The Nevada Wolf Pack lost two of their best players in quarterback Cody Fajardo and linebacker Brock Hekking, but they still have some other players that can make things difficult in Arizona's pursuit of a road win.
Here are five of them.
Don Jackson, RB, #6
The Wolf Pack have a formidable running back duo that features Don Jackson and James Butler. We'll focus more on Jackson though, since in Nevada's opener against UC Davis, he rushed for 124 yards on just 13 carries. He also had two of Nevada's four touchdowns. Last season, Jackson was Nevada's second-leading rusher with 957 yards. Only former QB Cody Fajardo had more yards on the ground. The Wildcats did a good job of keeping Jackson at bay in last year's matchup as he was limited to 44 yards on 18 carries. With Scooby Wright III out for this game, however, it's hard to expect Jackson to struggle as much as he did in that game.
Ian Seau, DE, #8
Yes, he is related to the late Junior Seau. He is the Hall of Fame linebacker's nephew. More importantly though, he's going to be a menace for Arizona's offensive line on Saturday. In 2014, the defensive end led the Wolf Pack in sacks with 8.5, and also was tied for the lead in tackles for loss with 10.5. He forced two fumbles as well. He was second team All-Mountain West last year, and is considered to be a legitimate candidate for the Mountain West's Defensive Player of the Year Award this year. Seau usually lines up against right tackles, so Lene Maiava will have to be on top of his game to keep Anu Solomon's jersey clean. In last season's matchup, the Wildcats' O-line kept Seau out of the backfield as he failed to record a sack or a tackle for loss, though he did have a career-high six tackles.
Lenny Jones, DE, #94
On the opposite side of Seau, there's senior defensive end Lenny Jones. Jones has 13 career sacks, including five last season. He had 8.5 tackles for loss last year as well. He also picked off two passes despite being a lineman. Like Seau, Jones was held to a quiet performance by the Wildcats last season. Still, Freddie Tagaloa is banged up, and if he does play on Saturday, Jones will definitely present a challenge for him. Seau and Jones are considered to be the conference's best defensive end duo, and they should be a good early test for the revamped offensive line. Hopefully the O-line steps up and keeps them away from Anu.
Jerico Richardson, WR, #84
Nevada is breaking in a new quarterback, but their wide receivers are proven threats. Richardson led the team with 655 receiving yards. The 5-11 receiver is small, but shifty, and he thrives in creating yards after the catch. In the season opener against UC Davis, Richardson caught three passes for 66 yards. Against Arizona last season, Richardson caught six passes for 83 yards. Not only is Arizona's secondary banged up, they also didn't impress in Thursday's opener. Richardson will certainly have a chance to burn Arizona in consecutive years. Also, another wide receiver to be mindful of is Hasaan Henderson. He was just behind Richardson in receiving yards last season despite playing in only nine games. Against the Wildcats last year, he had 7 catches for 82 yards and a touchdown. The secondary is certainly going to have to be prepared on Saturday.
Jarred Gipson, TE, #47
At this point, I think it should be a requirement to include a tight end on the list, since Arizona continues to struggle covering them. In the season opener, UTSA tight end David Morgan had nine catches for 109 yards and a touchdown. Gipson is no slouch himself. He had 255 receiving yards last season and was named to the Mountain West All-Second Team. Gipson, like seemingly all tight ends, torched Arizona last year. He reeled in eight passes for 49 yards and two touchdowns. I don't know what the defense's plan is for tight ends, but they definitely need to make some adjustments. Maybe Tellas Jones' return from suspension will help, but still, they can't keep giving up big chunks of yards to tight ends.