Radio: 1520 AM. Online: ESPN3.
Last time out: Nevada was routed by 17th-ranked Texas A&M, 44-27. UB’s defense scored 23 points in a 33-15 win at Florida Atlantic.
Trending: Nevada was picked to finish third out of six in the West Division of the Mountain West Conference, which is slightly better than the Mid-American Conference. When UB lost to San Diego State, 49-20, in the Idaho Potato Bowl two years ago, it was clear the Aztecs were more athletic than the Bulls. The MWC was 7-1 vs. the MAC the previous three years. However, San Diego State lost at South Alabama last week. The Aztecs are the MWC West favorite this year. South Alabama is a bottom-feeder in the Sun Belt Conference, which isn’t quite as good as the MAC. Bottom line: This game is a fair fight, but expect Nevada to show a little more overall team speed than UB.
Stat check: Before last week’s comeback win, UB was 1-39 since 2009 when trailing at halftime. . . . It’s a 2,125-mile trip from Reno, Nev., to Buffalo, which makes this the sixth-longest road trip any FBS team will make this season within the continental United States.
Star gazing: Nevada has a first-year starting QB, Tyler Stewart (No. 15), who’s 6-4 and 220. He has a big arm and some mobility. The Wolf Pack runs the Pistol offense, a single-back attack in which the QB lines up 4 yards behind the center and the RB is 3 yards directly behind the QB. Nevada has two good RBs in Don Jackson (6) and James Butler (20). The most dangerous wideout is 6-5 Hassan Henderson (12). . . . On defense the Wolf Pack is led by DEs Ian Seau (8) and Lenny Jones (94). DT Rykeem Yates (55) is a load. Nevada has four new starters in the defensive backfield, and the coaches hinted at a lineup shakeup this week. If UB can pass protect, it could have opportunities for big plays downfield. . . . Country artist Eric Paslay plays the Tailgate Concert Series at 1:30 p.m.
At stake: Expectations this season are a bit higher for Nevada than UB. A win by the Bulls would qualify as a “steal.” Win or lose, UB needs to get its offense back on track in advance of next week’s showdown with high-powered Bowling Green.
Prediction: Nevada 26, UB 19.