Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010 | 11 p.m.
And neither of those Wolf Pack squads were as good as this year’s version. UNR is off to a 4-0 start after impressive non-conference victories against California and BYU entering its game against UNLV at 7 p.m. next Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium.
UNR beat BYU 27-13 in Provo on Saturday afternoon. It was a solid win, but nothing compared to its 52-31 shellacking of California last Thursday.
It’s a different position for the Wolf Pack to be in at this point of the season. In each of the past two years, UNR entered the Battle for Nevada with at least two defeats.
Senior quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has given the Rebels headaches in the past, led the Wolf Pack in the victory against the Golden Bears with five touchdowns. Kaepernick threw for two and rushed for three, compiling more than 300 yards of total offense.
He scored twice more against BYU, one rushing and one passing. Senior running back Vai Taua has assisted Kapernick in getting the Cougars rush offense ranked as third in the nation.
Taua has scored five touchdowns and averages 113 yards per game.
Defensively, UNR’s strength is rushing the passer. The Wolf Pack are in the top 25 nationally in sacks this season.
Junior linebacker James Michael-Johnson, a three-year starter, has been particularly tough for offenses to contain. Johnson leads the team in tackles and blitzes regularly to break up plays.
If UNLV loses, it will be its sixth consecutive year the Fremont Cannon stays in Reno. That has never happened before.