Nevada Wolf Pack's Loss to Hawaii Warriors: The Untold Story

Michael PatmasCorrespondent IIIOctober 20, 2010

LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 02:  Quarterback Colin Kaepernick #10 of the Nevada Reno Wolf Pack looks to pass against the  UNLV Rebels in the third quarter of their game at Sam Boyd Stadium October 2, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nevada Reno won 44-26.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Nevada's loss to Hawaii cost the Wolf Pack their Top 25 ranking. Much has been written about their poor performance.

QB Colin Kaepernick took the blame for the loss in a widely publicized mea culpa. In all fairness, Hawaii played very well and Nevada looked strangely disoriented.

Kaepernick was quoted as saying, "We just didn't play like ourselves." It wasn't until late in the third quarter that they seemed to wake up and quickly scored 21 points.

After recovering an onside kick, Nevada marched downfield and appeared to be going in for the winning score when an interception ended the game.

But is there more to the story? Is there another reason that Nevada was not the same team that demolished every team they had faced all season? I believe there is an untold story—one that was not picked up by any professional reporter. If what I have been told is true, the loss was understandable.

Reliable sources have told me the following. The team departed for Hawaii early Friday morning and had planned to arrive in Honolulu in the afternoon. After dinner and a good night's rest, they were scheduled to practice at Aloha Stadium Saturday morning.

The team flew from Reno to a West Coast departure city for the Hawaii-bound flight. Unfortunately, there was a nine-hour delay. They did not land in Honolulu until 4 am Saturday morning. They didn't get to the hotel until sometime after that, and it was probably closer to 5 or 6 am before they were checked into their hotel rooms.

Instead of practice, coach Chris Ault directed they try to get a few hours' shut-eye before heading out to the stadium.

Ironically, the cheer team took a different flight and arrived Friday afternoon. They were wondering what happened to the football team and why they had not shown up.

Now, I don't know how many readers have ever flown to Hawaii from the mainland. But the Wolf Pack had a one-hour flight, a nine-hour delay, followed by a five-hour flight and an hour to get to the hotel. By my estimate they had at least 18 hours or more of travel time, including a red-eye special. I doubt they slept.

That travel experience would have been exhausting for anyone. Then they had to play a powerful I-A team...after pulling an all-nighter!

I don't mean to take away from Hawaii's strong performance. The Warriors really look to be a great team. But if the Nevada travel debacle is true, then that puts their poor performance in an entirely different light. At this level of competition, I doubt any team could play well after a sleep-deprived, jet-lagged travel disaster against a team as good as Hawaii.

Nevada has a bye week. They face Utah State next at home on October 30. They are a very frustrated team right now having lost their national ranking. The Wolf Pack may be very hungry after two weeks to reflect on what happened in Hawaii. Reports of their demise may be very premature.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.