The Nevada Wolf Pack football team has a very good chance this fall to double its victory output over last season's disappointing 4-8 finish.
The Wolf Pack, which announced its 2014 schedule on Thursday, is set up for a big comeback season. The schedule for 2014 is much more manageable than last year's torturous road that included road games at UCLA, Florida State, Boise State, Fresno State and San Diego State.
“At first glance, we are pleased with the way the schedule sets up," Pack coach Brian Polian said. "Four of our first six games are at home and that provides the opportunity to get off to a good start. We also like where the bye weeks fall. All in all, we are feeling good about the 2014 schedule.”
The Wolf Pack will play just one team next year -- Fresno State -- that lost fewer than five games in 2013. And Fresno State has lost, among others, star quarterback Derek Carr and wide receiver Davante Adams off of its 2013 roster.
The season starts with a very winnable game at home on Aug. 30 against Southern Utah. The Thunderbirds, of the Football Championship Subdivision Big Sky Conference, were 8-5 a year ago. Washington State, which features former Wolf Pack assistant coaches Ken Wilson and Jim Mastro, comes to Mackay a week later and was just 6-7 in 2013.
The Pack then travels to Arizona in a rematch of the 2012 New Mexico Bowl in Chris Ault's final game as Pack coach. The Wildcats were 8-5 a year ago.
The Pack's first Mountain West game will be Sept. 27 at San Jose State. The Pack beat the Spartans (6-6 in 2013) a year ago at Mackay Stadium.
The Pack's other home conference games will be against Boise State (8-5), Colorado State (8-6), San Diego State (8-5) and Fresno State. The biggest difference between 2013 and 2014 is that the road Mountain West games are very winnable this year: San Jose State, Hawaii (1-11), Air Force (2-10) and UNLV (7-6).
The times of each game will be announced once the television schedules are determined.
The Wolf Pack will open spring practice on April 2.
2014 Nevada Football Schedule (Home games in capital letters): AUG. 30: SOUTHERN UTAH; SEPT. 6: WASHINGTON STATE; Sept. 13: at Arizona; Sept. 27: at San Jose State; OCT. 4: BOISE STATE; OCT. 11: COLORADO STATE; Oct. 18: at BYU; Oct. 25: at Hawaii; NOV. 1: SAN DIEGO STATE; Nov. 15: at Air Force; NOV. 22: FRESNO STATE; Nov. 29: at Nevada-Las Vegas.