RENO, NV - With the biggest game in recent Wolf Pack history coming up Friday, Reno is turning blue with excitement.
At the weekly meeting of the Quarterback Club at the Peppermill, a crowd of boosters, many of them fans since they attended the university, hear Coach Chris Ault tell them Boise State is the best team they've faced in recent years and the Pack will have to "play its best game to win."
Across town a crew from American Sign is changing the two thousand plus light bulbs on the Reno arch to blue. The switch is made shortly after 5:30pm Monday.
There's a lot of anticipation, even some measured optimism, in the room. To a person those boosters we talk with predict a close game, but a Nevada win.
Everyone agrees this game, pitting the 18th ranked Pack against number four Boise State, represents a high point in Nevada history, perhaps even a launching pad to bigger things.
Turning the arch blue was Mayor Bob Cashell's idea. The city is also said to be working on a pep rally.
The game may be just what Reno needs at this moment. Deep in the economic recession with unemployment still standing above 12 percent, the game gives the town something to cheer about.
The thousands of loyal Bronco fans who will fill up local hotels and casinos won't hurt either.
The lights and labor were donated, and the lights are expected to stay blue at least until after Friday's game versus Boise.