The Silver and Blue pigskinners won 20-13 in what can best be described as a defensive gem by most football fans. With the long layoffs since their last regular season games both teams seemed a little unsure on offense. The usually potent Pack parade of touchdowns was cut short as both Colin Kaepernick and Vai Taua had subpar performances compared to their season averages.
Quarterback Kaepernick had trouble turning the corner, which usually results in long gains and most of the time in TDs. Taua hit the middle of the line with his usual gusto but the behemoth Boston College front stopped him repeatedly. Boston College’s Luke Kuechly was an unbelievable force on defense as he made tackles all over the field. An early Kaepernick pass was picked off and enabled BC to score the first touchdown.
Highlight of the game and the event that proved to be the difference in the final score was the 72-yard punt return for a TD by Nevada’s Rishard Matthews.
In talking to some former Nevada coaches and players after the game they all agreed that a lengthy time off always benefits the defense rather than the offense. Their rationale is that the offense, particularly on timing pass plays, can be split seconds off, which results in incompletions or interceptions. The defense on the other hand has several weeks to study film on the upcoming opponent and can set their defense to counter any play that is called. To its credit, the Nevada defense was just as effective, maybe more, as the BC defense. They completely shut down the Eagles running game and routinely harassed the young freshman quarterback, Chase Rettig. In fact, the game was not finally decided until the last minutes when the Nevada defense made a spectacular interception to seal the victory.
Several days after the contest, head coach Chris Ault was asked to coin a phrase that best described the 2010 Wolf Pack and without hesitation he said, “Dream team.” It was an apt description of the 13-1 record compiled by this squad and it could easily have been 14-0 except for a tragic but correct call in the game against Hawaii, the team’s only loss.
For the upcoming season of Nevada football it might be a blessing that it was forced to stay in the WAC another year before joining the Mountain West Conference in 2012. This year will be a bit of a rebuilding one for coach Ault as he breaks in a new quarterback and starting running back. Also, with the departure of Boise State from the WAC, Ault might have a strong shot at taking the conference crown all by himself instead of sharing it like in 2010.
Raggio to be feted by G.O.D.
Reno’s Good Old Days Club will be presenting its annual “Community Hero” award to retired State Sen. Bill Raggio next Friday, Jan. 21, at its regular monthly luncheon meeting at the Tamarack Junction Casino, 13101 S. Virginia St. Raggio will be joining a select group of previous winners that include Tad Dunbar, Link Piazzo and Betty Stoddard Muncie.
In announcing the selection of Raggio as this year’s nominee, G.O.D club founder Bob Carroll noted, “It is very appropriate that we selected Sen. Raggio for the honor. The nominating committee actually presented his name prior to the senator announcing his retirement. The fact that he is stepping down after some 56 years of outstanding public service probably makes it even more fitting that we should honor such an outstanding career. When I first arrived here in 1958, Bill Raggio was winning his first election as district attorney for Washoe County. I learned that he had been an assistant district attorney for the past six years and it was my pleasure to interview him on many occasions during the next 12 years he served as DA. I recall that in those days he was always in the headlines and a driving force for many improvements in the DA’s office. After his election to the state Senate I often had the opportunity for on-air interviews as he completed his record setting 38 years in the capitol city.”
Carroll went on to say that he expects a record crowd to be on hand for the Friday meeting and he urged both members and non-members of the GOD club to make early reservations with club treasurer Bill Berrum at 775-787-1663 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Harry Spencer is a freelance writer in Reno. His column about the past and present of northern Nevada appears weekly in the Tribune.
Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in Harry Spencer’s column are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Tribune.