No. 22 Wildcats Face Nevada Wolf Pack on the Road


Sep 13, 2014; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats wide receiver Cayleb Jones (1) celebrates a touchdown with wide receiver Austin Hill (29) during the fourth quarter against the Nevada Wolf Pack at Arizona Stadium. Arizona won 35-28. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Not too much has changed for the No.22 Arizona Wildcats coming into the 2015 season.

Although they picked up a 42-32 victory against the UTSA Roadrunners last week, it ended up being another close call for the Wildcats. According to the AP, it was the 10th time in 14 games that Arizona played a game that was decided by 10 or fewer points.

A win is a win though. The Wildcats will take it and move on to Nevada this week. Arizona makes their first visit to Reno since 1924. They have faced the Wolf Pack five times in the past and are 3-1-1 in the series.

These two teams faced each other in the memorable 2012 New Mexico Bowl where Arizona beat Nevada 49-48 after scoring two touchdowns in the final 46 seconds of the game.

Last year, the Wolf Pack traveled to Tucson and lost to Arizona in another close game. The Wildcats came out on top by a touchdown, 35-28.

So, it’s fair to say that it’s always a competitive fight between these two teams. From the 2012 bowl game to last season’s seven-point difference, the Wildcats can’t take Nevada too lightly.

Both teams come into Saturday’s contest with a win under their belts. The Wolf Pack beat UC Davis last week 31-17 at home in Reno.

Perhaps the biggest news to come out of last week’s game for the Wildcats was the loss of linebacker Scooby Wright III, who left the game in the first quarter with a left knee injury.

After the game, it was announced that Wright underwent an arthroscopic surgery to repair torn cartilage in his knee and he will be out three to four weeks. 

Senior Haden Gregory is penciled to replace Wright while he is out. Gregory has appeared in seven games for the Wildcats. He had four tackles and two pass breakups last week.

The Wildcats will have to come up with a new defensive game plan against the Wolf Pack with Wright unavailable this time around. Last year, Wright picked up 14 of his 163 sacks against Nevada.

In that game though, the Wolf Pack put the pressure on the Arizona defense. They picked up a total of 429 yards and, after trailing by one score at halftime, tied the game at 21 in the third quarter.

But Arizona answered back. Picking up another touchdown in the third and one more in the fourth to seal the deal.

Quarterback Anu Solomon threw for 278 yards and three touchdowns in the game.

Nick Wilson ran for 171 yards, had a pair of touchdowns and gave Arizona a 100-yard rusher for the 20th straight game, tied for longest in the FBS since 1996, according to ESPN.  Solomon finished 22-of-26 passing and threw two second-half touchdown passes to Cayleb Jones, who had nine catches for 116 yards.

For the Wildcats, Saturday’s contest will be their first road trip of the season. Last year, they went 4-1 on the road. They beat two Top 25 teams, including the then- No.2 Oregon Ducks on October 2.