive Player of the Week honors.
In the Wolfpack's lone victory of the season, 17-14 against the Spartans, Ball scored the only touchdowns in the game and carried the rock for 126 yards on 29 carries.
Nevada senior quarterback Tyler Lantrip said Ball was a big piece of the puzzle and a big reason behind the team not being 0-2 coming into this game.
"It's huge, I think he had 100 yards in the first half," he said. "He ran the ball hard, we ran the ball I think over 200 yards. So that's real big."
Ball is not only a threat in the backfield of Nevada's pistol offense, but also in the return game where he has shown his speed and ability to change direction quickly as he is already the all-time leader in career kick returns and return yards in Wolfpack history.
Entering this season Ball had amassed 1,607 yards on 65 kick returns, and the 2011 campaign has started well as on just five returns Ball has 94 yards racked up with his longest being a 27-yard runback against Oregon.
So far this season Ball hasn't taken one to the house yet, but Texas Tech will have to be weary of his ability to still give the Wolfpack offense quality starting field position as he averages 18.8 yards per kick return this season.
Having that kind of weapon is great for Nevada head coach Chris Ault and said Ball showed this past weekend why he is playing on the collegiate level as a running back.
"Well Mike (Ball) played very well, carried the ball 28 times for us and really had his best game for us this year," he said. "and established himself as a good sound running back."
**Quotes were obtained from the Nevada Wolfpack All-Access Channel