Nevada vs

Western Mich

at Detroit
Mon, Dec 27
8:00 AM Pacific
Rotation: 233
Odds: Western Mich -6.5, Total: 56

Game Analysis

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Western Michigan (-6.5/-7)  32   Nevada  23

I have algorithms that give me a baseline to determine the value of players, but I had to dig deep into my tool bag to figure out how much all the offensive defections on Nevada were worth. The Wolf Pack will be without two-time MWC Offensive Player of the Year QB Carson Strong along with most of his receivers and their top tackler on defense. After crunching the numbers, I came pretty close to the market reaction to all the defections, which also include head coach Norvell and a lot of his assistants.

Nevada’s offense was only 0.4 yards per pass play better than average with Strong and his receiving corps intact and I think they’ll be more than yard per play worse than average given that the rushing attack is bad (4.5 yards per rushing play against teams that would allow 5.1 yprp to an average team) and the pass attack, which is only +0.3 yppp with Strong, will be about 2 yppp worse than average without their star QB and a strong set of receivers that have moved on – although future NFL receiver Romeo Doubs has given no official word yet on his status (I’ll assume he won’t play either).

I started the adjustment by using Nevada’s pass rating in Strong’s first season and the season before that, which I figure is a good estimation of the backup quarterback with no starting experience and then I adjusted for the absence of the top 5 wide-receivers and the NFL-bound tight end that caught 62 passes. Nevada goes from being a good offensive team to likely being a horrible offensive team.

Western Michigan was 0.6 yards per play worse than average overall this season, rating at 0.5 yprp worse than average defending the run and 0.9 yppp worse than average against the pass. I project 304 yards at 5.0 yppl for Nevada in this game but there is obviously a lot of variance in that projection.

Western Michigan’s offense has been 0.2 yppl better than average with quarterback Kaleb Eleby continuing his career trend of avoiding mistakes (just 5 interceptions on 350 passes). The Broncos are really good at moving the chains and controlling the ball, as they averaged 35.5 minutes of possession per game. Nevada’s defense was 0.2 yppl worse than average in the regular season and they’ll be a bit worse without leading tackler Daiyan Henley, who has left the program. Henley’s 8 passes defended (4 of them interceptions) led the team from a linebacker position, which is impressive. Western Michigan is projected to gain 477 yards at 6.5 yppl in this game.

The issue for the Broncos is their horrible special teams, but I still favor them by 9.7 points.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Nevada
  • Western Mich


  • Run Plays 21.3 34.7
  • Run Yards 95.3 199.3
  • YPRP 4.5 5.7


  • Pass Comp 32.2 21.7
  • Pass Att 45.8 35.3
  • Comp % 70.3% 61.5%
  • Pass Yards 372.2 227.3
  • Sacks 3.3 3.1
  • Sack Yards 21.0 21.3
  • Sack % 6.6% 8.0%
  • Pass Plays 49.0 38.3
  • Net Pass Yards 351.2 206.0
  • YPPP 7.2 5.4


  • Total Plays 70.3 73.0
  • Total Yards 446.5 405.3
  • YPPL 6.3 5.6


  • Int 0.7 1.1
  • Int % 1.5% 3.1%
  • Fumbles 0.1 1.1
  • Turnovers 0.8 2.2
  • Points 36.7 24.4
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