Nevada has more
than a Chance

The Wolf Pack have
compensated for losing
their star back


By Dave Reardon

Nevada has a chance at Hawaii on Saturday, even without a Chance.

The Wolf Pack do have a Nate, a Zack and a Matt. That might be just as good.

Receiver Nate Burleson, quarterback Zack Threadgill and running back Matt Milton have done their best to make up for the loss of Chance Kretschmer, who is out for the year with a knee injury. Kretschmer trampled UH's defense for 162 yards in Nevada's 28-20 victory at Reno last year on his way to leading the nation in rushing.

Nevada has compensated by going to the air. The passing combination of Threadgill to Burleson is among the most productive in college football.

"(Burleson) is one of the country's top receivers right now," UH coach June Jones said. "And the quarterback kind of makes him, too. He's a very, very good quarterback. This guy can throw and he's accurate and I guess the stats kind of prove it."

Burleson leads NCAA Division I-A with 53 receptions in five games, good for 682 yards and five touchdowns.

The Wolf Pack (2-3, 1-0 Western Athletic Conference) is coming off a 21-17 loss at UNLV, but is not in awe of the Warriors (3-2, 2-1), whom they compare well with in many statistical categories.

Threadgill leads the WAC in total offense, averaging 336.8 yards per game. Hawaii's Tim Chang is a distant second with 278.2.

Nevada is 1 yard (1,656 to 1,655) ahead of UH in team passing, and leads the WAC. But Tormey doesn't want to get into a pass-for-pass contest with the Warriors.

"One of the real keys for us is to be real balanced," he said. "Without Chance and injuries on our offensive line, we went more to passing. But we need to improve our running game."

The line should be back to full strength this week, as right tackle Harvey Dahl returns from an ankle injury, allowing the unit's leader Cody Johnson to return to his accustomed spot at center.

Milton, a 6-foot, 211-pound freshman, has started every game since Kretschmer's injury, except for last week when the Wolf Pack opened the game with five wide receivers. He averages 64.2 yards per game for seventh in the conference.

"The back they have now isn't quite as steady and downhill as that other guy was, but he's a good player," Jones said of Milton. "We've got to hit him, we've got to knock him down, we've got to get some sacks. If we do that then I think we have a chance to win."

Jones said the Warriors have bounced back emotionally from Saturday's 58-31 loss at Boise State.

"We haven't been talking about last week all day," he said. "It sticks with you when you go home and stuff, but you concentrate on the next opponent."

Hawaii vs. Nevada

When: Saturday, 6:05 p.m.
Where: Aloha Stadium
Tickets: $21 sideline, $16 end zone, $12 students/seniors, UH students free (super rooter only). Available at Aloha Stadium, except for student tickets at Stan Sheriff Center. Also at Ticket Plus outlets or by calling (808) 526-4400.
TV: KFVE (Channel 5), delay at 10 p.m., with rebroadcast Sunday at 9 a.m. Also available live on Pay-Per-View. Call 625-8100 on Oahu or (866) 566-7784 on neighbor islands to subscribe.
Radio: 1420-AM.

UH Athletics

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