Fresno State Vs Nevada: Game Preview, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction
Nevada faces off against Fresno State as the Wolf Pack try to snap an eight game losing streak.
Nevada Looks To Snap Eight Game Losing Streak Against Fresno State on Saturday
WEEK 12: Nevada Wolf Pack (2-8, 0-6 MW) vs. Fresno State (6-4, 5-1 MW)
WHEN: Saturday, November 19th –7:30 PM PT/8:30 PM MT
TV: CBS Sports Network
STREAMING: CBS Sports Network available on the streaming sites such as Fubo and Hulu Live. (Click here to subscribe to Fubo)
RADIO: Nevada is on ESPN 94.5 in Reno and Fresno State is on 1340 AM in Fresno
SERIES RECORD: Fresno State leads the all time series 30-23-1. The last meeting was back in 2021 in Fresno where the Bulldogs won 34-32.
ODDS: Fresno State (-22.5)
SP+ PROJECTION: Fresno State by 19.3
FEI PROJECTION: Fresno State by 18.1
The Nevada Wolf Pack return to action on Saturday to face the Fresno State Bulldogs in Reno.
The Wolf Pack come into this contest 2-8 and losers of eight straight games. Fresno State, after starting the season 1-4, have won five straight games and at 6-4, sit atop the Western division with a 5-1 conference record.
With two games left in this season, Nevada needs to play a whole lot better than they did last week against Boise State. The Wolf Pack have been bad during this losing streak but against the Broncos, they looked pathetic. Nevada’s poor performance against Boise State last week showed why they are the worst team in the Mountain West this season.
Can Nevada play with some pride and dignity and snap their losing streak or are they going to continue riding the “L” train?
Here are my keys and a prediction for Nevada-Fresno State
Establish the ground game
One of the few bright spots Nevada had last week against Boise State was the run offense. The Wolf Pack did rush for 127 yards against the Broncos last week with RB Toa Taua rushing for 103 of those yards on 16 carries. The running game last week for Nevada was a lot better than Shane Illingworth and his 13 for 30 passing for 123 yards and a stellar QBR rating of 13.7.
Nevada is going up against a Fresno State defense that has its issues stopping the run. The Bulldog defense is giving up 167 rushing yards a game and giving up an average of 4.48 rushing yards an attempt. In Fresno State’s 37-30 win over UNLV last Friday, the Rebels rushed for 219 yards against the Bulldogs. UNLV’s Aidan Robbins rushed for 144 yards and scored a touchdown against Fresno State.
For the Wolf Pack to have any chance to beat Fresno State, Nevada must establish their run offense and attack Fresno State’s rush defense. Lord knows, for Nevada to win, they can’t rely on the brilliant** quarterback play of Shane Illingworth to beat Fresno State. Nevada will need to run the ball early and often.
**A little bit of sarcasm.
Pressure QB Jake Haener
Since returning from injury, Fresno State QB Jake Haener has played very well. In the three games he has played since his comeback, Haener has thrown for 1,034 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions. Haener’s return has propelled Fresno State’s five game winning streak and the top spot in the Western Division.
Nevada’s defense got shredded by Boise State last week to the tune of 528 total yards and 41 points. The Wolf Pack defense will need to try to bounce back against another talented offense in Fresno State.
For Nevada to have a chance to win on Saturday, the Wolf Pack front four led by Dom Peterson and James Hansen, who looks like he will play this week after suffering a scary injury, will need to apply serious pressure on Jake Haener to get him out of his rhythm.
And the Wolf Pack secondary led by Bentlee Sanders will need to play great defense against the passes Haener throws to his receivers.
If the Nevada defense can pressure Haener and defend the pass well, the Wolf Pack may have a shot to win on Saturday.
Contain Fresno State DE David Perales
Fresno State defensive David Pearles has performed wonderfully this season. The senior from Merced, California leads the Mountain West with nine sacks this season. Pearles is near the top in the tackle for loss category as he is third in the Mountain West with 13 tackles for loss.
Last Friday against UNLV, Perales made seven tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack as he was a menace to the Rebels offense. Perales is a high motor defensive player who is a key contributor for the Fresno State defense this season.
Pearles is a havoc on the defensive line and the Wolf Pack offensive line must account for him and try to contain him on Saturday night in Reno. The Wolf Pack offensive line has been terrible this season (There I go for the 1,257th time this season saying that Nevada’s offensive line is terrible but it is true.) and now they have the task of trying to block David Perales.
Good Luck to The Union because they’ll need it on Saturday night.
Final Score Prediction
Fresno State 38 Nevada 11
Nevada’s game against Boise State was just another confirmation that the Wolf Pack are trash this season. Boise State just dominated Nevada from beginning to end and Nevada just does not have the talent to match up.
This week, the Wolf Pack have to play a Freno State team that is playing its best football this late in the season. Jake Haener is playing great at QB and the defense led by David Perales is dominating the opposing offenses.
Nevada with poor QB play, poor offensive play and a below average defense is going to try to match up against Fresno State this week?
Ha Ha Ha Nope.
Cheer up Nevada fans there is only one more game left in this disaster of a season.