Let's talk football. This Friday is the game that can make or break the season, up to this point that is. The Pack must go into this game like the season depends on it because it does. I'm also getting tired of hearing people say how the team is going to get "smoked" on Friday by a far superior team. Guess what? they are not far superior, I find these two teams to be very evenly matched. I think it's a little too early to look at scoring and defensive statistics so we won't go there. What I am going to talk about is what needs to happen.
This game is going to be close, I see it a one-possession game going into the 4th quarter. This favors the Wolf Pack due to their depth at running back, after all we are a ground and pound team. But we can not rely on the running game to win the game for us, we have to use the running game to open up the passing game which will be crucial. Virgil Green is arguably one of the best catching tight-end's in college football which will open up the passing game even more, another plus. If you followed the Pack last year, you know who Brandon Wimberly is, unfortunately he hasn't been utilized much this year so far, but there hasn't been a need to. He will be a huge impact on this game's outcome. Expect to see at least 7 receptions from him and somewhere around 100 yards out of him. If the Bears give him any open space, they will quickly see what he can do.
I don't see the running game having any problems in this week's match-up. Vai will get his 100 yards and kaepernick will add on another 100.
The biggest question is the defense. There is no secret that we have had a problem with the secondary but last week was a shimmer of hope. Sure we played a lesser opponent, but in previous years even that opponent would have gotten 2-3 long passes good enough for 6. The secondary last week stood its ground and if they play that good this week, we might be talking about how "we killed Cal" last weekend. Realistically though, they will give up 2 long plays, but that's better than giving up 5. The rest of the defense will play strong and cause the Bear's offense a lot of trouble. Look for MLB #52 James-Michael Johnson and OLB #33 Brandon Marshall to make big stops and big plays once again.
If you still think "Nevada is going to get smoked" just look at the betting lines for this game. I don't make these numbers, professional odds-makers do and they are saying Cal wins BUT only by 3 points. Now look at the over/under for this game, they also think there will be 110 points on the scoreboard by the end of regulation. If you do the math you'll see it doesn't add up, but with a little understanding you can see that they are calling the outcome of the game:
Cal 57 - Nevada 53
What's my call?
When it comes down to it, the Nevada defense is underrated, I'm not saying they are great, I'm saying they are underrated. The defense will make a late stand when they need to and the offense will score one more touchdown to put the game away in the last 2 minutes.
Cal 45 - Nevada 54