Nevada Football: Preview of the Wolf Pack vs. Vanderbilt
Nevada looks to score a rare Power 5 win on the road as the face Vanderbilt on Saturday.
Preview of Nevada vs. Vanderbilt
WHEN: Saturday, September 8 — 9:00 AM PT
WHERE: Vanderbilt Stadium; Nashville, Tennessee
TV/RADIO: SEC Network/94.5FM
Coming off a dominant opening day win over Portland State, the Nevada Wolf Pack travel to Nashville to face off against the Vanderbilt Commodores.
The Wolf Pack are looking to score a very rare road win against a team from a Power 5 conference on Saturday. The last time Nevada won a road against a Power 5 opponent, it was back in 2012 when the Wolf Pack defeated Cal 31-24.
A Nevada victory over a P5 team on the road would be huge for a Wolf Pack program looking to build themselves into a perennial contender in the Mountain West. But to get there, Nevada must first defeat Vanderbilt on Saturday.
Here are a few keys on how the Wolf Pack can defeat the Commodores.
The first key for Nevada to defeat Vanderbilt is to avoid the slow start that plagued them early in the Portland State game. Last week against the Vikings, Nevada got off to a sluggish start as they found themselves tied with Portland State (a team that went winless in 2017) early in the game.
The Wolf Pack eventually got it together and dominated Portland State the rest of the way to a 53-point victory. This Vanderbilt team is far and away better than Portland State, so the Wolf Pack cannot afford a slow start against this Vanderbilt team.
Another key for Nevada to defeat Vanderbilt is stopping Vanderbilt’s rushing attack. The Commodores ran for a total of 176 yards and ran for two touchdowns in their win over Middle Tennessee. Vanderbilt had three running backs (Jamauri Wakefield, Khari Blasingame and Ke’Shawn Vaughn) carry the ball against the Blue Raiders and two of those three running backs (Wakefield and Blasingame) ran for over 50 yards and scored a touchdown.
The Commodores feature a running attack that likes to use more than one running back, so it is up to the Wolf Pack defense of Lucas Weber, Gabe Sewell and Malik Reed to contain this Vanderbilt rushing attack on Saturday for Nevada to win.
The final key for the Wolf Pack is that they must continue to get the ball to their playmakers on offense. Nevada did a very good job last week in doing this last Saturday and letting them move the offense. Quarterback Ty Gangi did a great getting the ball to players like Kaleb Fossum, McLane Mannix and Toa Taua, so Gangi will need to do more that this week if they are going to pull off the road upset over Vanderbilt.