Nevada in the NFL

As the 2013 NFL season opens tonight, below is a rundown of the 15 former Nevada players who made pro rosters so far this season.

Nevada has the third-most NFL players amongst Mountain West teams with its 15 players. Fresno State has 18 players (14 active, three practice squad and one injured reserve) while Boise State has 17 players (16 active, one injured reserve).

As a conference, the Mountain West has 82 players on active rosters and 15 more who are on practice squads.

Nevada's breakdown:
Active
Player            Position    NFL Team
Chris Barker        OL        New England Patriots
Nate Burleson        WR        Detroit Lions
Kaelin Burnett        LB        Oakland Raiders
Harvey Dahl        G        St. Louis Rams
Isaiah Frey        CB        Chicago Bears
Virgil Green        TE        Denver Broncos
Michael-James Johnson    LB        Kansas City Chiefs
Colin Kaepernick    QB        San Francisco 49ers
Rishard Matthews    WR        Miami Dolphins
Zach Sudfeld        TE        New England Patriots
Duke Williams        WR        Buffalo Bills

Practice Squad
Brandon Marshall    LB        Denver Broncos
Dontay Moch        LB        Arizona Cardinals
Khalid Wooten        CB        Tennessee Titans

Injured Reserve
Josh Mauga        LB        New York Jets

Babbitt to play basketball in Russia

Former University of Nevada basketball standout Luke Babbitt has signed to play for BC Nizhny Novgorod of the Russian Professional Basketball League.  Babbitt played two seasons at Nevada before opting for the 2010 NBA Draft where he was selected 16th by the Minnesota Timberwolves and traded to the Portland Trailblazers on draft night.  He played three seasons in Portland and will now take his talents to Russia. 

Babbitt earned Associated Press honorable mention All-America honors and second-team ESPN the Magazine academic All-America honors his sophomore season at Nevada.  In 2009 he was named the Western Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year in 2010.  Both years he was named the WAC first team.

In 68 games at Nevada he scored 1,316 points which ranks 14th in school history and his career scoring average of 19.4 points per game is fifth.  During the 2009-10 season he scored a school record 743 points.


Hayes named PCL POW

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Former University of Nevada catcher Brett Hayes has been the Pacific Coast League, August 19-25 Player of the Week.  Hayes plays for the Omaha Storm Chasers, the Triple A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.  He earned Freshman All-America honors playing for the Wolf Pack in 2003 and batted .339 in his three seasons at Nevada.

Hayes hit six home runs and totaled 26 bases to earn the PCL honor.  All six home runs came in a four-game series with New Orleans Zephyrs, hitting at least one in each game of the series.  He hit two home runs in each of the first two games including a walk-off shot in the 10th inning of the second game.  During the week he batted .381 with eight RBI.





Nevada-UCLA TV information

This week's season-opener at UCLA will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks. This is the same network that carried the Nevada-Cal game last year. It is not widely distributed as of right now. Chris Murray of the RGJ explains the local availability (click here). 

College football rules changes

With the football season upon us, we thought this might be a good opportunity to explain some of the notable rules changes fans will see this year. The National Football Foundation put out this primer earlier this month:

The 8 Major Rule Changes for the 2013 Season
1.      Targeting Fouls: Automatic Ejection, Part I:
Players will automatically be disqualified from the game for targeting fouls, including (Rule 9-1-3) targeting and initiating contact with the crown of the helmet, and (Rule 9-1-4) targeting and initiating contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent with the helmet, forearm, elbow or shoulder.  The foul itself has not changed.  These plays have been illegal for a number of years, but the penalty has been stiffened to include automatic ejection plus the 15-yard penalty.
2.      Targeting Fouls: Automatic Ejection, Part II:
A player is at great risk of being ejected from the game for a launch (leaving his feet to attack an opponent by an upward and forward thrust of the body to make contact in the head or neck area); a crouch (followed by an upward and forward thrust to attack with contact at the head or neck area); leading (with helmet, forearm, fist, hand or elbow to attack with contact at the head or neck area); or lowering (the head before attacking by initiating contact with the crown of the helmet).
3.      Offensive Blocking Below the Waist Rule:
The rule establishes a zone for the offense that extends seven yards from the snapper toward each sideline and goes five yards into the defensive secondary and in the other direction all the way back to the offensive team's end line. Within this zone, an offensive back who is stationary inside the tackle box and an offensive lineman inside the seven-yard zone may legally block below the waist until the ball has left the zone.  Everyone else on the offensive team may legally block below the waist only if the block is clearly to the front of the opponent. This only-from-the-front rule also holds true for everyone on the offensive team once the ball has left the zone. In addition, no one on the offense is allowed to block below the waist if the block is directed toward his own end line.
4.      Expansion of the 10-Second Runoff Rule:
In 2013, if a player is injured within the last minute of a half, and this is the only reason for stopping the clock, the opponent may choose to have 10 seconds subtracted from the game clock.  The injured player's team can preserve the 10 seconds by using a timeout.
5.      Player May Remain in the Game Via a Timeout After Helmet Comes Off:
The rule requiring a player to leave the game for one down if his helmet comes off has been modified to allow a player to remain in the game if his team is granted a charged timeout to adjust the player's helmet.
6.      Minimum Time to Spike the Ball for Another Play Set at 3 Seconds:
Teams will need a minimum of three seconds from the referee's signal to "spike" the ball to allow for another play at the end of a half. Teams must still execute the spike, but they will have a reasonable opportunity for another play.  If the clock shows one or two seconds, they will only have enough time to run a play without first spiking the ball.
7.      Procedures for Changing Jersey Numbers During a Game:
If a team wants to use a player at two different positions during the game, and they need to change jersey numbers, the player must report to the referee who will in turn announce the change. In addition, two players who play the same position at different times in the game may not wear the same number during the game. For example, two quarterbacks may not both wear number 12.
8.      Player Uniform Numerals Must Contrast With the Color of the Jersey:
The color of the jersey number itself must be clearly and obviously in contrast with the jersey, regardless of any border around the number. For example, teams will not be allowed to wear black numbers on black jerseys with a border of a bright color around the numeral; it must clearly contrast with the jersey in and of itself.

Nevada has 19 alums on NFL rosters

The University of Nevada has 19 alums in NFL training camps with less than a month to go before the regular season starts.

Week two of the preseason begins Thursday and it features a handful of matchups where Pack alums will face each other. That includes Saturday's game between the Titans (Khalid Wooten) and Bengals (Dontay Moch) and the Jaguars-Jets game that will have three former Pack linebackers in Jeremiah Green and Brandon Marshall (Jaguars) and Josh Mauga (Jets).

One of the more interesting matchups this week will be Friday night in Kansas City  where former Pack great Colin Kaepernick leads the San Francisco 49ers in to face the Chiefs, which has former Pack coach Chris Ault as a consultant.

Here's the list of Pack players in NFL camps:
Jonathon Amaya, Phoenix
Chris Barker, Miami
Nate Burleson, Detroit
Kaelin Burnett, Oakland
Harvey Dahl, St. Louis
Isaiah Frey, Chicago
Jeremiah Green, Jacksonville
Virgil Green, Denver
James-Michael Johnson, Cleveland
Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco
Brandon Marshall, Jacksonville
Rishard Matthews, Miami
Josh Mauga, New York Jets
Dontay Moch, Cincinnati
Jeff Nady, Atlanta
Tray Session, Oakland
Zach Sudfeld, New England
Duke Williams, Buffalo
Khalid Wooten, Tennessee

Kickoff time for Nevada-Air Force adjusted

RENO, Nev. - The kickoff time for Nevada's game on Sept. 28 against Air Force has been moved to 5:05 p.m.

The game was originally scheduled for a 4:35 p.m. kickoff but was moved back 30 minutes to accommodate for the national television broadcast by CBS Sports Network. The game will mark the first ever trip by Air Force to Mackay Stadium.

NCAA honors Pack softball

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On Monday, the NCAA notified Nevada that in the coming weeks, the Wolf Pack will receive a plaque in recognition of the softball program's statistical championship in doubles per game for the 2012-13 season. The trophy will go on display inside Legacy Hall.

In 2013, Nevada doubled 102 times in 53 games, breaking the record set by the vaunted offense of 2008 despite playing nine less contests. The rate of 1.92 per game made the Pack the national leader for the first time in the history of the program.

The Pack broke two additional offensive program records last season and was led by a strong lineup throughout the year. Nevada slugged .477, seven points better than the offense of 2009 and got on base at a clip of .399, 11 points better than the group in 2008. The Pack scored 10-or-more runs in nine games, winning all of them. In 23 games, the team in Navy scored at least six runs, going a spectacular 20-3 in those games. As a team, Nevada hit .311, one point shy of the best number for any Nevada lineup.

The 2013 season was another successful campaign at the dish under hitting coach and former Pack baseball star Andy Dominique. He will return in 2014 for his sixth season in charge of the Pack's offense.


Nevada Women's Basketball Gives a Hand to Habitat For Humanity

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Members of the University of Nevada women's basketball team and coaching staff spent some time out in Stead today to assist Habitat for Humanity. The group worked together to clear trash, debris, and other materials around a house that will be remodeled and prepared for a family to move into shortly.

For video of the visit click here

Yi qualifies for U.S. Women's Amateur

Former Nevada golfer Louise Yi advanced through sectional qualifying and will compete next month at the U.S. Women's Amateur.

Yi tied for second at her sectional event, firing a 72 at Neshanic Valley Golf Course in Neshanic Station, N.J. last week.

The U.S. Women's Amateur is slated for Aug. 5-11 at the Country Club of Charleston in South Carolina.

Yi finished her senior season at Nevada this spring and was third on the team with a stroke average of 77.69. She'll return to Reno this fall to complete her bachelor's degree.

The U.S. Women's Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA. Play begins Aug. 5 with the first of two rounds of stroke play. After a cut, match play begins on Aug. 7 and continues until a 36-hole championship final on Aug. 11.


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