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First look: Nevada at Washington State

UPDATED: Mon., Sept. 18, 2017

Nevada head coach Jay Norvell, second from left, during the first half of their NCAA college football game against Northwestern in Evanston, Ill., Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Marton) (Matt Marton / AP)
Nevada head coach Jay Norvell, second from left, during the first half of their NCAA college football game against Northwestern in Evanston, Ill., Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Marton) (Matt Marton / AP)

What is it? Nevada (0-3, 0-0) comes to Pullman to play No. 18 Washington State (3-0, 0-0) in the Cougars’ final nonconference game of the season.

Where is it? Martin Stadium in Pullman.

When is it? Another early-ish one. Kickoff is 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Where can I watch it? Pac-12 Networks.

Who is favored? WSU was a 28-point favorite as of Monday afternoon.

Why WSU will win: To put it nicely, the Wolf Pack haven’t exactly hit stride under first-year coach Jay Norvell. They’re coming off an embarrassing loss to an Idaho State team that was picked by media to finish last in the Big Sky preseason poll and the Wolf Pack are giving up more than 32 points per game. Washington State’s Air Raid returned to form in Saturday’s game against Oregon State, with six touchdowns and nearly 400 passing yards from senior quarterback Luke Falk. One would imagaine Norvell and Nevada are in for another long day.

Why Nevada will win: The Wolf Pack haven’t shown much resolve in their first three games, so WSU would probably have to self-implode to give Nevada its first win of the season. How would that happen? The Cougars have shown laser-focus up to this point of the season, but it isn’t news to them that six days after the Nevada game, USC, the nation’s fifth-ranked team, comes to town. Again, WSU isn’t in the business of overlooking its opposition, but I’m not sure I see an upset happening any other way.

What happened last time? The Wolf Pack bolted out to an early 14-0 lead and held off the Cougars for a 24-13 win at Mackay Stadium in Reno three years ago. Connnor Halliday attempted 57 passes, but completed just 38 times and was intercepted twice. Halliday also took four sacks in the losing effort and freshman kicker Erik Powell went just 2-of-4 on field goal attempts, missing kicks of 37 and 38 yards.

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