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November 30, 2013

The Final Regular Season Game for the Cougars

BYU is on the road for their final regular season home game as they venture to Reno to take on the Nevada Wolf Pack.

The Wolf Pack has a record of 4-7 on the season after winning their last home game against San Jose State two weeks ago. On the year, Nevada has a 4-1 record at home with their only loss coming against instate rival UNLV. Their other three home wins have come against UC Davis, Hawaii and Air Force.

Their other losses on the season have come at the hands of UCLA, Florida State, San Diego State, Boise State, Fresno State and Colorado State.

Nevada is coached by Brian Polian who is in his first year at the helm.

This is the ninth meeting between the two schools with BYU holding a 4-2-2 advantage. Nevada has won each of the last two meetings with the most current matchup being played back in 2010. On that day, the Wolf Pack beat the Cougars 27-13 in Provo.

The Nevada offense averages more than 435 yards and 27 points a game. Their offense is very balanced which is proven by the fact that they are averaging 246 yards through the air and 189 yards on the ground.

They are led by junior quarterback Cody Fajardo. Fajardo has completed 67.6 percent of his passes for 2374 yards and 12 touchdowns and only two interceptions. He is also very effective in the running game as well. So far this season, Fajardo has carried the ball 128 times for 602 yards and seven touchdowns.

Although the Nevada offense spreads the ball around quite a bit in the passing game, they do have three main weapons for Fajardo. The wide receiving core is led by senior Brandon Wimberly. He leads the team with 87 receptions for 872 yards and seven touchdowns.

Junior wide out Richy Turner also sees plenty of action in the passing game. He has caught 54 passes for 638 yards and four scores. The only other wide receiver who gets the ball on a consistent basis is junior Aaron Bradley. Bradley is third on the team with 39 receptions which have produced 463 yards and two touchdowns.

The rushing attack is led by junior running back Kendall Brock. He has carried the ball 171 times for 756 yards and nine touchdowns this season. He will be spelled by Don Jackson. Jackson has averaged a little more than 37 yards a contest and has scored four rushing touchdowns.

It is on the defensive side of the ball where Nevada often struggles. They are giving up an average of 506 yards and 35 points per game in 2013. That also is very balanced as the Wolf Pack D gives up an average of 246 yards on the ground and 260 through the air each game.

Players to watch out for on the Nevada defense are Line backers Jonathan McNeal, Matthew Lyons and Jordan Dobrich as well as defensive end Brock Hekking. McNeal leads the team with 94 tackles of which four were for loss. Lyons in second on the team with 78 tackles and also second in TFL's with six. Dobrich rounds out the line backers and is third on the team with 73 tackles.

Hekking is one of the best defensive players in the Mountain West from his defensive line spot. On the season, he has registered 46 tackles and leads the team with 13.5 TFL's and nine sacks. He has also forced two fumbles and intercepted a pass.

For BYU to be successful on Saturday, they will need to account for Hekking at all times or it will be a long day for the Cougars offensive line.


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