The Nevada football team held its Spring Sneak Peak open scrimmage on Saturday afternoon, capping its spring camp with an entertaining controlled scrimmage in front of a solid crowd at Bishop Manogue High School. The Wolf Pack’s offense was victorious, 53-49.
Due to renovations at Mackay Stadium, Nevada was unable to hold its traditional on-site Silver and Blue Spring Game. Rain in the forecast Saturday held off and Nevada made solid plays on both sides of the ball, allowing the Pack to entertain about 600 fans for its 15th and final spring practice of the year.
Nevada’s offense overturned a halftime deficit and prevailed, 53-49. Returning 14 starters and a core group of last year’s team that won the 2015 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl, Nevada will now eye its upcoming 2016 season with excitement.
“We’re thankful that the rain held off and we’re thankful to all the fans and the band that came out today,” said head coach Brian Polian, who enters his fourth season at the helm after guiding the program to consecutive bowl appearances. “It was a fun atmosphere here and this game was a good way to put a bow on spring ball.”
Junior James Butler – who rushed for 1,342 yards last season and earned honorable mention All-Mountain West honors – led the Pack with a pair of touchdown runs engineered by senior QB Tyler Stewart’s drives. Nevada’s offensive highlights included senior WR Hasaan Henderson’s 11-yard touchdown reception in the corner of the end zone, sophomore RB Blake Wright’s 65-yard touchdown rush and redshirt freshman QB Christian Solano’s 30-yard touchdown run. Senior PK Brent Zuzo hit a 52-yard field as time expired to clinch the offense’s victory.
The Wolf Pack’s defensive performance was highlighted by three turnovers in the scrimmage. Redshirt freshman DB EJ Muhammad intercepted a screen pass and returned it 15 yards for a touchdown, junior DB Kendall Johnson recovered a fumble on the goal line and sophomore DB Dameon Baber intercepted a pass in the fourth quarter. Nevada’s defense notched four sacks on the day, led by junior DE Patrick Choudja and sophomore DE Malik Reed.
Nevada’s offense scored five touchdowns and one field goal in 14 drives, while the Pack defense forced three turnovers and five punts.
“We made some good plays today and some bonehead plays, but that’s spring football, especially when you’re rotating people in and out at the tempo we did,” said Polian. “Overall, I’m pleased with the performance and that we came away healthy. We’re looking forward to heading into the next phase of the year now, which will be more strength and conditioning and a focus on academics as we close the spring semester.”
Polian and the Wolf Pack will now set their sights on the 2016 season, which begins on Sept. 3 at the to-be newly renovated Mackay Stadium. Season tickets are on sale for the upcoming season. Due to a high demand in the newly renovated sections, seats are limited. Call (775) 348-PACK for additional season ticket information.
Nevada Press Release