Nevada Wolf Pack Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Nevada season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
Nevada Wolf Pack Preview
Head Coach: Ken Wilson, 1st year at Nevada
2021 Preview: Overall: 8-5, Conference: 5-3
Offense, Defense Breakdown | Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Nevada Top 10 Players | Nevada Schedule
Nevada Wolf Pack Preview 2022
There are overhauls, and there’s what Nevada has to go though.
You’ll have to forgive the program if it feels a tad bit disrespected. It’s one thing to lose your head coach to some big massive job, but Jay Norvell took off for Colorado State. It might have been a decent pay day and a difference in facilities, but that’s staying in house.
Worse than that, in a transfer portal world he took a whole lot of key players with him to Fort Collins.
In comes Ken Wilson, a first time head coach who lived Nevada football as a key assistant – and working partly in the athletic director’s office – for over 20 years before spending in the Pac-12 as linebacker coach for Washington State and then Oregon.
He has a total overhaul to deal with, there are wholesale changes on both sides of the ball, and the transfer portal will make this one of the most inexperienced teams in the country – at least when it comes to returning starters.
Don’t get comfortable with too many positions here. It’s going to take all fall camp to get everything in place.
Nevada Wolf Pack Preview 2022: Offense
The offense bombed away last year with QB Carson Strong and WR Romeo Doubs forming one of the most dangerous combinations in the country. The O was sixth in the nation in passing, didn’t turn the ball over that much, and managed to do a whole lot of big things including a 52-10 win over that Colorado State team. There will still be a passing game, but …
The Wolf Pack won’t even come close to the 4,511 yards and 38 touchdowns of last year. Nate Cox was the No. 2 man last year, and the 6-9, 225-pounder gave it a run in the bowl clunker against Western Michigan, but on the way is dangerous Oklahoma State transfer Shane Illingworth, a big bomber who’ll get every shot at taking over.
Doubs, TE Cole Turner, new San Jose State Spartan Justin Lockhart, and Colorado State Rams Tory Horton and Melquan Stovall combined for 285 catches for close to 2,300 yards and 29 touchdowns. But all is not lost.
Nevada got BJ Casteel from Arizona – he came up with 90 catches in four years in Tucson – and added TE Cooper Shults from Oregon among other new transfers to fill in with a few decent veterans.
The ground attack should be used a bit more with all-around talent Toa Taua back for his fifth year. He and Devonte Lee form one of the Mountain West’s better – and more experienced – 1-2 punches.
Now the O line has to go to work. Aaron Frost is the one key holdover at one guard spot, but this is going to be all about the transfer portal working into the starting five mix.
Nevada Wolf Pack Preview 2022: Defense
The defense had a whole lot of nice parts, and now they’re almost all gone. The pass rush was great, there were plenty of takeaways, and there were times when this group did more than just hold serve. Just a few starters are back, but this is a surprisingly veteran defense full of upperclassmen.
Dom Peterson is one of the best returning players in the Mountain West. The four-year producer at tackle will play more of an end in the 4-2-5 style with decent bulk inside around 310-pound Liberty transfer William Green.
The linebacking corps needs the transfers to help the cause. There’s not a lot of returning experience and little to no size. On the plus side, this group can move, and no one head coach Ken Wilson knows how to coach up the linebackers.
The secondary got a big signing with Michigan transfer Darion Warren-Green came over. He’s got one corner job all to himself, and the safety trio of Tyson Williams, Bentlee Sanders and JoJuan Claiborne might be the team’s big early strength.