Long time Nevada head coach Chris Ault and his Wolfpack open 2012 at Cal's Memorial Stadium against the Golden Bears. Photo Credit: Douglas C. Pizac-US PRESSWIRE

Know the Opponent: Nevada Wolfpack

We’re full steam ahead on football bowl subdivision teams from here on out as we move to the Nevada Wolfpack. The Wolfpack went 7-6, 5-2 in their last season of play in the Western Athletic Conference. Nevada finished last season with a loss in the Hawaii Bowl, 24-17, to Southern Miss to end 2011.

Sophomore Cody Fajardo will be the Nevada starting quarterback after playing in nine games last season. He threw for 1,647 with six touchdowns and five interceptions. Adding to his statistics are 11 touchdowns through 680 yards on the ground.

With the use of the pistol formation, the QB is more of the important position, but the Wolfpack will need to replace its leading backs from last year. Senior Nick Hale is the leading returner at the positions with 104 yards on 24 carries last season. Redshirt freshman Tony Knight Jr. will be someone to keep an eye on.

The wide receivers will be an area the team will need to improve upon with losing so much talent from last year’s team. Nevada will be replacing its two leading receivers. Who will step up for the team this season remains to be seen.

Defensively, the team loses its three leading tacklers on the team from last year. One of those is senior Khalid Wooten, who had 65 tackles (57 solo and 8 assisted) with one tackle for loss and four interceptions. Another was senior defensive back Marlon Johnson who had 49 tackles (30 solo and 19 assisted) with two tackles for losses.

Chris Ault is one of the best coaches who doesn’t get a lot of press but he’s led Nevada to a bowl game the last five seasons. His challenge this season will be transitioning from the WAC to Mountain West Conference. They’ll help reopen Cal’s Memorial Stadium on September 1 at noon on the Pac-12 Network.

I feel it’ll be another bowl season for the team this year.

2012 Nevada Wolfpack Schedule –

@California 9/1
South Florida 9/8
Northwestern State 9/15
@Hawai’i 9/22
@Texas State 9/29
Wyoming 10/6
@UNLV 10/13
San Diego State 10/20
@Air Force 10/27
Fresno State 11/3
@New Mexico 11/17
Boise State 12/1

Check out the entire archive of “Know the Opponents,” a series of all Pac-12 non-conference opponent previews, here.

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Tags: Cal Memorial Stadium California California Football California Golden Bears California Golden Bears Football Chris Ault Cody Fajardo Jr. Mountain West Conference Mountain West Conference Football Nevada Nevada Wolfpack Nevada Wolfpack Football Nick Hale Pac 12 Football Pac-12 Pac-12 Network Pacific 12 Pacific 12 Conference Pacific 12 Football Tony Knight WAC Western Athletic Conference

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