Preview and Prediction: BYU vs Nevada

(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

Week 14: BYU vs Nevada

The Matchup:

BYU is 4-2-2 all time against Nevada, but have lost the last two meetings in the series. They are also only 1-2 against Nevada since 1940. BYU had its most recent win in 2001 when they blew out the Wolf Pack 52-7 (remember Luke Staley?). Since 2001 Nevada has won both of the contests between the schools in 2002 and 2010. BYU will look to start another winning streak against Nevada this Saturday when they travel to Mackay Stadium in Reno.

W2W4 – The Emotion:

You probably read the comments by Oregon players before they played Arizona this past weekend. If you didn’t they were about how they didn’t care to play in the Rose Bowl this year. For them it was National Championship or bust. In essence they were saying that they had nothing to play for. That attitude and lack of emotion showed up on the field and they were walloped by Arizona. My concern is that BYU has seemingly played their last ‘meaningful’ game this season, a tough loss on the road to Notre Dame. So with BYU at 7-4 and a bowl invitation in hand, what do they have to play for on Saturday? The answer is nothing. There is nothing ‘on the line’ if they win or lose at Nevada this week. They will have a winning season and a bowl game no matter what happens. No recruits will be won or lost on the outcome of this game. On the other side of the ball, Saturday is Senior Day for Nevada and in my view their bowl game. They will be ready to play and happy to take a shot at the Cougars. It will be an interesting emotional dynamic on Saturday, especially if BYU falls behind early. Can BYU muster the emotion to take it to the Wolf Pack?

W2W4 – 1,000 & 1,000:

Last weekend Taysom Hill surpassed the 1,000 yard rushing mark on the season. This week it will be Jamaal Williams turn to ellipse that same mark. BYU has never (yes, never) had a QB and RB both rush for 1,000 yards in the same season. Enjoy the moment a little bit on Saturday.

W2W4 – The Wolf Pack:

We know about BYU (and I honestly cannot write about the O-line again or I might break something) so instead we will take a look at Nevada. The Wolf Pack are 4-1 at home this season (0-6 on the road). Junior QB Cody Fajardo has thrown for 2,374 yards (watch out secondary) and can cause issues with his legs as evidenced by his 602 rushing yards. To top things off, he has only thrown 2 interceptions this season. Fajardo’s favorite target is #1 Brandon Wimberly. Winberly is a 6-3, 225 pound receiver from LA. He is having his best season at Nevada with 87 receptions for 872 yards (avg of 10 yds/reception) and 7 TD’s. Defensive end Brock Hekking will seemingly cause issues for the BYU offensive front. He is on the Lombardi Award watch list (a list that KVN is on) and leads the Wolf Pack defense with 9 sacks on the season (Hill has been sacked 30 times, yes 30).  Nevada is not the deepest or most talented team that BYU has on the schedule but they do have weapons that can hurt BYU.

The Game:

As you can tell I am a little concerned for this game. BYU could easily come out and pound Nevada, or they could come out flat and be in a dog fight. Which teams shows up? Your guess is as good as mine. What I do know is that Nevada has the weapons to give BYU fits. I am leaning towards a closer game than many expect. BYU is favored by 14 points but I am going to say the game is within 7-10.

Prediction: BYU 31, Nevada 24

— What is your prediction for the game? Comment below…—

About the author

Justin Burr

I am an avid sports fan, especially BYU football and Yankee baseball. I watch basically any and every game I can. Currently living in NYC for school and work mean I get my Cougar fix with ESPN and the KSL 1160 app. Hit me up @jburr21.

  • Ben Arkell

    I don’t think BYU will play with any emotion. They’ll be trying to pile up some stats for Jamaal and Cody and that’s about it. Nevada has only lost one time at home this year – so an upset is possible. I just want to see BYU air it out to Apo and Hoffman.