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Friday Football

Friday Football

Game Preview for Eastern Mich vs Central Mich

STATS: Site: Kelly/Shorts Stadium (30,255) -- Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Television: Local. Home Record: EMU 2-3, CMU 3-1. Away Record: EMU 1-5, CMU 3-3. Neutral Record: EMU 0-0, CMU 0-0. Conference Record: EMU 2-4, CMU 5-0. Series Record: Central Michigan leads, 53-25-6.

GAME NOTES: The Central Michigan Chippewas will try to remain perfect in Mid- American Conference action when they host the Eastern Michigan Eagles this Friday evening at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. The Eagles have been atrocious throughout the season and have lost six of their last seven matchups, including two in a row. The last time EMU was on the field the team suffered a tough, 39-32 setback to Bowling Green. The Eagles have ben horrendous away from home this season, posting a terrible 1-5 ledger outside of Ypsilanti. As for the Chippewas, they have won five of their last six games, including two consecutive matchups. The team's most recent victory came this past Tuesday, as the Chippewas posted a thrilling, 34-31 win over Western Michigan. At 5-0, CMU has clinched the West Division of the MAC and will play for the MAC title on December 1st. The Chippewas posted a thrilling, 24-17 overtime win over EMU this past season and now have a commanding, 53-25-6 edge in the all-time series.

The last time EMU was on the field, the team rushed for a whopping 269 yards, but still fell to the Bowling Green Falcons by seven points. Pierre Walker led the way with 155 yards and one score in the contest, and now has a team best 690 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. The passing attack has not been as clear cut, as the team has shuffled Andy Schmitt and Kyle McMahon under center this year. Schmitt has been far more productive, as the signal-caller has thrown for 1,401 yards and has 14 TDs against five interceptions. Schmitt put forth a solid effort in the loss to Bowling Green, as the QB completed 12- of-18 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns. As a whole, this unit has been far too inconsistent, and heads into this matchup averaging just 328.1 ypg, while posting a mere 22.0 ppg.

The Eagles' biggest problem this season has been their inability to contain the run, as opponents are averaging a tremendous 192.5 ypg. Overall this defensive unit is being abused for 418.7 total ypg, which has led to 29.9 ppg. In the recent setback to Bowling Green, the Eagles were dismantled for a horrendous 419 total yards, and that includes 193 rushing yards on 39 attempts (4.9 ypc). The Eagles were able to force two turnovers in the contest, but finished the game with zero sacks. Both areas have been a sore spot for EMU, as the team has forced 26 turnovers, but has recorded only 16 sacks. The defense has also struggled on third down, allowing the opposition to convert on 49 percent of their third down chances.

The Chippewas are without question the most dangerous offensive unit in the entire MAC, as the squad is torturing teams with its ground game, as well as with its passing attack. The Chippewas are rushing for a solid 162.2 ypg on the year, while also throwing for an impressive 263.3 ypg. Dan LeFevour has been "Mr. Everything" for CMU, as the quarterback is leading the ground game with 618 yards and 10 scores, while also throwing for 2,547 yards and 19 touchdowns. LeFevour has completed 66.4 percent of his throws and is definitely one of the top signal-callers in the MAC. The top two targets for LeFevour have been Antonio Brown and Bryan Anderson, as the two receivers have collected a combined 134 receptions for 1,415 yards and 11 scores. In the recent victory over Western Michigan, the Chippewas posted just 384 total yards. Once again LeFevour led the way, as the QB threw for 235 yards and one score, while also rushing for a team-best 72 yards and two touchdowns.

Where the Chippewas have struggled this season is on the defensive side of the field, as the team is being dismantled for 425.5 total ypg. The unit is yielding 177.1 ypg on the ground, while also being lit up for 301.2 ypg via the pass. In the recent victory over WMU, the Chippewas put forth a solid effort, especially against the ground game, holding the Broncos to just 107 yards on 35 attempts (3.1 ypc). In the win, the team only forced one turnover, and finished the game with only two sacks. In 10 contests this year, the defense has forced 22 miscues, but pressuring the quarterback has been a tremendous problem, as the team has collected just 17 sacks. Red Keith has been outstanding for this defense, as the linebacker is currently pacing the team with 103 stops.

The Chippewas should continued their perfect run through the MAC, as the team should have little trouble against a far too inconsistent Eastern Michigan squad.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Central Michigan 48, Eastern Michigan 24

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Re: Friday Football

Hawaii at Nevada
By Brian Edwards

Hawaii is one of only two schools – Kansas being the other – that remain undefeated going into Week 12. If the Warriors are to stay that way and keep alive their hopes of a BCS bowl bid, they will have to survive Friday’s trip to Reno to face Nevada.

Most sports books are listing Hawaii as a 7 1/2-point favorite with the total in the 78-79 range.

The game had been off the board because of the “questionable” status of Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan, who was knocked out cold and sustained a mild concussion in last week’s 37-30 win over Fresno State.

The Warriors failed to cover the number as 20-point home favorites, while the 67 combined points fell ‘under’ the 73-point total. Brennan did not return after taking the hit late in the fourth quarter, but he has been cleared to play this week.

Hawaii (9-0 straight up, 3-4 against the spread) has the nation’s premier scoring offense, averaging 50.2 points per game. Brennan continues to produce eye-opening numbers, throwing for 3,216 yards with a 28/12 touchdown-interception ratio.

Although those stats are well off his record-setting pace of 2006 – when Brennan posted a ridiculous 58/12 TD-INT ratio – the senior signal caller has also dealt with an ankle injury that caused him to miss the most part of two games. Nevertheless, Brennan threw his 121st career TD pass last week, tying the all-time NCAA mark set by Brigham Young’s Ty Detmer.

Nevada (5-4 SU, 3-5 ATS) has won three in a row to keep itself in contention for a bowl berth. However, the Wolf Pack has been awful for our purposes, failing to cover the spread in all three of those outright victories.

Chris Ault’s team will have the advantage of coming off an open date, whereas Hawaii will be on a short week of preparation, not to mention the immense travel load. The itinerary for the Warriors was to leave for Reno following Wednesday’s practice.

Back on Nov. 2, Nevada rallied for a 40-38 non-covering win at New Mexico St. as a seven-point favorite. With a minute left, redshirt freshman QB Colin Kaepernick found Mike McCoy for a 31-yard scoring strike. It was Kaepernick’s third touchdown pass of the night to go with a pair of TD runs.

Kaepernick threw for 237 yards and ran for 111 against the Aggies. He has been absolutely sensational since taking the starting job from Nick Graziano. Kaepernick has a 13/2 TD-INT ratio, completing 55.9 percent of his passes for 1,248 yards. He’s also run for five TDs, averaging 7.0 yards per carry.

McCoy and Marko Mitchell are big-play threats in Nevada’s aerial attack, with both averaging better than 20 yards per reception. Mitchell has a team-high 38 catches for 779 yards and six TDs.

But Nevada is by no means as pass happy as June Jones and Co. The Wolf Pack has balance with an excellent featured back in Luke Lippincott, who has rushed for 1,054 yards and 10 TDs, averaging 5.5 YPC.

Back to the Warriors, who have a slew of big-time weapons for Brennan. Ryan Grice-Mullen has 75 receptions for 1,080 yards and nine TDs, while Davone Bess has 69 catches for 846 yards and 10 TDs.

Jones doesn’t like to run the ball much, but Kealoha Pilares usually gets the touches when the Warriors do turn to the ground attack. Pilares has 50 carries for 294 yards and three TDs, averaging a healthy 5.9 YPC. However, Pilares is “questionable” with an MCL strain.

The home team has won eight consecutive games in this WAC rivalry. Hawaii won a 41-34 decision last season, but the Wolf Pack took the cash as a 12-point underdog. In 2005, Nevada captured a 38-28 triumph as a five-point ‘chalk.’

Nevada has won three of its four home games this year, but the Wolf Pack is just 1-2 ATS. Meanwhile, Hawaii is 4-0 SU and 2-2 ATS on the road. The Warriors have needed overtime(s) twice to win at La. Tech and San Jose St.

Nevada sophomore safety Jonathan Amaya (knee, ankle) is expected to return to the lineup after missing five straight games.

The ‘under’ is 5-3 for Hawaii, while the ‘over’ is 5-3 for Nevada.

ESPN2 will provide television coverage at 11:00 p.m. Eastern on Friday.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

--Nevada owns an outstanding 17-5 spread record in its last 22 home games.

--Since 2001, Nevada is 10-6 ATS as a home underdog. This is its first home ‘dog spot of the season.

--Ole Miss head coach Ed Orgeron has reinstated DE Greg Hardy, who leads the SEC in sacks, tackles for losses and forced fumbles. Hardy was suspended for three weeks for violating team rules. The Rebels host top-ranked LSU this week. They are 4-1 ATS in their last five games against the Tigers.

--Wake Forest owns a 2-1 spread record as a home ‘chalk’ this season. However, the Demon Deacons are 5-15-1 ATS as home favorites during Jim Grobe’s seven-year tenure. Wake is a six-point favorite Saturday against N.C. St. The Wolfpack have won four in a row.

--If I’m Nebraska interim AD Tom Osborne, Grobe is my top target to take over for Bill Callahan.

--How is Kentucky only a 7 ½-point underdog Saturday at Georgia? I made the Dawgs 14-point favorites. If Vandy can rush for more than 200 yards against UK, something tells me Knowshon Moreno could bust loose for his biggest game of the year (and that’s saying something).

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Re: Friday Football

Undefeated No. 13 Hawaii poised to score in Nevada
November 15, 2007

RENO, Nev. (AP) -Colt Brennan has been cleared to play, and that means Nevada could be in for another high-scoring affair.

Brennan, knocked out of No. 13 Hawaii's game last week, should be taking the snaps for the Bowl Subdivision's highest-scoring offense when it faces Nevada on Friday night.

The Wolf Pack went four overtimes before succumbing to perennial Western Athletic Conference power Boise State 69-67 last month - an NCAA record for total points scored in a game that lasted 3 hours, 56 minutes.

But it's Hawaii (9-0, 6-0 WAC) that could put on a show if Brennan, the Heisman trophy candidate who has thrown for 28 TDs, plays.

``They are as good as advertised. Undefeated, one of the best teams in the country,'' Nevada coach Chris Ault said.

Brennan said he plans to start despite being knocked out cold in the fourth quarter of last week's 37-30 victory over Fresno State. Hawaii coach June Jones said it will be a game-time decision, but Ault said he expects Brennan to play.

Brennan has thrown for 3,296 yards this season and ranks fifth nationally in passing efficiency. His 135 career touchdown passes are tied with BYU's Ty Detmer for the NCAA Division I record. He also has throw TD passes in 34 consecutive games, one shy of Detmer's record.

In addition to averaging 50.2 points per game, the Warriors rank second nationally in passing offense (454 yards per game) and third in total offense (534.3). Brennan's three leading targets also are leading the WAC in receiving yards - Ryan Grice-Mullen (120.0), Jason Rivers (95.4) and Davone Bess (94.0)

``In terms of a passing game, we haven't faced an offense like this all year,'' Ault said.

The Wolf Pack, ninth nationally in total offense (494.4), counter with Ault's pistol formation - a hybrid of the shotgun where the quarterback stands only a few steps behind the center with a lone offset back. The change has fortified a once anemic running game with Luke Lippincott averaging 117 yards per game, best in the WAC and 17th in the NCAA.

Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick, a 6-foot-5 sophomore forced into action when starter Nick Graziano went down last month, also is a threat to run.

A lanky loper who was recruited to play baseball at Michigan and Notre Dame, he is averaging 66 yards rushing per game to go with his 178 yards passing and a passing efficiency that ranks 10th nationally.

Unfortunately for Nevada, strong rushing attacks have found it difficult to stick to their game plan when Hawaii averages scoring 13 points in the first quarter, 26.7 by the half.

Last week, the Warriors jumped ahead of Fresno State 21-0.

``Hawaii is very capable of doing that with that offense,'' Ault said. ``They got those early scores and Fresno had to play catch-up.''

Jones said his team is in for another tough contest in a closing stretch that sees the Warriors finish the season at home against No. 17 Boise State and Washington.

``I think they're as physical, maybe even more physical up front, than Fresno,'' Jones said of the Wolf Pack. ``We'll have to play a very good game to beat them.''

The weather could also work in Nevada's favor, with the game-time temperature expected to be in the upper 40s.

But don't try to tell that to Brennan, who prepped at Irvine, Cal., before moving to the islands.

``Everyone talks about the conditions. I think everyone on our team is tired of hearing about it,'' Brennan said.

``When you get out there on the football field, you're running around. Your body temperature rises up. I love playing in the cold. I played some my best football in the cold,'' he added. ``So I'm dying to get out there Friday because I really want to play because I think I can have a really good day.''

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Re: Friday Football

Eastern Michigan (3-8, 3-7 ATS) at Central Michigan (6-4, 5-3-1 ATS)

The third straight week of midweek Mid-American Conference matchups concludes with tonight’s an instate showdown between Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan.

Central Michigan pulled out a wild 34-31 victory at Western Michigan last Tuesday, scoring with 12 seconds remaining in a fourth quarter in which each squad scored 24 points. The Chippewas, who got outgained 418-384 and pushed as a three-point chalk, are on a 5-1 roll (4-1-1 ATS), with four wins coming in MAC play. With last week’s win, Central Michigan (5-0 in conference) wrapped up its second straight MAC West Division title.

Eastern Michigan squandered a 20-14 halftime lead against Bowling Green last Friday night, falling 39-32 as a three-point home underdog. The Eagles are 1-6 in their last seven (2-5 ATS), and that includes four straight losses on the road (1-3 ATS).

Shockingly, these rivals have played three consecutive overtime games the last three years, with Eastern Michigan going 2-1 SU and ATS. The one setback came last year, when Central Michigan prevailed 24-17 as a 4½-point road chalk.

The straight-up winner has covered the spread in nine of the last 10 meetings, including the last five in a row.

The Chippewas have been money at home the last few years, going 12-0-1 ATS, including 3-0 ATS in lined games this season. CMU is also on a 15-3-1 ATS roll on artificial turf.

The last two meetings have stayed under the total after the previous three topped the posted price. However, the Chippewas have topped the total in five consecutive games, while the Eagles have done so in four of their last six, including three in a row on the road.


(13) Hawaii (9-0, 3-4 ATS) at Nevada (5-4, 3-5 ATS)

Hawaii heads back to the mainland for the first time in more than a month when it puts its unbeaten record on the line against suddenly surging Nevada in a Western Athletic Conference clash in Reno.

The Warriors survived a bit of a scare on Saturday night at home, holding off Fresno State 37-30 after taking a 37-16 lead early in the fourth quarter. Hawaii, which failed to cover as a 19-point chalk, finished with a huge 684-396 advantage in total offense, and star QB Colt Brennan (28-for 39, 396 yards, two TDs) tied the NCAA career touchdown mark before getting knocked out in the fourth quarter with a concussion.

Nevada has had two weeks to prep for this one, most recently playing on Nov. 2 when it rallied past New Mexico State 40-38 in a back-and-forth WAC battle. The Wolf Pack have won three in a row, but they failed to cover the spread as a favorite in all three games, including coming up short as a 6½-point road chalk against New Mexico State.

These teams have met each of the last seven years, with the home team winning all seven games and going 5-1 ATS in the last six. Last year, the Warriors prevailed 41-34 at home, but came up short as a 13½-point chalk.

Hawaii leads the nation in scoring at 50.2 points per game and had scored at least 42 in ever contest before last week. The Warriors also rank third nationally in total offense (534.3 yards per game) and second in passing offense (454 ypg).

The Wolf Pack have scored at least 31 points in five straight games, averaging 43.2 during this stretch. However, the defense has been torched for 41 ppg in the last five.

Nevada is on a 17-5 ATS roll at home, but two of those non-covers came in its two most recent home contests. The Wolf Pack have cashed in three of their last four games as an underdog, but they’re 1-5 ATS in their last six WAC contests.

Since a 38-28 loss at Nevada as a 5½-point underdog in November 2005, Hawaii is 7-2-1 ATS away from the Islands.

The over is on runs of 23-7-1 for Hawaii in WAC games, 9-3 for Hawaii on the road and 3-0 in this rivalry.


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Re: Friday Football

(13) Hawaii (9-0) at Nevada (5-4)

GAME NOTES: And then there were two. That's how the Hawaii Warriors see themselves and Kansas, the last remaining unbeaten teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision as they prepare to weather the cold temperatures of Reno on Friday night in a special edition of Western Athletic Conference football versus the Nevada Wolf Pack. Considered by many to be the product of a weak schedule, the Warriors have still managed to remain perfect this season and string together 10 straight victories overall dating back to last season's bowl victory. Now a regular on national broadcasts, the Warriors improved to 9-0 for the first time since 1925 with their 37-30 victory over Fresno State last Saturday night. It appeared as though Hawaii was going to run away with the victory after putting up 24 points in the first 12 minutes of play, but then the squad began to stall and allowed the Bulldogs to make a game of it down the stretch. As for the Wolf Pack, a team that is currently 5-4 overall and still in the hunt for a postseason bid, the schedule was kind to them as they picked up a bye after slipping by New Mexico State in a thrilling 40-38 affair on November 2nd in Las Cruces. The win was the third straight for Nevada, a team that went to four overtimes before falling to Boise State last month. As far as the series between these two teams is concerned, Nevada still holds a 6-5 advantage over the Warriors, even though it was Hawaii that picked up a 41-34 victory in last year's meeting in Honolulu.

Colt Brennan was off like a rocket against the Bulldogs last week, posting most of his 396 yards passing long before halftime. He converted 28-of-39 for two touchdowns and an interception but, more importantly, sustained a tremendous hit as he scrambled down the field, causing everyone to hold their collective breathes at Aloha Stadium as he remained on the carpet for several minutes. Coach June Jones says Brennan will be a game-time decision this week, but that's just another way of saying we should all leave the signal-caller alone as he prepares to break the NCAA's record for passing touchdowns and touchdowns responsible for. Brennan, who threw for at least 300 yards for the 15th game in a row to set a new school record, now has thrown 121 TDs and has been part of 135 scores, marks that he currently shares with former BYU gunslinger and Heisman winner Ty Detmer. Just a junior, Davone Bess just set the school record with 39 receiving touchdowns and is three shy of establishing a new WAC mark. With 254 catches, Bess is second in that department among active players. Teammate Jason Rivers has caught at least one pass in 46 straight games, the longest active streak in the nation and tied for the WAC record.

Fresno State ended up with 391 yards of total offense on Saturday night, yet much of that came in the second half when the team was struggling to get back into contention. A more telling stat is the one that shows the Bulldogs converting just 2-of-11 on third down versus the Hawaii defense. Solomon Elimimian and his teammates zeroed in on FSU quarterback Tom Brandstater, recording five sacks and constantly forcing the visiting signal-caller to throw far off the mark. Elimimian finished with a team-high nine tackles, while Brad Kalilimoku continued to flush the pocket, en route to two and a half sacks. The Hawaii defense tends to get a bit weaker as the game wears on, just as any unit would in college football, but add to that the desperation of opponents and it is easy to understand why the group has surrendered more points in the fourth quarter than any other this season. Still, the Warriors are not only first in the conference in both tackles for loss and sacks, the squad ranks fourth in the nation in both departments with nine TFLs and 3.67 sacks per outing.

When starting quarterback Nick Graziano went down with an injury earlier in the season, some thought the Nevada season would be lost, but that was before they saw Colin Kaepernick take a snap. Kaepernick has been absolutely sensational for the Wolf Pack thus far through the seven games in which he has appeared. He's not only completed 55.9 percent of his pass attempts for 13 touchdowns and just two interceptions, he's also become one of the most offensive threats in all the WAC. Behind only running back Luke Lippincott who leads the program with 1,054 yards and 10 rushing scores, Kaepernick now has 465 yards on the ground and five TDs of his own. When he's not doing it all on his own, Kaepernick is calling on the services of Marko Mitchell to help get him through the rough spots. Mitchell is averaging a stellar 20.5 yards per reception and has six touchdowns on just 38 grabs for the group. With Kaepernick's infusion of enthusiasm, the Nevada offense is now second in the conference and ninth in the nation with almost 500 yards of total offense per game, resulting in 37.3 ppg to rank 15th in the nation this week.

Nevada's offense has certainly been spectacular in 2007, but unfortunately the defense has been making such efforts academic by allowing opponents to be so productive as well. The run defense for the Pack has been exposed more than once and is now surrendering 208.8 ypg to rank last in the WAC and 105th in the nation although, a lot of that has to do with the 413 yards given up to Nebraska in the season opener. In fact, in the last few weeks Nevada has been making great strides in stopping the run, allowing Utah State, Idaho and New Mexico State to gain a combined 265 yards on the ground. Because of the blowout loss to the Cornhuskers and the quadruple-overtime setback to Boise State, Nevada finds itself ranked seventh in the conference and 109th in the country in points allowed at a mark of 36.7 ppg. Since the team is only producing 37.2 ppg, there's not much room for failure on the part of the defense. Seventh on the team in tackles with 38, Nick Fuhr is actually first on the squad with nine TFLs and five sacks.

Needing some help from teams ahead of them in the rankings, the Warriors can't afford to be looking ahead to their meeting with nationally-ranked Boise State next week at home, although no one could fault them for such thinking. As long as Colt Brennan is able to get back under center and forget about the vicious hit he took last week, Hawaii should be in line for another big victory.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Hawaii 51, Nevada 35

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Re: Friday Football

High-octane offenses to meet

LINE: Hawaii -7; total: 79

RENO -- Late-night college football fans are in for a treat.

Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan will lead the highest-scoring team in the nation against UNR's patented pistol offense tonight when the No. 13 Warriors (9-0, 6-0 Western Athletic Conference) invade Mackay Stadium.

Brennan is expected to start despite being knocked out cold in the fourth quarter of last week's 37-30 victory over Fresno State. He has thrown for 3,296 yards and 28 touchdowns this season and ranks fifth nationally in passing efficiency.

One touchdown pass tonight and Brennan will set an NCAA Division I career record; he's tied at 135 with Brigham Young's Ty Detmer. Brennan also has throw a TD pass in 34 consecutive games, one shy of Detmer's record.
Along with averaging 50.2 points per game, the Warriors rank second nationally in passing offense (454 yards) and third in total offense (534.3). Brennan's three leading targets top the WAC in receiving yards -- Ryan Grice-Mullen (120.0), Jason Rivers (95.4) and Davone Bess (94.0)

The Wolf Pack (5-4, 3-2) ranks ninth nationally in total offense at 494.4 yards a game.

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Re: Friday Football

What bettors need to know: Hawaii at Nevada

Brennan’s back

Hawaii star quarterback Colt Brennan returned to practice on Wednesday.

Brennan suffered a concussion in last Saturday’s 37-30 victory over Fresno State. The concussion caused Brennan to miss two practices this week and raised speculation he could miss Saturday’s tilt versus the Wolf Pack.

“If the game was today, I would say he would play,” Hawaii coach June Jones told reporters.

Brennan is 65-for-90 for more than 800 yards with seven touchdowns in two career meetings with the Wolf Pack. The senior also has more than 3,200 passing yards and 28 touchdowns against 12 interceptions this campaign overall.

“I’ve just got to hope that I continue to get better and feel good,” Brennan told reporters. “Hopefully Friday, I can get cleared. That's all I'm waiting for.”

Warriors shorthanded

Hawaii running back Kealoha Pilares is doubtful.

Hawaii is averaging 73.2 rushing yards per game, with Pilares averaging less than 40 yards. Pilares has three rushing touchdowns this season, while quarterback Brennan leads the Warriors with six.

“You know they're going to pass the ball,” Wolf Pack senior defensive back Damon Jenkins told the Sacramento Bee. “That's what makes this year a little like 2005. They're a little more predictable. Still tough to stop, but a little more one-dimensional.”

The Warriors have the second-ranked passing attack in the country, tallying more than 450 yards per contest. They have also scored 28 passing touchdowns this season and are averaging more than 50 points per contest.

“If we stick to our game plan and execute it like we did two years ago we can beat them,” Jenkins told reporters.

Wolf Pack on the attack

Everyone in the country is familiar with Hawaii’s potent aerial attack. Not many people, though, are aware of Nevada’s bruising ground assault.

“In any situation, any team you’re playing, they say the best defense is a good offense,” Wolf Pack center Dominic Green told the Reno Gazette-Journal. “That's where we try to pride ourselves on. Our main goal is time of possession the last four years, ever since Coach Ault and Coach K (offensive coordinator Chris Klenakis) came back. That's what any offense should try to do – keep the ball, keep your defense off the field and good things will happen.”

Wolf Pack running back Luke Lippincott leads the team with more than 1,200 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. Lippincott is also averaging more than 115 rushing yards per contest. He has also surpassed the 100-yard plateau six times this season and eight times in his collegiate career.

“We've got to try to run the clock and keep the ball as long as we can and score once we get into the red zone,” Lippincott told reporters.

Nevada is averaging an impressive 230 rushing yards per contest. It is also the only school in the conference averaging more than five yards per carry.

Hawaii, though, can be stifling on defense as well. The Warriors have allowed a meager 110 rushing yards per showing.

Crunching the numbers

Nevada holds a narrow 6-5 lead in the all-time series against Hawaii after losing 41-34 last season.

The Warriors have never beaten Nevada in Reno. Nevada is also a stunning 5-1 against the spread (ATS) at Mackay Stadium against teams with winning records.

Since the Wolf Pack joined the Western Athletic Conference in 2001 they have rotated wins and losses with the Warriors.

The home team has won every contest. It is also 5-1 ATS in the last six contests between Hawaii and Nevada.

Nevada is in contention for a third straight bowl bid, though head coach Chris Ault isn’t thinking past Friday’s matchup with the conference-leading Warriors.

“We'd better not be thinking about a bowl, we have Hawaii first,” Ault told reporters.

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