Nevada did start out strong, pushing themselves to a 21-0 lead halfway through the second quarter. Don Jackson rushed for the first two touchdowns, then new quarterback Tyler Stewart threw a 2-yard TD pass to tight end Jarred Gipson.
UC-Davis settled down after that though, and only surrendered ten points the rest of the way. The Aggies fought their way back to lose by just 14 points, 31-17 being the final score.
The Wolf Pack ran the ball 39 times for 232 yards (nearly six yards per carry), and only threw the ball 23 times (13 completions) for 163 yards.
At first blush, stopping Jackson will be the main way for Arizona to succeed next Saturday. The senior picked up 123 yards on just 13 carries, good for his fifth-career 100+ yard game.
Stewart was also able to get loose on the run several times, tallying nine carries for 61 yards, and a rushing TD to go with his passing TD in his second career start. So obviously Arizona is going to have to stop the run game and contain the quarterback. UTSA ran the ball 50 times for 193 yards on Thursday, so the run defense was by no means awful in the opener.
Of course, Nevada could try to utilize its big receivers Hasaan Henderson (6-5, 220) and Jerico Richardson (5-11, 190), who were their two leading receivers on Thursday, along with the tight end Gipson. Only five different guys caught balls for them in their opener though, so Arizona might be okay here.
This looks like a matchup that could favor Anu Solomon greatly. Maybe you can't look at UC-Davis' passing numbers because they were behind the entire game, but Nevada was only able to record one sack on the Aggies' 47 pass attempts. If Solomon's not really feeling any pressure, then there's no real reason he shouldn't have a big game. Asauni Rufus, a redshirt freshman defensive back, led the team with 12 tackles. No other player had more than seven. I think this is another thing that sets up well for the Wildcats' passing game.
We will find out on Monday some of the extent of the injuries and things that came out of Arizona's game, but for right now, I would expect a pass-heavy offensive attack, and a defensive scheme focused on stopping the Nevada rushing game.