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Wolf Pack welcomes Idaho State for home opener Saturday

Nevada looking to avenge 2017 loss to Bengals
Nevada looking to avenge 2017 loss to Bengals(KOLO)
Published: Sep. 6, 2021 at 5:22 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Go 1-0 every week.

It’s a motto the Nevada football team has boasted for years. So far, so good this season after the Wolf Pack’s 22-17 win over Cal.

Up next the Silver and Blue has a chance to go 1-0 Saturday in the team’s home opener against Idaho State. The matchup comes one week after a number of FBS teams got upset at home against FCS programs.

“We respect (Idaho State) as a program,” said Wolf Pack Head Coach Jay Norvell. “We respect their talent and their competitive nature. We expect them to come in and play great.”

Respect for preparation is something Norvell said was not there in 2017 when Idaho State came to Mackay Stadium and beat Nevada 30-28. The Wolf Pack hopes to not be caught off guard this time.

Idaho State lost its season opener to North Dakota 35-14 this past weekend. The Bengals are led by Wyoming transfer quarterback Tyler Vandel Waal who competed against Nevada in the 2019 contest in Laramie.

As for the Pack, junior quarterback Carson Strong is fresh off of a performance in Berkeley where he earned Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week honors. He will get to play inside Mackay Saturday in front of fans for the first time since November 30, 2019.

“(This team is) very appreciative to play in front of fans after last season,” Norvell said of 2020′s COVID year where fans weren’t allowed inside Mackay Stadium. “You can’t take things for granted. These games are so few and far between.”

Nevada will also bring awareness to mental health this weekend. The Pack will wear a green ribbon decal on their helmets for National Suicide Prevention Week.

Senior Bentlee Sanders brought the cause up in a team meeting after his sister died from suicide.

“I can’t tell you as a head coach how many kids have sat in my office and talked about thinking about taking their life,” Norvell said. “It’s very humbling. A lot of people are struggling out there and we just want them to know you are not alone.”

Norvell says his players will wear the ribbon decal for the rest of September, but that could be extended after a talk with the team at the end of the month.

Kickoff from Mackay Stadium is set for 7:30 pm Saturday.

The game will be broadcasted on Stadium.

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