2016-17 Football Previews – (MWC) – Wolfpack
Looking for 2016 Nevada Wolfpack predictions? Nevada should expect to be a contender in the Mountain West this season, thanks to a strong offensive line, run game and receiver corps. They have been steady if unspectacular under relatively new coach Brian Polian, the song of longtime NFL executive Bill Polian (architect of all those great Peyton Manning-led Indianapolis Colts teams).
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2016-17 College Football Preview – Nevada Wolfpack
Head Coach: Brian Polian
2015 Record: 7-6
Nevada Wolfpack Odds to win 2017 FBS Championship: +50000
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They might not be able to keep pace with the Boise States and the San Diego States of the world, but Nevada should still be a conference heavy.
2016 Nevada Wolfpack Predictions: Team Strengths
One might argue, and make a compelling argument, that the offensive line is the most important unit in the game of football. Nevada’s offensive success is built around that impressive front wall.
Premier examples include players like OT Austin Corbett, a former walk-on in 2013 that earned an All-Mountain West Honorable Mention a season ago. Senior C Nathan Goltry is also a good one.
All the starters return, and four of the five are upperclassmen. That experience and veteran savvy should pave roads for the run game and give senior starting QB Tyler Stewart plenty of time in the pocket.
Imposing WR Hasaan Henderson (6″5, 220 lbs) is a potent threat; he averaged over 14 yards per catch in 2015 and should improve on his numbers this time around.
The ground game funnels through junior RB James Butler, who had 1,342 yards and 10 TDs last season. There are definitely some offensive impact players that can put points on the board not unlike slot-machine numbers in Reno.
The kicking game is in good shape, thanks to seniors, K Brent Zuzo and P Alex Boy. Both will vie for All-Mountain West honors in 2016.
2016 Nevada Wolfpack Predictions: Team Weaknesses
Nevada has a task on its hands in replenishing its defensive line. The Wolfpack return only one starter from last year, a merely average NT in senior Salesa Faraimo. The spots will likely be filled by a collection of sophomores.
The defensive backs are in good shape thanks to Nevada starting a pair of freshmen that grew into the starters roles, but the linebacker corps is also decimated. Among the LBs, all the starters are new faces.
The Pack needs to ask a lot from sophomore DT Korey Rush, and senior LB Alex Bertrando, who had five starts in 2013, but has been mostly a non-factor since.
Despite having a couple of solid DBs (safeties Dameon Baber and Asauni Rufus) the unit won’t be effective unless the defensive front seven can exert pressure. All the unproven personnel must make defensive co-ordinator Scott Boone nervous.
Elsewhere, starting QB Stewart was just OK a year ago (57% completion, 2,139 pass yards) and the offense would really become well rounded if he can emerge more fully.
Nevada Wolfpack 2016 Prediction: 9-4
Not unlike Coach Polian’s father’s Colts teams of the last decade, his Wolfpack will need to out-score the opposition, perhaps in some barn-burners, to be successful.
The offense should be humming along with all the experience but a lot of Nevada’s potential rests on how the performances are on the other side of the ball. If the defense exceeds expectations, the Wolfpack could be very good.
Nevada avoids Boise State and Air Force out of the other division, yet the Pack draw non-conference road games at Notre Dame and Purdue, which won’t be a picnic.
Polian’s men also need to travel from Indiana (Purdue) to the islands to face former offensive co-ordinator Nick Rolovich in the course of a week. Devilish slate.
Even still, the Wolfpack will be good for another bowl appearance and probably a couple of wins’ improvement on 2015’s results.
2016 Nevada Wolfpack Football Schedule
- 09/03/2016 vs. Cal Poly 9:30 pm
- 09/10/2016 at Notre Dame 3:30 pm
- 09/17/2016 vs. Buffalo 9:00 pm
- 09/24/2016 at Purdue TBA
- 10/01/2016 at Hawaii Midnight
- 10/08/2016 vs. Fresno St. TBA
- 10/15/2016 at San Jose St. 10:30 pm
- 10/22/2016 vs. Wyoming TBA
- 10/29/2016 BYE
- 11/05/2016 at New Mexico TBA
- 11/12/2016 vs. San Diego St. 10:30 pm
- 11/19/2016 vs. Utah St. TBA
- 11/26/2016 at UNLV TBA
What do you think about our 2016 Nevada Wolfpack predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2016!
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