Nevada Football is back. The pads clashed for the first time in a live game with the Silver and Blue spring game Saturday.
The Blue team consisted of starters, while the Silver was primarily composed of backups and underclassmen. The Blue team scored 42-unanswered points, defeating the Silver team who started the contest with a 30-0 advantage.
All five quarterbacks saw snaps. Returning quarterbacks Cristian Solano and Carson Strong received big bulks of playing time.
Cristian Solano looked the best out of each quarterback played. The 6-foot-1 senior, who is the projected starting quarterback, completed 13 of 17 passes for 169 yards. Similar to what we saw in his start last season against Fresno State, Solano hurt defenses with his dual-threat ability.
Nevada looks to be reverting back to their old pistol look with Solano leading the way. Nevada may look to more of a pistol air raid. Solano’s accuracy has seemed to improve a lot from last season and his ability to make reads have improved a lot from last year to now.
Strong’s offensive groups put together some solid drives offensively. Strong, a redshirt freshman, finished 18-of-26 for 195 yards and two touchdown passes.
Junior quarterback Malik Henry, who starred in the Netflix original “Last Chance U,” displayed good reads and arm strength under center. He completed 16-of-29 passes for 211 yards, including an 18-yard connection to Doubs in the endzone.
Running backs forced the issue in between the tackles for a majority of the afternoon, picking up small chunks of yardage throughout. Sophomore Toa Taua, the projected starting running back, tallied ten carries for 40 yards. Senior Kelton Moore had eight carries for 29 yards.
Despite the loss of McLane Mannix, who transferred to Texas Tech at the end of last season, a good portion of the receiving corps is still intact. Dubbed the “Jungle Boyz”, the core creates separation in the secondary and pose deep threats with their combined size and speed.
Nevada’s top receiver, senior Kaleb Fossum found creases in the secondary, drawing more targets near the end of the game. He finished with six catches for 81 yards.
The dominance of junior wide receivers Romeo Doubs and Elijah Cooks was on full display. The duo caught two touchdowns apiece for the blue team.
Doubs featured blazing speed, posing as a key deep threat for the Pack offense. The 6-foot-2 sophomore hauled in a 75-yard touchdown from Solano and blew past three defenders untouched to the house to begin the second half.
Doubs finished with four catches for 151 yards. Cooks led the blue squad with nine catches for 173 yards, who finished second in touchdowns last season with six.
The team has areas to clean up, including taking care of the ball. Both teams combined for six turnovers. Receiver Dominic Christian fumbled twice on the afternoon.
Nevada’s season opener will come at home against Purdue of the Big 10 Conference on Aug. 30.
Matt Hanifan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @SagebrushSports.