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From Doug Knuth: Football Fan Experience Improvements - We Listened

Previous messages
-    My First Year with the Pack (April 19, 2014)
-    Here to Serve our Community (May 22, 2014)
-    Academic Update (May 28, 2014)
-    One Community, One Pack (July 2014)

Football Fan Experience Improvements - We Listened

During my short time with the Pack I've heard a number of suggestions from fans about improving our gameday experience at Mackay Stadium.  Items such as - traffic nightmares leaving the stadium, the food choices are too limited, obnoxious fans sit near me, and much more.  I am pleased to let you know - we listened and we are responding.  Our staff worked really hard this year to address some of the common complaints while also adding new initiatives to make tailgating more fun and the total game experience better for all fans.  Here are some highlights that you will notice:

Better Traffic Flow
Our post-game traffic flow will be changed this year to create a faster exit for fans on the Virginia St. side of campus.  With the great support of the Reno Mayor's Office, Reno City Manager's Office, Reno police, campus police and the University administration, we will close Virginia St immediately after the game ends - all four lanes of Virginia St will be utilized to allow a smooth and fast exit from games.  Fans parked in the West Stadium Garage, the Brian Whalen Garage and other areas south of the Stadium - will be directed South on Virginia St using all four lanes until 9th Street.  Additional RPD officers will be assigned to keep traffic flowing from 9th Street to the highway.  You might even see the RPD helicopter flying above campus watching for bottlenecks and dispatching officers to immediately address the situation. Please click on this link for a post-game traffic map.

First Class Fans
For the many Wolf Pack fans who travel to away games to support the Pack, you know how well we are treated on the road.  The tradition in collegiate sports is to welcome the fans who made the trip to support their team at the opposition's stadium.  For Wolf Pack fans, we welcome visiting team fans by saying - "Welcome to the University of Nevada".  We want our team to beat their team, but we also want people from other parts of the country to think positively of Wolf Pack fans and our Northern Nevada community.  Please be First Class Fans at all times - and welcome visiting team fans to the University.

Second Rate Fans
Unfortunately all stadiums have a few rotten apples that ruin the bunch.  Our reputation as a great athletic program, a top-notch University and a wonderful community can be tarnished by Second Rate Fans.  These people are not welcome at Mackay Stadium. IMPORTANT -- When you are in Mackay Stadium, and you witness a Second Rate Fan, please use our new 'Fan Phone' to quietly text a report to our security command center.  The command center will send security staff to your location to address the situation - you will not be identified. The Fan Phone text line is: (775) 229-5564. Please enter this in your phone contacts and use it to let us know when you see a problem.

Credit Cards
Beginning this year we will provide new credit card access points at the South endzone concession stands. You can now pay with plastic or cash.

ATMs
Need more cash?  We are adding more ATM machines around the stadium.

More Food Options
We want your taste buds to enjoy Wolf Pack football too. We continue to explore food options to delight your taste buds. This year we are adding Wholly Habanero (custom Mexican food) and Bodacious Burgers (does this really need an explanation - yummy burgers!) to our concessions lineup.  

New Student Tailgate
Our student body will have an official tailgate location on the North side of the stadium in the central receiving parking lot.  Student groups, Greek organizations and many other students will set up tents and tailgate in this location before each home game.  The students will certainly add some energy to the North end of campus.

Live Band - OLD DOMINION
We are excited to provide live music prior to the home opener.  Popular country band Old Dominion will take the stage in the student tailgate area at approximately 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning and will play until 30 minutes prior to kick.  All fans are invited to enjoy the music!
Wolf Pack Walk
We altered the Wolf Pack Walk route so fans can better engage with the players.  The team will now walk directly through the middle of our most popular tailgate sections. The team arrives for the Wolf Pack Walk approximately two hours before kickoff - get there in time to high-five the players and coaches. See map here.

Born to be ONE/Alpha Wolf
In keeping with our concept that we are all ONE, the team will carry a special ONE flag when it takes the field this season.  Each game a walk-on player will be nominated to represent the community as the Alpha Wolf and will get to participate on special teams.  This player will wear jersey number "1" and will also wear a special patch on his jersey.

These are a few of the changes you will see at Wolf Pack football games this year. Please share your experience with your friends and family - invite them to a game to check out all the fun around home games this Fall. We have a great home schedule and need to fill Mackay Stadium to provide a great home field advantage for the Pack.

We appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you at Wolf Pack games and matches this Fall.

Thank you and Go Pack!

Doug

Wolf Pack Park turf is for sale

The University of Nevada is replacing the FieldTurf at Wolf Pack Park, the practice facility for the Wolf Pack football team and other sports programs at Nevada.

With the installation of the new surface, the previous surface is available for purchase by the general public.

To claim a portion of the turf, click here. The turf is available until July 9.

 

 

Pack has five alums in NFL playoffs

The NFL playoffs get underway this weekend and the University of Nevada football program has five alums who will be part of the postseason this year.

Former Wolf Pack standout quarterback Colin Kaepernick has the San Francisco 49ers in the playoffs as a starter for the second straight season after leading the Niners to the Super Bowl last season. San Francisco is at Green Bay on Sunday afternoon.

Linebacker James-Michael Johnson will not suit up for Kansas City on Saturday when the Chiefs travel to Indianapolis to play the Colts as the second-year pro was put on IR this week with a sprained ankle.

Former Pack tight end Virgil Green and linebacker Brandon Marshall are part of a Denver Broncos team that has a first-round bye and will play next weekend. The same case goes for offensive lineman Chris Barker of the New England Patriots.

Nevada also has three former coaches involved in the playoffs. Former head coach Chris Ault is an offensive consultant with the Chiefs. Former co-defensive coordinator Dave Fipp (2004) is the special teams coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles, who play host to the New Orleans Saints on Saturday. Former Pack defensive line coach Don Johnson is in the same capacity with the San Diego Chargers, who play at Cincinnati this weekend.

Also with the Eagles is Shaun Huls, a former staff in the Nevada strength and conditioning program. He is the "sports-science coordinator" for the Eagles.

Boise State fans issue challenge to Nevada...

From our friends at the Food Bank of Northern Nevada...

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The Hunger Bowl strikes again for the Nevada- Boise State football game on Saturday, Oct. 19, at Bronco Stadium.  In addition to the food drive for the Idaho Food Bank that will take place at the game, Boise State has issued a challenge to Wolf Pack fans to compete in an online virtual food drive, to raise funds for hunger relief in both areas.   

Wolf Pack and Bronco fans anywhere can visit http://hungerbowl.org/virtual-food-drive and click on their team's logo to make a cash donation. All Wolf Pack donations will go to the Food Bank of Northern Nevada. All Boise State donations will be used for hunger relief in Idaho.  The Hunger Bowl challenge has started and is continuing through the end of  Saturday's game on October 19. 

Hunger is a very serious issue across the country and right here in Nevada.  One in four children in Nevada live in a home where there is not enough food for three meals per day, and one in five people in Nevada needs to seek food assistance to make ends meet.  Each dollar raised for the Food Bank of Northern Nevada can provide 3 meals to those who need them. 
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Time set (and broadcast switch) for Nevada-Colorado State game.

The gametime and television broadcast has been set for the Nevada football team's game at Colorado State on Nov. 9.

The Wolf Pack and Rams will kick-off at 12:30 p.m. Pacific time (1:30 p.m. in Fort Collins) and the game will be an exclusive digital broadcast of the Mountain West Network. For Nevada fans, the easiest way to watch the game will be via NevadaWolfPack.TV (or clicking on the NevadaWolfPack.TV button on the homepage of NevadaWolfPack.com.

The Nevada-Colorado State game was originally set for broadcast on one of the ESPN networks but the ESPN and the MWN switched with the Fresno State-Wyoming game for that date.

Nevada still has three games remaining with a TBA for the game time. All three of those are scheduled for broadcast within the ESPN family of networks and ESPN has until 12 days before the game to set the broadcast schedule and gametime.

For the Nevada-UNLV Homecoming game coming up at the end of October, we will know the game time/broadcast info by Oct. 14 and will announce it as soon as we know. The same 12-day window exists for Nevada's games at Fresno State (Nov. 2) and at home vs. San Jose State (Nov. 16).

Hug High School to rename stadium to honor Pack alum

Less than a week after former Nevada head football coach Chris Ault had the field at Mackay Stadium named in his honor one of his former players will receive  a similar honor on Friday evening.  Former Wolf Pack defensive back Rollins Stallworth will have the football stadium at Hug High School renamed in his honor.  The field will be Grove Holcomb Field at Rollins Stallworth Stadium.

Stallworth coached at Hug High School from 1993-2009 before becoming the vice principal at O'Brien Middle School.  In 2005 the Hawks advanced to the 4A state championship game.

After transferring from Merced College (Calif.) Stallworth played for coach Ault and the Wolf Pack during the 1979 and 1980 seasons at safety.  In 1980 he earned second-team All-Big Sky honors and was a team captain.  The 1979 team advanced to the semifinals of the 1AA playoffs before falling to Eastern Kentucky.

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

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

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