It really wasn't such an ugly game to watch. There were uglier games played on Saturday, a lot worse. Actually, there was hope for the Weber State Wildcats through most of the game.
With the nation's most potent 1-AA offenses (508.8 yards per game) and the division's top offensive quarterbacks (Jamie Martin averaging 348.8 yards a game), there was always hope.Not much went Weber's way, though, in its 28-7 loss to University of Nevada, the Big Sky Conference leaders with an unblemished record of 8-0 overall and 6-0 in conference. Weber dropped to 4-5 and 3-4.
There was an interception, a blocked punt and fumble recovers, all in Nevada's favor. Odds, too, were that after eight good games, the Wildcats were due for a letdown.
Weber Coach Dave Arslanian said after that his team "stunk up the place" on offense. Actually, it wasn't that bad.
It was 7-0 for Nevada at the end of the first quarter and 14-0 at the half. In past games, Weber's offensive machinery has put out TDs in under a minute. So, given a minute, a few good breaks, and another minute or so of good old passing offense and it would have been a new game.
But alas, something gummed up the offensive works, mainly the Wolf Pack defense, and the offensive game stayed stuck - Martin has his six-game string of 300 yards-plus stopped, Weber fell nearly 200 yards short of its average and the Wildcats receivers were probably the least busiest players on the field, which is a reverse of past games.
It wasn't that Nevada was so much better than Weber. Nevada had 20 first downs, to Weber's 18; Nevada had 366 yards offense, to Weber's 312; Nevada completed 11 of 22 passes and had one interception, to Weber's 18 of 36 and one interception; and Nevada had the ball 32:10, to 27:50 for Weber.
What counted most was Nevada's ground game - 237 yards, 220 alone by Ray Whalen, to Weber's 74 yards, which included a minus-65 for Martin.
Take away Whalen's running, Weber's defense did a good job. It kept the game within reach right up to the final quarter.
Now Weber must regroup and with two games left, play to break .500. It's possible. All the pieces are there. Weber will get a week off before meeting Northern Arizona on Nov. 10, time enough to see what went wrong with the scoring machine, and fix it.