Nevada Football: First Look At The 2023 Schedule
The Wolf Pack looks to improve in year two under head coach Ken Wilson. Will the newly revealed schedule help them do that?
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An uphill climb.
It’s been a few weeks since the Mountain West unveiled its full 2023 conference schedule, but there’s plenty for Nevada Wolf Pack fans to chew on as they look for their team to take a step forward in year two under head coach Ken Wilson.
Our 2023 schedule is here 👀
🎟️Make your Season Ticket Deposits at https://t.co/NFafAImTLS
🔗 https://t.co/mRqtmssIzD#BattleBorn | #HomeIsNevada pic.twitter.com/cCjkmv2Ksq
— Nevada Football (@NevadaFootball) March 2, 2023
Here’s what the week-by-week schedule looks like with Bill Connelly’s preseason SP+ rankings, where Nevada is 107th overall, in parentheses:
Saturday, September 2 – at USC (10)
Saturday, September 9 – vs. Idaho (14th among FCS teams)
Saturday, September 16 – vs. Kansas (57)
Saturday, September 23 – at Texas State (116)
Saturday, September 30 – at Fresno State (67)
Saturday, October 14 – vs. UNLV (108)
Saturday, October 21 – at San Diego State (80)
Saturday, October 28 – vs. New Mexico (132)
Saturday, November 4 – vs. Hawaii (131)
Saturday, November 11 – at Utah State (118)
Saturday, November 18 – at Colorado State (119)
Saturday, November 25 – vs. Wyoming (101)
What are the biggest initial takeaways?
2. There’s a chance to reclaim the Fremont Cannon sooner rather than later.
In many recent seasons, the rivalry clash with UNLV usually took place near Nevada Day or as each team’s regular-season finale, but the new-look Mountain West schedule sees the Wolf Pack and Rebels clashing relatively early in the conference slate.
The good news is they get that game at Mackay Stadium this year. The bad news is that’s wedged between road trips to Fresno State and San Diego State, a potentially tough three-game stretch for a team that will need as many winnable games as it can find throughout the fall.
3. A chance to make a move in November?
The Wolf Pack probably won’t be favored in a ton of games, but the four-game stretch following their trip to Snapdragon Stadium is likely to be the one that really makes or breaks the season. New Mexico and Utah State are in similar rebuilds while Hawaii nursed a five-point lead after three quarters in last year’s contest before pulling away late and Colorado State needed a field goal as time expired to escape Reno with a win.
1. The non-conference schedule is tough.
After how things went last year, Nevada can’t afford to look past anyone on this year’s schedule. They’ll likely lose handily to both Power 5 opponents, so the real litmus test is how they’ll handle an early trip to San Marcos and whether they can take care of business against a rock-solid Idaho program that threw scares into both Washington State and Sacramento last season while notching a road win at Montana.
Hardest stretch: at USC, vs. Idaho, vs. Kansas
Easiest stretch: vs. New Mexico, vs. Hawaii, at Utah State
Guaranteed wins: None
Guaranteed losses: at USC, vs. Kansas
Worse than 50/50 games: at Fresno State, at San Diego State, at Utah State
50/50 games: at Texas State, vs. UNLV, vs. Hawaii, at Colorado State, vs. Wyoming
Better than 50/50 games: vs. Idaho, vs. New Mexico
Preliminary projected record: 3-9