2008 Nevada Wolf Pack football team

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The 2008 Nevada Wolf Pack football team represented the University of Nevada, Reno during the 2008 NCAA Division I FBS football season. Nevada competed as a member of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).

The team was led by long-time head coach Chris Ault, who served in the position for his 24th season. Nevada utilized Ault's own creation, the "Pistol" offense. This offense was directed by 15th-year offensive coordinator Chris Klenakis. The defense was led by first-year defensive coordinator Nigel Burton.

Nevada finished the regular season with a 7–5 mark, 5–3 in WAC play, which resulted in a three-way tie for second-place in the conference. Hawaii and Louisiana Tech both likewise finished with 5–3 conference records. During the season, the Wolf Pack played three ranked teams: Texas Tech, Missouri, and Boise State. Nevada lost each game, but gave Boise State its closest contest in conference play, losing by seven points.[1] Nevada, however, suffered a setback when they lost to New Mexico State, who were called by one publication the "perennial WAC bottom feeders".[2][3]

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick was named 2008 WAC Offensive Player of the Year. During the regular season, he passed for 2,479 yards and 19 touchdowns and rushed for 1,115 yards and 16 touchdowns. He was aided by running back Vai Taua, who ran for 1,420 yards and 14 touchdowns. It was the first time in school history that Nevada had two 1,000 yard rushers on the team simultaneously.[1][4]

Nevada secured its fourth straight bowl game appearance and faced Maryland in the 2008 Humanitarian Bowl. The Wolf Pack lost in a high-scoring and record-setting game, 42–35.


Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
August 30 6:05 PM Grambling State* Mackay StadiumReno, NV W 49–13   22,772[5]
September 6 6:05 PM #12 Texas Tech* Mackay Stadium • Reno, NV L 19–35   24,453[5]
September 13 11:30 AM at #6 Missouri* Faurot FieldColumbia, MO FSN L 17–69   54,202[5]
September 27 7:00 PM at UNLV* Sam Boyd StadiumLas Vegas, NV (Fremont Cannon Game) The Mtn W 49–27   33,078[5]
October 4 2:00 PM at Idaho Kibbie DomeMoscow, ID KAME W 49–14   15,013[5]
October 11 1:05 PM New Mexico State Mackay Stadium • Reno, NV PPV L 45–48   12,475[5]
October 18 1:05 PM Utah Statedagger Mackay Stadium • Reno, NV W 44–17   13,159[5]
October 26 6:00 PM at Hawaii Aloha StadiumHonolulu, HI KAME L 38–31   40,225[5]
November 7 6:00 PM at Fresno State Bulldog StadiumFresno, CA ESPN2 W 41–28   33,207[5]
November 15 1:05 PM San Jose State Mackay Stadium • Reno, NV W 41–17   14,343[5]
November 22 1:05 PM #9 Boise State Mackay Stadium • Reno, NV ESPN2 L 41–34   27,057[5]
November 29 1:30 PM at Louisiana Tech Joe Aillet StadiumRuston, LA ESPNGP W 35–31   17,254[5]
December 30 2:30 PM vs. Maryland* Bronco StadiumBoise, ID (Humanitarian Bowl) ESPN L 42–35   26,781[5]
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll. All times are in Pacific Time.


  1. ^ a b Maryland Terrapins vs. Nevada Wolf Pack Preview, ESPN, 2008, Retrieved January 3, 2009.
  2. ^ Nevada Team Notes, USA Today, December 15, 2008, Retrieved February 8, 2009.
  3. ^ Marcus, Emerson (October 28, 2008). "Nevada Struggles to Stop Unraveling". The Nevada Sagebrush. Archived from the original on May 28, 2009. Retrieved February 8, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Humanitarian Bowl Media Guide". University of Nevada. 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 28, 2009. Retrieved March 13, 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Combined Team Statistics". University of Nevada, Reno.