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The Nevada Wolf Pack have won two games in a row heading in a home date with the Colorado State Rams at Mackay Stadium on Saturday night. Nevada is coming off consecutive victories over Hawaii and San Diego State. The Rams, on the other hand, have dropped two straight at the hands of Boise State and Wyoming.
An off week probably came at just the right time for Colorado State. Safety Jordan Fogal practiced on a very limited basis during the off week. Head coach Mike Bobo expects defensive end Emmanuel Jones–who has missed the past two games after starting the previous five–to play against Nevada. Defensive lineman Jan-Phillip Bombek, who did start against Wyoming, However, the Rams will still be without starting guard Tyler Bjorklund (missed the past three games with a high ankle sprain).
— Colorado State Football (@CSUFootball) November 5, 2018
“I think the No. 1 thing was getting healed up,” Bobo said of last week’s plan. “We played the last two games without Emmanuel Jones. We were short some guys up front that were injured. If we would have played a game, Bombek would have been out, [Johnson] would have been out, Emmanuel Jones would have probably still been out. Really, getting guys healed up closer to full strength…. You’re never going to be at full strength.”
Senior receiver Olabisi Johnson was limited in practice earlier this week, is out. Johnson, the team’s second-leading pass-catcher, has 43 receptions for 601 yards and four touchdowns this season. He is also Colorado State’s primary punt returner, with 12 returns for 48 yards.
The ‘Pack is back
In what was surely one of the program’s biggest win in recent memory, Nevada defeated San Diego State 28-24 two weeks ago. With it the Wolf Pack snapped SDSU’s six-game winning streak and handed the Aztecs their first conference loss of the season. In turn, Nevada now finds itself tied for third in the Mountain West Conference with a 3-2 record. Head coach Jay Norvell has also picked up back-to-back wins for the first time in his Nevada tenure.
Senior quarterback Ty Gangi threw for 235 yards and two touchdowns while completing 53.5 percent of his passes against San Diego State. Freshman running back Devonte Lee scored once on the ground, while fellow freshman Toa Taua led the way in receiving with seven catches for 51 yards and a score.
The Nevada Wolf Pack are:
- 4-1 ATS in their last five overall
- 7-2 ATS in their last nine home games
- 5-1 ATS in their last six games against the Mountain West Conference
The Colorado State Rams are:
- 3-13 ATS in their last 16 overall
- 1-4 ATS in their last five road games
- 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games against the Mountain West Conference
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Not having Johnson could be a real problem for Colorado State. A three-year starter, he has 104 career receptions for 1,824 yards. Nikko Hall, a true freshman, will move into Johnson’s spot in the Rams’ starting lineup. This is not great news for a CSU squad that is going up against an extremely confident crew in Nevada.
Prediction: Nevada Wolf Pack
Full-Game Total Pick
The Rams have not been able to run the ball effectively this season, which could be a real problem now that Johnson is sidelined from the passing game. Running back Izzy Matthews is averaging a solid but unspectacular 4.1 yards per carry and has scored only three touchdowns. The under is 4-1 in the Wolf Pack’s last five overall, 5-1 in their last six against the Mountain West Conference, 17-7 in their last 24 against losing opponents, and 6-2 in their last eight following an off week. It is also 6-1 in the last seven meetings between the two teams. Look for this one to stay under the total.