Nevada Football: First Look At The 2018 Schedule
Here is a look at Nevada’s schedule and what it means for their chances to climb up in the conference standings
The Wolf Pack’s road to improving their win-loss record starts with the release of the schedules.
The Nevada Wolf Pack’s football schedule for 2018 came out on Thursday. And the Wolf Pack will have a home schedule that is loaded with talented teams that will travel to Mackey Stadium this upcoming season.
For a Wolf Pack team that went 3-9 in Jay Norvell’s first season in Reno, this home schedule looks daunting, but the Wolf Pack do get some reprieve with a lighter road schedule. The Wolf Pack will need that as they look to build on a strong finish to close out last season with victories over San Jose State and UNLV.
Here are my thoughts on the Nevada Wolf Pack’s 2018 schedule.
Nevada’s non-conference schedule in 2018 is manageable when compared to 2017.
In 2017, Nevada’s non-conference schedule had three teams that went to a bowl game (Washington State, Toledo, and Northwestern) This year’s non-conference slate only has one team (Toledo) that went to the postseason last season while Vanderbilt and Oregon State failed to become bowl eligible. Portland State is on the schedule, but they are in the FCS division.
Now given that this Nevada team lost at home to FCS doormat Idaho State last season, no FCS game should be classified as an easy win, but a less taxing non-conference schedule should make Nevada’s road back to .500 a bit easier.
Nevada’s home games in conference play are tough
Nevada’s home slate in 2018 has four teams who went to a bowl game in 2017 (Boise State, Fresno State, San Diego State and Colorado State). The Wolf Pack will host two of the teams who played in the Mountain West Championship game last season in Boise State and Fresno State. It is safe to say that this home stand for Nevada in conference play is daunting.
But it can be a good litmus test for this Wolf Pack team to see where they stand against the best the Mountain West has to offer.
The home schedule is a beast, the road schedule for Nevada, not so much.
Outside of their trip to Toledo on September 22nd, the Wolf Pack’s road schedule appears to easier compared to their home slate.
The teams on the road schedule for Nevada in 2018 have a combined 2017 record over 20-41 (outside of Toledo who went 11-3). Trips to Vanderbilt and Hawaii are certainly not going to be easy wins for Nevada but they are not impossible for the Wolf Pack to win those games.
If the Wolf Pack can steal a few wins against those quality opponents at home, the road schedule for the Wolf Pack is manageable enough for the Wolf Pack to get back to respectability in the win-loss column in 2018.
Hardest Stretch: at Air Force, vs Fresno State, vs Boise State
Easiest Stretch: vs. Colorado State, at San Jose State, at UNLV
Guaranteed wins: Portland State, San Jose State, UNLV, Oregon State, Hawaii
Guaranteed Loss: Boise State, San Diego State, Toledo, Fresno State
50/50 Games: Vanderbilt, Air Force, Colorado State
Preliminary projected Record: 6-6