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Wolf Pack's pistol fully loaded


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POSTED: Monday, August 24, 2009

Point production has rarely been a problem for Chris Ault's teams during his storied coaching career, and he again has an offense capable of burning out the bulbs on the scoreboard.

But he recognizes that point prevention will be the key to contending for the Western Athletic Conference crown this season.

“;That is the missing link in our program,”; Ault said.

; Assembling a quality defense to complement a Pistol attack led by quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the reigning WAC Offensive Player of the Year, could push the Pack to the next level.

Strengths

The long-striding Kaepernick finished third in the WAC in rushing with 86.9 yards per carry last season. Blessed with an equally impressive throwing arm, Kaepernick focused on polishing his passing skills in the offseason after throwing for 2,849 yards and 22 touchdowns.

The backfield will be well stocked with the return of Vai Taua, the league's leading rusher (1,521 yards) and scorer (18 touchdowns) a year ago, and Luke Lippincott, who was granted an extra year of eligibility after sitting out last season due to a knee injury.

Defensive ends Dontay Moch and Kevin Basped combined for 21 1/2 sacks last year.

Weaknesses

The Wolf Pack ranked last in the nation in pass defense last year, giving up 311.6 yards per game through the air and 31 passing touchdowns. Nevada opens the season with a trip to Notre Dame, which was last seen zipping through the Hawaii defense in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.