Wow. Now, I know a few of you had to have watched the game tonight, and you all might have a hard time understanding the significance of it, but I’m here to tell you. It was something special. Even if I’m not the biggest fan of The Little General, I have to give him some major props for this win. Let’s face it, even last year, the Pack was terrible. And they certainly looked terrible at times this year. But the past few games, they have won in tough spots. Against Fresno State they played liek they gave a damn. Tonight, they played like they gave a damn.
I get it. We’re not Bigtime College Footballâ„¢ here. We’re, at best, a mid-major school who hopes to get invited to a bowl game because we really want a bit of exposure. But even if that’s that case, the Pack came out and played their asses off and got a win in that bowl game. Sure, the defense was suspect, even bad, tonight. But the offense looked as good as I’ve seen all year and that was the difference. They were able to rack up points seemingly at will, and that sure helps if your defense decides to take the game off. Like Joe Garcia did. All year I saw that guy allow big catch after big catch, and tonight seemed no different. Apparently, the coaching staff figured the media was smarter than their eyes, due to the fact that he somehow was named a First Team All WAC player. So they decided to put Garcia on the best receiver UCF had, and he looked completely overmatched. Here’s an idea: double team the dude. He killed Nevada tonight.
But Joe gets a pass (my God, no pun intended) from me on this one. Nevada won, so he’s forgiven. Plus, that’s it for the year. Joe, work on this in Spring Practice: turning to the ball when the receiver’s eyes get big. That is all.
Offensively, Nevada looked strong. And with the exception of one very ill-advised pass with a tie game and under a minute to go, Jeff Rowe looked pretty darn good. The analysts said good things about him, and he showed that he is a pretty versatile guy. He can scramble, and he made good passes tonight. There were several drops by receivers, including three by stud and Hawai’i guy Caleb Spencer (whom I think was a bit nervous), otherwise Rowe would have looked even better than his numbers. But the key to the win was Nevada’s ground game. Simply awesome. Both backs rolled up yardage and touchdowns for the victory. Backup Robert Hubbard, whom I consider better than starter B.J. Mitchell, scored three touchdowns for the second straight game. This is enormous for Nevada. They are showing a very formidable running game, which is something completely new. Nevada, for the past twenty years, produced passers and receivers. The runnign game consisted of draw plays and three yard gains up the middle. They actually have a running attack that can reach the corners and gain big yards. It’s the dawn of a new era here in Reno.
I had to go to bed, so this is written the next morning.
Winning the game on a missed extra point sucked. When Jeff Rowe cruised into the end zone in OT, I thought they had sewn it up. But UCF scored quickly to answer. I immediately thought that now that Nevada was on defense first, they’d have a better shot to win. But that never materialized. UCF’s kicker, who had made a few solid field goals earlier, but badly missed an easier one. As soon as the ball left his foot, I knew he’d missed it. I jumped up and yelled “He missed it!” Nobody could believe it. Nevada players poured onto the field and celebrated. UCF players looked like they had been punched in the gut. It would absolutely suck to lose a game in overtime because of a missed extra point. The easiest kick in the game should not cost anyone. Heck, they traded blows with Nevada. They were even. I feel badly for those players.
As I finish this, I am thinking of a few people I know that are involved with football. They spent the week in Hawai’i and were to fly back overnight. It’s now 9:45 am and they should have been home for a few hours now. One of them I know took his family with him, so they were able to be together, however difficult it was, through the week and on Christmas Eve. The other could not bring his family because of the difficulties, so I just hope he made it back in time for Christmas morning. And to all of you, I hope you enjoy your holiday. I’m off to Las Vegas for the week, which means I’ll probably write something while I’m there. Later.