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Nevada/Louisiana Tech Preview
by ASA - 10/09/2009
Nevada Wolf Pack vs. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
Friday, October 9 – 9:00 PM EST
Nevada started the season 0-3 with losses against Notre Dame, Colorado State, and Missouri. They were out-scored 101-41 and 2008 WAC Offensive player of the year QB Colin Kaepernick got off to a very slow start. Kaepernick had just 2 passing touchdowns and 4 picks while running for just 122 total yards (22 passing TD, 17 TD in 2008).
They looked like a team that hadn’t improved on a promising 2008 season; but that all changed last week against UNLV.
Nevada broke lose in a big way. They scored 63 points and accumulated 773 total yards. They finally got their running attack going, rushing for 553 yards and 7 touchdowns. Kaepernick was 15/18 passing for 208 yards and a touchdown and also ran for 173 yards.
Louisiana Tech started off the season 0-2 after two tough road games @Auburn and @Navy. They were out-scored 27-69 and gave up 591 total rushing yards in those two games. QB Ross Jenkins was just 36/62 for 305 yards with 1 TD and 2 picks and they rushed for just 107 total yards.
The Bulldogs returned home for their next two games and looked like a completely different team. They defeated FCS Nicholls State and Hawaii by a combined score of 75-19. They gained 1007 total yards – rushing for 537 yards – and Jenkins was much more efficient; completing 34/52 for 454 yards with 2 TD’s and no picks.
Nevada ranks 4th in the Nation in rush yards, averaging 274 per game. Luke Lippincott (336 rush yards, 1 TD), Colin Kaepernick (295, 1), Vai Taua (208, 2), and Mike Ball (184, 5) are all capable of putting up big numbers on the ground.
Auburn and Navy were able to bottle up La Tech’s rushing attack, but they are still averaging 161 YPG. 1st team All-WAC RB Daniel Porter has rushed for 294 yards and 4 TD’s this season.
In the 2008 match-up between these two, La Tech ran for 185 yards and allowed just 103 yards rushing on 2.5 YPC to the Wolf Pack. La Tech had a comfortable 31-14 late in the 3rd quarter but that changed quickly. The Dogs eventually fell behind when they allowed a big 22 yard TD run with 3:15 left in the 4th quarter that allowed Nevada to complete the comeback and win 35-31.
The team that establishes a running attack will have a good shot at getting the ATS cover.
Nevada has won four straight vs. La Tech and is 3-1 ATS at home vs. the Bulldogs. Nevada is 22-9 ATS in their last 31 home games and 20-7 ATS in their last 27 games as a home favorite. La Tech is just 14-37-1 ATS in their last 52 road games and 16-36-1 ATS in their last 53 games as a road underdog. The ‘over’ is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings between the Bulldogs and Wolf Pack.
The line opened with Nevada as a 7.5 point favorite. That line increased daily and now sits at 10.5. The total opened at 58.5 and slid slightly to 57.5 and now sits right in the middle at 58.
The forecast is calling for clear skies with game time temperature around 70 degrees. Light winds with temps dropping to around 60 degrees by the time this one wraps up.