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Interview with a Packfan: biased Nevada insights

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For an expert's take on the Nevada Wolf Pack, we brought in the biggest Nevada fan we could find who was not glued to a nickel slot machine. Put your hands together for Packfan!

The ruler of Nevada blog Pistol Whipping the WAC (our blog bet partner this week) hits us with some knowledge on this week's matchup between his Wolf Pack and our Broncos. And it should be noted that we hit back. Packfan answered some questions for our site, and we answered some questions for his. Safe to say, his questions were a lot tougher and more pointed:

True or false: It makes you nervous that Nevada has as much young talent starting as Boise does.

How are we supposed to answer that? Without laughing, we mean.

Head on over to PWtW for the full transcript of our answers, after you've had your fill of Packfan's Nevada knowledge below. What a friendly little rivalry we've started between ourselves (ed's note: we hate him with a passion).

OBNUG: Can Colin Kaepernick be stopped or can the Bronco defense only hope to contain him?

PWtW: He can be contained to a near stop, but it's going to be at the expense of some yardage from Vai Taua. Kaepernick does appear to play differently depending on emotion, as discussed by a number of Nevada fans. For example: when sitting out against Utah St. he was visibly angry on the side lines. He then came in and ran for a long TD on his first play in, after Nevada's offense had been stalling through the first quarter.

I guess what I'm saying is that your theory of "Colin hates the Broncos and saves his best games for them" will be tested this weekend. If he comes out like a man possessed, you are in trouble.

People in Boise are scared about Nevada's offense and run defense. What are people in Reno scared of? Besides self-aware Keno machines.

People are afraid of QB's who can pass to good WR's. Sort of like exactly what you have in Boise. For a couple of years now it seems that Nevada corners have often been in position to make plays but have forgotten to turn around and intercept or knock down the ball. It's been very frustrating to watch.

I think some fans are worried about a cheap shot on Colin. I don't believe that will happen, though. Peterson has too much class to allow it, and I don't believe Bronco players are dirty.

What is the atmosphere surrounding this game like in Reno at this very moment?

There are a lot of high hopes and big expectations. People are excited that the game has sold out. They are excited to be playing a Top 10 team in their home stadium. And there are a lot of people who are holding onto last year's game coupled with the team's recent success as hope and reason to feel like this year will be much different than 2006 when Boise celebrated on Mackay with sombreros. It feels a lot more like a big rivalry game than in recent years.

Is the Nevada defense better than San Jose State's defense?

Yes, right now in Week 11. It's hard to say are they better now than San Jose when the Spartans played Boise. If you asked that question during that week, the answer would have been no. Taking the entire season into account, the answer would have to be no based on statistics. Nevada's defense has played solid along the front line all year and the numbers are not just a result of teams passing all game long. The secondary absolutely has struggled badly at times.

Could you, Packfan, do a better job as a Wolf Pack cover corner than whoever is doing the job currently?

Absolutely not. Well, if I jammed the receiver at the line hard, maybe I could at least alter their route....uhhh, NO I could not.

Talk to us about Vai Taua. Why is he good? Where was he before? How do you pronounce his last name?

Vai is a tremendous back. He runs hard, and has a bit of shake-and-bake to him, but doesn't dance around behind the line. He picks a lane and goes. He's got a low center of gravity and doesn't often go down on first contact. He helps to sell the fake very well on the option keep.

Last season he came in thinking that college football would be like high school football and he could just cruise though. He left the team, then realized what a bad move he was making and talked Ault into letting him rejoin the group. He got into a few games and then got injured and was out for the rest of the season. With the job Luke was doing and the injury and the issues to start the season, he just wasn't that big a part of the offense.

His last name is pronounced Tao (like the nightclub in Vegas) ah. Taw-a.

Word association:


  • Pistol. Explosive

  • Lippincott. Leader

  • New Mexico State. Embarrassing

  • Prepubescent quarterbacks. Moore

  • Ian Johnson. Team player

  • Jeremy Avery. Potential

  • WAC championship. 2009

  • Poinsettia Bowl. Maybe

  • Humanitarian Bowl. Hurricanes

  • Chris Ault. Lil General

  • OBNUG. Hilarious / Fun


Read more: Pistol Whipping the WAC [PWtW]