Spring football over for Pack

by Zack Hall, Outpost staff

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Nevada Football

The Nevada football team completed its spring practice season Friday with its annual Silver and Blue scrimmage at Mackay Stadium.

The Silver squad defeated the Blue team 14-2 in the scrimmage, which was open to the public.

Pack coach Jeff Tisdel said he pleased with the 15-practice spring season.

"We are only allowed 15 practices by NCCA legislation so there isn't a whole lot we can focus on," Tisdel said. "But we are a veteran team and we you have people who know the system, you can get things done. I feel that we got a lot accomplished."

Quarterback David Neill, who set a NCAA record for passing in game by a freshman last fall, led the Blue team by completing 10 of 19 passes for 119 yards. But Neill did toss two interceptions.

Senior-to-be Erik Stidham completed five of his seven attempts for 73 yards and a touchdown. Zack Threadgill, another freshman signal-caller, complete four of 12 for 74 yards and had one interception. Stidham and Threadgill split time on the Silver team.

Nevada sophomore David Neillgets rushed by aPack linebacker. Photo courtesy of David Hunter

"I thought all three of our quarterbacks played really well on Friday," Tisdel said. "We have a lot of depth at that spot and that is what you need at this level of competition. When you look at our schedule, we are playing some good football teams. You need good back-ups because you never know when your quarterback might go down."

The Silver squad got its scores from Stidham's 11-yard toss to Trevor Insley and a 13-yard scamper by back Adrien Dugas. The Blue team scored when a snap on a Silver punt attempt sailed out the back of the endzone.

Insley hauled in eight passes for 147 yards in the scrimmage.

Dugas had 18 carries for 48 yards for the Silver while freshman Johnnie Holmes carried the ball 12 times for 39 yards. Chris Lemon, who has been the Pack's starter for most of his three seasons, was held out of the scrimmage and most of the spring season do to injury.

"Chris has a hamstring pull and I purposely pulled him out so that injury can get better," Tisdel said.

Tisdel said there were some players that stood out during the spring season.

"I think Johnnie Holmes really caught a lot of people's eye,' Tisdel said. "Cody Johnson is a real up and coming offensive lineman and Christian Broussard played well in the secondary. Linebacker Josh Smith had a good spring, too."

Nevada lost only 10 players from its 6-5 squad last season. Tisdel said the large number of returning players will translate to a deep, experienced team this fall.

"We have a lot of experience coming back," Tisdel said. "What we were trying to do this spring was to create depth. I'm not talking about just pure numbers at every position but quality depth. I think going into the fall we have good, quality depth at nearly every position."

Part of the reason for the Wolf Pack's depth is a change in recruiting philosophy. Nevada is c now committed to recruiting primarily high school players. In February, the Pack inked 27 players and all but one were prep athletes.

"It makes a huge difference having a kid in your program for five years," Tisdel said. "You have the opportunity to develop a player over time rather than your two-year junior college transfer that is just like an overnight transition."

The Pack will open its 1999 season Sept. 4 at Mackay against Pac-10 foe Oregon State.


Posted April 26, 1999
Copyright 1999 Nevada Outpost


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