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Nevada Wolf Pack
NevadaWolfPack.png
First season 1896
Athletic director Cary Groth
Head coach Chris Ault
24th year, 206–96–1  (.682)
Other staff Chris Klenakis (OC)
Nigel Burton (DC)
Home stadium Mackay Stadium
Year built 1966
Stadium capacity 29,993
Stadium surface FieldTurf (2000- )
Natural grass (1966-99)
Location Reno, Nevada
League NCAA Division I FBS
Conference WAC
Past conferences
All-time record 491–434–34 (.530)
Postseason bowl record 3–7
Conference titles 13
  • Far West Conference 1932, 1933, 1939
  • Big Sky Conference 1983, 1986, 1990, 1991
  • Big West Conference 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997
  • Western Athletic Conference 2005
Consensus All-Americans 27 Division I FCS (0 Division I FBS)
Colors Cobalt Blue and Silver              
Fight song Hail to our Sturdy Team
Mascot Alphie and Wolfie Jr.
Marching band Pride of the Sierra
Website Nevada Wolf Pack

The University of Nevada, Reno (commonly referred to as Nevada in athletics) football program that competes in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) at the Football Bowl Subdivision level of the NCAA. Nevada's current head coach is Chris Ault, in his third stint for the Wolf Pack.

The Wolf Pack's home field is Mackay Stadium in Reno, which opened in October 1966 with a seating capacity of 7,500. After several expansions, the stadium currently seats 31,000. The playing field sits at an elevation of 4610 feet (1405 m) above sea level. Originally natural grass, it was replaced with FieldTurf in 2000, and permanent lighting was added in 2003.[1]

Contents

Bowl games

On November 26, 2005, the Nevada Wolf Pack football team clinched a share of its first WAC championship, along with Boise State, by pulling off an upset against 16th-ranked Fresno State. A month later, it won the Hawaiʻi Bowl by defeating Central Florida 49-48 in overtime. The Nevada football program has won a total of thirteen conference championships, seven in the 1990s. In 2006, the Wolf Pack achieved a record of 8-5 including a one-point loss in the MPC Computers Bowl to the Miami Hurricanes. The 2006 MPC Computers Bowl would be the second bowl game in which Nevada would lose by one point. Nevada lost 35-34 to Bowling Green State in the 1992 Las Vegas Bowl.

Nevada's two other bowl wins outside of their 2005 Hawaii Bowl win over UCF came in 1948, and 1996. Nevada would beat North Texas 13-6 in the 1948 Salad Bowl, and would defeat Ball State by a score of 18-15 in the 1996 Las Vegas Bowl.

Date Bowl W/L Opponent PF PA
January 1, 1948 Salad Bowl W North Texas 13 6
January 1, 1949 Harbor Bowl L Villanova 7 27
December 18, 1992 Las Vegas Bowl L Bowling Green 34 35
December 14, 1995 Las Vegas Bowl L Toledo 37 40*
December 18, 1996 Las Vegas Bowl W Ball State 18 15
December 24, 2005 Hawaiʻi Bowl W Central Florida 49 48*
December 31, 2006 MPC Computers Bowl L Miami (FL) 20 21
December 22, 2007 New Mexico Bowl L New Mexico 0 23
December 30, 2008 Humanitarian Bowl L Maryland 35 42
December 24, 2009 Hawai'i Bowl L SMU 10 45
Total 10 bowl games 3–7 *=overtime

1923 Cal game

A game that will always be remembered in Nevada football history was the improbable 0-0 tie against California in 1923. Cal entered the game in the midst of a 50-game undefeated streak, 4 consecutive conference championships, and two consecutive Rose Bowl appearances. The team was so dominant it was known as the "Wonder Team." [2] The fact that the Wolf Pack, a much smaller program from a lower division, held powerhouse Cal scoreless makes this final score one of the most interesting in college football history.

NCAA Records

In the 2009 football season, the University of Nevada became the only team in NCAA football history to have 3 players break a 1,000 yards rushing during the same season. The 3 players to accomplish this feat for the Wolf Pack were running backs Luke Lippincott and Vai Taua along with quarterback Colin Kaepernick.[3]

Longest Punt - 99 - Pat Brady, Nevada (FBS) vs. Loyola Marymount 1950

Most Yards Receiving Career - 5,005 - Trevor Insley (1996-99)

Most Yards Receiving Season - 2,060 - Trevor Insley (1999)

Highest Average Receiving Yards Per Game, Career - 160.8 - 140.9 - Alex Van Dyke (1994-95)

Highest Average Receiving Yards Per Game, Season - 187.3 - Trevor Insley (1999)

Most Games Gaining 100 Receiving Yards or More Career - 26 - Trevor Insley (1996-99)

Most Games Gaining 200 Receiving Yards or More - 6 - Trevor Insley (1999)

Most Consecutive Games Gaining 200 Receiving Yards or More - 3 - Trevor Insley (1999)

  • tied with Howard Twilley of Tulsa (1965)

Most Receiving Yards Gained in a Game Without Scoring a Touchdown - 326 - Nate Burleson, Nevada vs. San Jose St. (2001)

I-AA history

Nevada moved up to Division I-A in 1992 when it joined the Big West Conference. The Wolf Pack had competed in Division I-AA since the formation of that division in 1978, moving up from Division II. Before joining the Big Sky Conference in 1979, Nevada competed in the Far West conference, and as a Division II independent in football.[4] Nevada competed in the Division I-AA playoffs in its first two seasons, when just four teams were selected. They returned to the national semi-finals in 1983 and 1985, when the playoffs included 12 teams, and 1986 with a 16 team field. The Wolf Pack reached the national championship game in 1990, and the quarterfinals in 1991.[5] In its 14 years in Division I-AA, Nevada made the playoffs seven times, and went undefeated during the regular season three times (1978, 1986, 1991), compiling an overall record of 122-47-1 (.720). Nevada would record a record of 9-7 in the Division I-AA Playoffs during their time in the Big Sky Conference. In 13 years of Big Sky membership, the Wolf Pack won four conference titles (1983, 1986, 1990, 1991). The Wolf Pack won the Big West title in its first year in Division I-A in 1992.

Nevada I-AA (FCS) Playoff History
  • 1978 Semi-Final: vs. Massachusetts L-21-44
  • 1979 Semi-Final: @ Eastern Kentucky L-30-33 (2OT)
  • 1983 1st Round: @ Idaho State W-27-20
  • 1983 Quarterfinal: vs. North Texas W-20-17 (2OT)
  • 1983 Semi-Final: @ Southern Illinois L-7-23
  • 1985 1st Round: vs. Arkansas State W-24-23
  • 1985 Quarterfinal: @ Furman L-12-35
  • 1986 1st Round: vs. Idaho W-27-7
  • 1986 Quarterfinal: vs. Tennessee State W-33-6
  • 1986 Semi-Final: vs. Georgia Southern L-38-48
  • 1990 1st Round: vs. Louisiana- Monroe W-27-14
  • 1990 Quarterfinal: vs. Furman W-42-35 (3OT)
  • 1990 Semi-Final: vs. Boise State W-59-52 (3OT)
  • 1990 Championship: @. Georgia Southern L-13-36
  • 1991 1st Round: vs. McNeese State W-22-16
  • 1991 Quarterfinal: vs. Youngstown State L-28-30


I-AA (FCS) Playoff Record: 9 Wins, 7 Losses

Move to I-A

The change from Division I-AA to Division I-A brought a lot of excitement to Wolf Pack fans. In 1991, Nevada's final season in Division I-AA, the Wolf Pack recorded what still stands as the biggest comeback in Division I NCAA Football history when they defeated Weber State 55-49, after trailing by 35 points in the second half. Backup quarterback Chris Vargas led a second half Nevada comeback of 41 unanswered points to win the game. After the game, Vargas was given the nickname, "The Comeback Kid," and would become one of the greatest quarterbacks to play for the Wolf Pack.

In 1992, Nevada became the first NCAA Football team to win a conference championship in its first Division I-A season. Nevada won the 1992 Big West Conference title after beating Utah State in the final conference game of the season. Led by Vargas again coming off the bench, Nevada came from behind late in the 4th quarter to win, 48-47.

Nevada has a long standing rivalry with Boise State from the Western Athletic Conference. The rivalry with Boise State does not seem to contain the same amount of bitterness as Nevada's rivalry against UNLV. However, some of the most important games in the history of both programs have been played against each other. In 1990 the Wolf Pack won what is still thought of by many fans to be the most important and thrilling victory in Nevada Football history. In the 1990 season Nevada would win the Big Sky Championship with an overall season record of 13-2. Nevada's only regular season loss was a 30-14 conference loss to the Broncos in Boise, Id. Nevada and Boise would both go on to the Division I-AA Playoffs. Both teams would meet in the 1990 Division I-AA Semi-Finals in Reno for a rematch of their earlier battle that year. With the winner obviously going to the championship, the game would take 3 overtime sessions to find a winner. Nevada Fullback Ray Whalen scored the decisive touchdown in the third overtime with an 8 yard run into the endzone. Nevada's defense would hold Boise after the score on Boise's turn during the alternating overtime sessions. That would be the second game in a row that Nevada played were they would need 3 overtime periods to finish the game. Nevada had defeated Furman the week prior in a triple overtime game. There has been no other game played between the two teams that has taken place in the post-season up to date. Nevada would go on to lose to Georgia Southern by a score of 36-13 in Statesboro, Ga.

On October 14, 2007, the Wolf Pack and the Boise State Broncos would play in yet another historic game to set a new NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision record for total points scored with 136. Boise State won the game 69-67 in the second half of the fourth overtime period, when Broncos LB Tim Brady tripped up Nevada's freshman QB Colin Kaepernick on the mandatory two point conversion attempt.

Nevada was invited to play the Maryland Terrapins in the 2008 Humanitarian Bowl on December 30, 2008. The Wolf Pack would finish the 2008 regular season tied for second place in the WAC, with a record of 7-5 and 5-3 in the WAC. Nevada would trail Louisiana Tech 31-14 with 1:30 left in the 3rd quarter, only to come from behind in the final game of the regular season to win 35-31. The victory all but stamped a bowl invitation for Nevada. The 2008 Humanitarian Bowl will be a team record 4 straight bowl games for the Nevada football team.

Nevada currently holds an 20-15 series lead against arch rival UNLV. The two schools battle annually on the gridiron for the Fremont Cannon, the largest and most expensive trophy in college athletics. The game was played only four times in the 1980s, but has been played every year since 1989. The Wolf Pack won the 2009 game by a score of 63-28 in Reno, Nevada. The 63 points scored by Nevada is the highest amount scored by either team in a single game, in the history of the rivalry.

Nevada's football program has had 40 All-Americans, and has had a total of 45 All-America Selections. Nevada has also had three players or coaches inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. They are coach Chris Ault, running back Frank Hawkins (1977-80), and former coach Buck Shaw. Fullback Marion Motley is the only Nevada player to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Three-time Super Bowl Champion Charles Mann played for Nevada from 1979 to 1982 and was named Most Valuable Defensive Lineman in 1982 [6]. Mann was inducted into the Nevada Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995[7]. Another Nevada alumnus with a long career in the NFL was free safety Brock Marion. He was selected in the seventh round of the 1993 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys; where he played most of his career, and won two Super Bowls. Marion was selected to three Pro-Bowls, and one All- Pro team.

Nevada's Past Conference Championship Seasons
  • Season-Conference-Record (Con. Record)
  • 1932 Far West 3-3-2 (2-0-1)
  • 1933 Far West 4-4-0 (3-0-0)
  • 1939 Far West 5-4-0 (3-0-0)
  • 1983 Big Sky 9-5-0 (6-1-0)
  • 1986 Big Sky 13-1-0 (7-0-0)
  • 1990 Big Sky 13-2-0 (7-1-0)
  • 1991 Big Sky 12-1-0 (8-0-0)
  • 1992 Big West 7-5-0 (5-1-0)
  • 1994 Big West 9-2-0 (5-1-0)
  • 1995 Big West 9-3-0 (6-0-0)
  • 1996 Big West 9-3-0 (4-1-0)
  • 1997 Big West 5-6-0 (4-1-0)
  • 2005 WAC 9-3-0 (7-1-0)

References

External links

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