Texas State vs. Nevada: Game Preview, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction
Nevada will face off against Texas State in their home opener.
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Nevada Opens 2022 Home Schedule Against Texas State on Saturday
WEEK 1: Nevada Wolf Pack (1-0) vs. Texas State Bobcats (0-0)
WHEN: Saturday, September 3 — 2:30 PM PT/3:30 PM MT
TV: Nevada Sports Net
STREAMING: Mountain West Network
The Mountain West Network should also be available for streaming on a handful of smart TV platforms, as well as through the mobile app available on Apple and Android. You can learn more about how to access all of those at this link.
RADIO: Nevada is on ESPN 94.5 in Reno and Texas State is on KTSW 88.9.
SERIES RECORD: Nevada leads all-time series 1-0. The last meeting between the two schools was on September 29th, 2012. Nevada won 34-21.
WEBSITES: NevadaWolfPack.com, the official Nevada athletics website | TXST.com, the official Texas State athletics website.
GAME NOTES (PDF): Nevada | Texas State
ODDS: Nevada -1
SP+ PROJECTION: Nevada by 8.1
FEI PROJECTION: Nevada by 15.9
PARKER FLEMING PROJECTION: Nevada 67.23% win probability (34.90-28.70)
Week 1 in Mackay‼️ pic.twitter.com/1KBRUhtrrc
— Nevada Football (@NevadaFootball) August 29, 2022
The Nevada Wolf Pack opened up the 2022 season with a 23-12 victory on the road over New Mexico State last week.
Now, they return home to Reno for their home opener against the Texas State Bobcats of the Sun Belt Conference. The Wolf Pack will look to build on their win against NMSU by continuing to be physical on offense and establishing the run game. And on defense, the Wolf Pack see if they can continue to force turnovers to help out their offense.
The Wolf Pack will face a Texas State team that is coming off a 4-8 season in 2021 and have struggled since joining FBS in 2010. The Bobcats last season struggled on both offense (ranked 101st in FBS) and defense (ranked 108th in FBS). Head coach Jake Spatival is looking to get his team out of the bottom of the FBS and start their season with a road victory over Nevada
Can the Wolf Pack continue their success running the ball this week and improve their record to 2-0? Here are my keys and a prediction for Nevada vs Texas State
Keys to a Nevada Wolf Pack Victory
Improve the passing offense
We know that the Wolf Pack want to establish the running game but they also must be able to throw the ball.
Both of Nevada’s quarterbacks, Shane Illingworth and Nate Cox did not exactly light up the air with their passing. Both QBs combined threw for only 78 yards at a clip of 3.4 yards per pass attempt. Those numbers are not good enough, especially when you know teams will start to adjust by putting eight men in the box to stop Nevada’s run offense.
Nevada must improve on their passing offense this week against a Texas State defense that gave up 248.6 passing yards per game, at seven passing yards per attempt, last season. The Wolf Pack do want to be a physical, run-oriented offense but they need better quarterback play this week from Cox and Illingworth to give their offense balance.
Defensive line getting a better pass rush.
The Wolf Pack played great against the run last week against New Mexico State, limiting the Aggies to just 85 yards rushing on 25 attempts (3.4 yards per rush attempt).
While the Wolf Pack run defense was brilliant, the pass rush was almost non-existent last week against NMSU. Except for Dom Peterson’s strip-sack of quarterback Diego Pavia, Nevada did not generate much of a pass rush against an Aggies team that threw the ball 34 times.
The Aggies’ 34 attempts are too many attempts for Nevada to not generate a pass rush, let alone not get more than one sack. It will need to get better at generating a pass rush in this contest against Texas State.
The Bobcats will have a new quarterback in Arkansas State transfer Layne Hatcher and running backs such as Calvin Hill and Jahmyl Jeter and receivers such as Marcell Barbee and Javen Banks. The Bobcats are hoping these players can elevate an offense that only averaged 23 points per game last season, which was 101st in the nation in 2021.
For the Wolf Pack to win on Saturday, the front four led by Peterson must get a good, strong pass rush to put pressure on Hatcher and stifle the Bobcat offense.
Stay focus and do not overlook the Bobcats
It is easy to look at the Bobcats struggles since joining FBS and completely overlook them as a team. But the Bobcats do have some talent returning on offense and the Wolf Pack cannot look ahead past Texas State.
Given the Wolf Pack’s new style of play which is a run-based offense and the lack of a productive passing attack in last week’s opener. The Wolf Pack must stay focused and play a clean, mistake free contest against a Bobcats team that is looking to turn the corner and get better.
The Wolf Pack on offense must continue to run the ball and be physical but also must get better play out of the passing game. And on defense the Wolf Pack must play smart, force turnovers and put pressure on the Bobcats offense. If Nevada stays focused on all the facets of the game, then they should win their home opener.
The Wolf Pack pulled out a gritty and tough victory in their season opener last week. For Nevada to improve their record to 2-0, they must continue to be physical and tough while also getting better production out of their passing game and finding a consistent pass rush.
It looks like Wilson will play both Shane Illingworth and Nate Cox at QB this week. Illingworth is the better passer, but Cox is the better runner and both are talented enough to be the full time starter. But no matter who is under center, the passing game has to be better to keep opposing defenses from putting eight men in the box to stop Taua and Lee.
On defense, the Wolf Pack must get a better pass rush this week to help out a talented secondary that probably won’t record five interceptions this week.
The thing that will help the Wolf Pack this week is that even though Texas State looks to be improved, they are still not very good. I think the Wolf Pack will continue to run the ball well, get the passing game going and continue to be good on defense to improve their record to 2-0 against.
Nevada 33, Texas State 23