RENO, Nev. – In front of 1,063 fans at Mackay Stadium, the University of Nevada held its fan appreciation day on Saturday during its 16th practice of fall camp.
Head coach Brian Polian’s squad went through practice drills and a pair of 30 minute scrimmages under beautiful weather conditions and a great turnout by fans. Following the scrimmage, the Wolf Pack broke huddle by saying thank you to supporters and signing autographs.
“It’s a good change of scenery for us to be up in the stadium and have fans here,” said Polian, entering his second season at Nevada. “It brings an energy that a practice wouldn’t normally have. Also, I just appreciate the fact that we have fans that like to come out and interact with our guys. We appreciate that and want to take the time to let them know that.”
Junior running back Don Jackson – who broke free for a 20-yard touchdown scamper in the open field scrimmage – echoed similar sentiments.
“It’s really exciting to be out here in front of all the fans and feel the support from them,” said Jackson. “We talked about how it’s easier for fans to get to know basketball players because they can see their faces. Well, this is a great chance for us to interact with the fans and help them put names to faces.”
With just 14 days until the 2014 season opener, it was also important for the team to take positives away from a scrimmage that replicated game-like conditions. Polian pointed out ball security, the ground attack and defensive stops in the red zone as a few bright spots.
The scrimmage featured over 100 plays split nearly evenly to the first and second strings with the remaining going to the third team. On the last play of the day, senior quarterback Cody Fajardo broke free down the right sideline and nearly scored from 40 yards out before taking a knee on the one-yard line.
“It was a lot of good, some bad, but overall I’m pleased,” said Polian. “The guys you expect to play well – the Hekkings, the Yates – played well. We also saw some young guys make plays, and this is the closest we can come to prepare them for game-like situations, so that’s a positive too.”
With two weeks completed in fall camp and two weeks until a showdown with Southern Utah, senior receiver Richy Turner gave a positive outlook on the team’s progress.
“We’ve been pushing each other on both sides of the ball and the competition is great in a lot of areas here,” said Turner, the team’s leading receiver from 2013. “We’ve gotten a lot better this fall camp.”
Nevada will kick off its 2014 season on Saturday, Aug. 30, hosting Southern Utah at Mackay Stadium. Kickoff is set for noon (PT). For Nevada football ticket information, select the following link (http://www.nevadawolfpack.com/tickets/unv-m-footbl-tickets-home.html) or call 775-348-PACK.