Nevada Football: 2022 Non-Conference Preview
An early preview of Nevada’s 2022 Non-Conference schedule
Previewing Nevada’s 2022 Non-Conference Schedule
We are only a few months away from the start of the 2022 college football season and before you know it, the season will be here. In this article, I will discuss the Nevada Wolf Pack non-conference schedule for the 2022 season.
It is a new day for the Wolf Pack football team as Jay Norvell took the money and ran off to Fort Collins to coach Colorado State. In comes Ken Wilson, a longtime assistant coming over from Oregon. Along with a new coach, Wilson will install a new balanced offense replacing the pass-oriented Air Raid offense. Wilson will not be the only new addition to Nevada football, a new quarterback and several new skills players will be making their debuts in 2022.
The non-conference schedule for Nevada will give them a chance to establish a new identity and to possibly accumulate a few wins as they head into conference play that could potentially be brutal for a team breaking in a new head coach and several new starters.
Here is an early preview of the Wolf Pack’s 2022 non conference schedule.
August 27th- at New Mexico State
The Wolf Pack open up the 2022 season on the road as they travel to Las Cruces to take New Mexico State.
The Wolf Pack are facing a New Mexico State team that has seen better days. In a four year period, the Aggies are 7-30 and in two of the last three seasons, New Mexico State has gone 2-10. The Aggies are one of the worst teams in the Group of 5 and it is up to new head coach Jerry Kill to get the ggies out of the bottom of the FBS.
Coach Kill will have his work cut out for him as the Aggies were at or near the bottom last season in rush offense (122nd), rush defense (112th) and pass defense (128th). Nevada, while not the loaded team they were in 2021, should have enough in the talent cupboard to come away with a victory over the Aggies in the season opener.
September 3rd- Texas State
The Wolf Pack’s 2022 home opener will be against the Texas State Bobcats from the Sun Belt conference. The Bobcats have struggled in the last several years as they have not had a winning season since 2014.
The Bobcats under head coach Jake Spatival are hoping that a couple of quarterback transfers such as Layne Hatcher (Arkansas State) and Dylan Markiewicz (Syracuse) can lead the Bobcats back to a winning season.
The problem is that Texas State is replacing six starters on defense and the defense last season was below average. Like the New Mexico State game, this is a game that the Wolf Pack should have more than enough to begin the home portion of the 2022 season with a win.
September 10th- Incarnate Word
Incarnate Word, an FCS program, is coming off a 10-3 season in which the Cardinals won the Southland Conference and won a FCS playoff game before losing to Sam Houston State in the FCS playoffs. Last season, the Cardinals boasted one of the best quarterbacks in Cameron Ward as he threw for over 4,600 yards and 47 touchdowns.
However, the Cardinals will have to replace Ward as he transferred to Washington State and Incarnate Word will have to try to find a QB to replace his production. The Cardinals despite winning 10 games last season feasted on some mediocre to bad competition (six of their 10 wins last season came against teams who finished .500 or worse).
The Incarnate Word game is an interesting game for Nevada as the Wolf Pack are facing a team that does have talent but is replacing a productive quarterback. This should be a game the Wolf Pack should be heavily focused on because the last time a Wolf Pack coach lost to a FCS team in his debut season, it was Jay Norvell who lost to Idaho State back in 2017.
September 17th- at Iowa
After the Wolf Pack’s contest with Incarnate Word, the Wolf Pack will travel to Iowa to face the Hawkeyes. The Wolf Pack will be facing an Iowa team that went 10-4 last season and played for a Big Ten championship. This contest between Nevada and Iowa will be the first meeting between the two schools.
Iowa’s offense will be a bit of a question mark as they are looking to replace star running back Tyle Goodson and starting center Tyler Linderbaum. Also compounding the uncertainty of the Hawkeye offense, there is an ongoing quarterback battle between Spencer Petras and Alex Padilla for the starting QB job. If the offense is a question mark for the Hawkeyes, that could give the Wolf Pack a slight chance to exploit that uncertainty and possibly kick start an upset.
However while the Hawkeyes are a bit of a mystery on offense, their defense should be a strong unit like it was in 2021.Jack Campbell and Seth Benson anchoring Iowa’s linebackers to go along with defensive line stalwarts Logan Lee, Noah Shannon, Lukas Van Ness will make the Hawkeyes one tough unit to score points on them.
After a few weeks of playing against below average competition, this contest against Iowa will more than likely humble Nevada and show that they have a lot of work to do if they want to get to that championship level under new head coach Ken Wilson.