Nevada football faces San Jose State in home finale Saturday | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Nevada football faces San Jose State in home finale Saturday

Joe Santoro
Nevada Appeal
Nevada's James Butler catches a passes for a long gain against Fresno State last season.
Gary Kazanjian / AP |

WOLF PACK GAME DAY

Nevada (5-4, 3-2) vs. San Jose State (4-5, 3-2)

Saturday, 1 p.m. at Mackay Stadium

Radio: 94.5 FM, 630 AM

The Nevada Wolf Pack isn’t prepared to bid farewell to its senior class.

“I’m not ready to say good-bye,” Wolf Pack football coach Brian Polian said this week. “I haven’t gotten into that mode of looking back yet. We still have a lot of football left.”

The Wolf Pack (5-4, 3-2) will play its final game at Mackay Stadium this year on Saturday, Nov. 14, against the San Jose State Spartans (4-5, 3-2) — kickoff is at 1 p.m. The game will be the last at home for a dozen seniors, including starters Don Jackson, Ian Seau, Rykeem Yates, Lenny Jones, Matthew Lyons, Jordan Dobrich and Bryan Lane.

“When you are a freshman they tell you that this time comes fast,” Jones said. “I just want to go out and enjoy it.”

The last three games of the regular season — Saturday against San Jose State and Nov. 21 at Utah State and Nov. 28 at San Diego State — also have great meaning to the Wolf Pack. The winner on Saturday will earn the inside track on second place in the West Division of the Mountain West and will keep alive its dream of catching San Diego State (5-0 in league play) for first place.

“It’s going to be a great battle for second place,” San Jose State coach Ron Caragher said. “Both teams are on the cusp of bowl eligibility. There’s a lot on the line.”

The Wolf Pack is indeed just one victory shy of becoming bowl eligible for the 10th time in the last 11 years. Nevada has lost its final home game of the year in each of the last three seasons. Its last win on Senior Day was in 2011 (over Idaho, 56-3) when Lane, Dobrich, Jones and Yates were all red-shirt freshmen.

The Wolf Pack has beaten San Jose State three times in its final home game of the year (1899, 1993 and 1995). The Pack, though, has had great success against the Spartans no matter when the game is played. Nevada has won six in a row against San Jose State, 11 out of the last 12 and 16 of the last 20. The Pack owns an 18-8-2 lead in the 116-year-old rivalry.

San Jose State is coming off a 17-16 loss to BYU last Friday. The Spartans went for two points after scoring a touchdown with 45 seconds to play but a halfback pass by Tyler Ervin missed the mark.

Ervin, a 5-foot-10, 177-pound senior, has rushed for 1,239 yards (second in the Mountain West to Wyoming’s Brian Hill at 1,327) and 12 touchdowns and has caught 34 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns. His 1,944 all-purpose yards leads the Mountain West.

The Wolf Pack will have to win its final three regular season games to have any chance at a West Division title and that might not even be enough. San Diego State would clinch the division title before it even plays the Pack on Nov. 28 if it beats Wyoming on Saturday and UNLV on Nov. 21.

Victories in the last three games will give the Pack eight wins in a season for the first time since it went 13-1 in 2010.