After getting hit in the jaw for weeks on end, Pack football finally punched back this past Saturday, Oct. 7, in Mackay Stadium, defeating the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors 35-21 in a display of pure beauty.
The Pack’s offensive unit finally clicked on all cylinders, with Ty Gangi showing a ton of improvement through the past few weeks and Kelton Moore filling in brilliantly for Jaxson Kincaide. Moore’s number got called this game, and he was more than willing to do his fair share, eclipsing the 200-yard mark in route to a Pack win.
Nevada’s offense had a bad habit of shooting itself in the foot early in games forcing itself to play catch-up constantly. Being that the team’s game against Northwestern was the only game the team didn’t play from behind for all four quarters, there was obviously something missing. If a lead in a game seemed basically unattainable at this point, a win was completely out of reach.
Other than the Northwestern game, Gangi only played against Toledo and Fresno State, where he recorded an average QBR of 28.15. Over the course of these two games he committed four interceptions and had an average completion percentage of 59 percent. While the numbers don’t have that awe factor, it’s understandable when time isn’t on your side. The chemistry just wasn’t there yet and in these games it made sense to keep chucking balls up and praying they’d be touchdowns.
Against Hawaii, Nevada finally found traction as an offensive unit with Gangi putting up his best QBR to date, going 25 for 32 on 278 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Due to Nevada never facing a significant deficit, Gangi was able to play within the game plan, sharing an equal workload with Moore’s spectacular performance on the ground. Moore averaged 11.4 yards a carry on 19 carries for 216 yards and while he didn’t get into the end zone this time around, he helped make most of the touchdowns chip shots.
With the dust finally settled following the QB shuffle, Nevada’s backfield is still in limbo. Moore and Kincaide have the possibility of forming a formidable two-headed back field. If Kincaide can get healthy this could be an overwhelming factor for opposing defenses.
Even though the Pack’s victory over Hawaii is a good stepping stone, one win doesn’t put Nevada in a contentious position for any bowl game, or a spot atop the conference. Forward progress is all the Nevada fan base can hang its hat on as of now.