Nevada: Facts and Factors

The Nevada an d UCLA play for the first time, and the Wolfpack have a first-year coach and a very young team...

• UCLA will host the Nevada Wolfpack at the Rose Bowl Saturday for its 2013 season opener. The game will kick off at 7:00 PT, and be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks, with Kevin Calabro, Yogi Roth and Jill Savage calling the action.

• It is also the first game of the season for Nevada. The Wolfpack are coming off a 7-6 season in 2012, while the Bruins went 9-5.

• UCLA starts the season ranked 21st in both the AP and the Coaches Poll.

• It is the first meeting ever between UCLA and Nevada.

• Last season, the Wolfpack beat Cal (31-24), a team that defeated UCLA, 43-17. Nevada also lost to Arizona in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, 49-48, while UCLA beat Arizona, 66-10.

• In most pre-season rankings, the Wolfpack were picked to finish in the middle of the pack in the Mountain West for 2013. In the MW preseason media poll, Nevada was picked to finish 4th in the West Division, behind Fresno State, San Diego State and San Jose State. Last season they finished 5th in the conference (last season the MW did not have an East and West division, but went to that format this year when the conference added San Jose State and Utah State).

• UCLA has won its last last three home openers (2009 – SDSU, 2008 – Tennessee, 2006 – Utah).

• This marks the third straight season Nevada has opened the season against a Pac-12 team, beating Cal a year ago and losing to Oregon in 2011.

• Nevada is 14-55-5 all-time against the Pac-10/12, but the bulk of those games are from the early 20th century. Since 1991, when Nevada went 1-A, it's 3-11.

• UCLA is 61-28-5 in 94 season-opening games in its history.

• Nevada has won five games against BCS schools since the inception of the BCS in 1998.

• UCLA Head Coach Jim Mora matched the school record for wins by a first-year head coach in 2012 (Terry Donahue, 9-2, 1976).

• UCLA and Nevada are scheduled to play each other two more times in the coming years – 2015 in the Rose Bowl again and then 2016 at Mackay Stadium in Reno (which seats 30,000).

• Nevada is coached by first-year head man Brian Polian. After 28 years, Hall-of-Fame Nevada Coach Chris Ault stepped down last December, and was replaced by Polian, who came to Nevada from Texas A&M, where he served as special teams coordinator and tight ends coach. Polian is 38 years old, one of the youngest coaches in the FBS, and is the son of NFL executive Bill Polian. Besides A&M, he has coached at Stanford (under Jim Harbaugh), Notre Dame (Charlie Weis), and other programs as part of a 16-year coaching career. One of the first things Polian established was that he would not change the famed Nevada offense, The Pistol, which Ault innovated in 2005 (and UCLA attempted to adopt under Rick Neuheisel). The transition was made easier with Polian retaining Ault's offensive coordinator, Nick Rolovich, who apprenticed under Ault for one season.

• Under Polian, Texas A&M ranked in the top 25 nationally in four special teams categories: punt returns (14th), kickoff return yardage defense (14th), net punting (15th) and punt return yardage defense (22nd).

• Nevada has made eight straight appearances in bowl games.

• Nevada has a very young team, with 22 of the 44 players in the two-deep being either freshmen or sophomores.

• The weather for Saturday at the Rose Bowl is projected to have a high of 86 degrees, and be in the low 70s, high 60s around game time.

Bruin Report Online Top Stories