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USF Football First Look: USF vs. Nevada

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After a season-opening win against FCS Chattanooga, the South Florida Bulls hit the road and step up in class this week as they face the Nevada Wolf Pack in Reno.


GAME: USF Bulls at Nevada Wolf Pack
WHERE: Mackay Stadium, Reno, NV
DATE/TIME: Saturday, September 8, 3:30pm Eastern
TV: CBS Sports Network
TICKETS: If you can make it out to Reno, you shouldn't have any trouble getting in.

This is the first-ever meeting between the schools. Nevada is due to visit Tampa in 2015 for the second game in this home-and-home series. Also, at a distance of 2,276 miles in the air, this will be the longest road trip in USF football history. The previous record was 2,092 miles, set in the Bulls' game against San Diego State in 1999.

We'll have more information about Nevada leading up to Saturday's game, but here are the basics:

CONFERENCE: Mountain West (1st year)
2012 SEASON: Beat California 31-24 in last week's season opener for their first win in Berkeley in 109 years. Game and therefore season stats can be found here.
SB NATION BLOG: No team-specific blog, but Mountain West Connection now covers Nevada athletics after their move from the WAC.
OTHER NEWS OUTLETS: Reno Gazette-Journal, Nevada Appeal, Sparks Tribune

COACH: Chris Ault (28th year at Nevada, 227-103-1). Ault is now the longest-tenured coach in FBS football, although his 28 years are not consecutive. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002 and is in his third stint as Wolf Pack coach.

KEY OFFENSIVE PLAYERS: Quarterback Cody Fajardo is another in the line of dual-threat quarterbacks Nevada has employed in their famed Pistol offense. Stefphon Jefferson is the workhorse running back, who carried 35 times for 149 yards and three touchdowns in the Wolf Pack's win against California last weekend. Another player to know is receiver Brandon Wimberly, who was shot outside a Reno nightclub in June 2011 and overcame some serious odds to return to the lineup last week.

KEY DEFENSIVE PLAYERS: The two most important defenders are linebacker Jeremiah Green, a coverage linebacker who will be all over the short passes, and cornerback Khalid Wooten, who intercepted four passes last year led the Wolf Pack in tackles last week. Safety Duke Williams started as a true freshman last year and will also be a factor.