2011 Record: (7-6, 5-2 in WAC)
Head Coach: Chris Ault (226-103-1)
Last Bowl Game: 2011 Hawaii Bowl: lost to Southern Miss 24-17
Four Year Coaching Trend: 8.75 wins and 4.5 losses average per year
Big Name Opponents: 9/1 at Cal, 9/8 vs USF, 12/1 vs Boise St
Stat to Cheer: had 241 plays of 10 or more yards (6th in the Nation)
Stat to Fear: won 0 games against teams that finished the year with a winning record
Phil Steele's Returning Starters: (Offense: 6; Defense: 6; Specialists: 1)
Key Defensive Returnees: S Duke Williams (83 tackles), CB Khalid Wooten (73 tackles, 4 INT), LB Jeremiah Green (49 tackles, 3 INT), DT Jack Reynoso (24 tackles, 2 sacks)
Key Offensive Returnees: QB Cody Fajardo (6 TD, 6 INT), OT Jeff Nady, OG Chris Barker
Last year Nevada had to replace Colin Kaepernick and still managed to go 7-6. They had a blowout loss to Oregon in their opener and lost to Boise State by 20 in the fourth game of the season. In their other four losses they averaged just a four point average margin of defeat. Nevada really wasn't that far away last year. This year Nevada makes the jump from the WAC to the MWC but one of the big bullies of the MWC (TCU) has exited stage right.
If Nevada can keep Cody Fajardo healthy I think they will surprise a few teams this season. There is a pack of five teams right behind Boise State in the MWC and Nevada is right in the thick of them. If Nevada gets hot at the right time watch out. I would also recommend staying far away from that opener against Cal. Remember when UCLA took Cal to the house last year by the tune of 31-14?
2012 Prediction: 8-4
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