Anyone who follows the University of Nevada Wolf Pack football team knows by now, the 2011 team is not on par with last season's 11th ranked team. At 1-2, the Wolf Pack travels to Idaho to face unbeaten Boise State in two days. The Broncos are a four TD favorite.
Nevada has made progress from a dismal week 1 performance against Oregon to last week's surprisingly strong showing against Texas Tech. Nevertheless, few expect Nevada to hang in with Boise State for very long on Saturday. It could be a very long day for the Wolf Pack.
It's easy to overlook players on a team that will likely be 1-3 come Sunday. QB's and RB's get most of the limelight, but it's the defense that will make or break Nevada. We know the Wolf Pack can rack up yards against anyone. The pistol offense gets most of the attention and press. But, there are some players on defense who deserve to be called out for spectacular play and who I think are showing that they have draft potential early in this campaign.
Brandon Marshall, a 6'1" 245 lb senior linebacker has been a star and has been in on 23 tackles. James Michael Johnson, another 6'2" 240 lb senior linebacker is impressive with 17 tackles. Brett Roy, a 6'4" 280 lb senior defensive end has been fantastic with 18 tackles. These three players have over 8 tackles for loss and have been really impressive to watch.
Khalid Wooten, a 6'0' 195 lb junior defensive back has been in 21 tackles. Other standout defensive players include Duke Williams a 6'1' 190 lb defensive back who has been in 15 tackles and had a key interception to seal the win against San Jose State.
Nevada will have its hands full on Saturday. But I would keep on eye on these backs. They are a treat to watch and if they keep up their spectacular play, we just might be watching them on Sundays soon.