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September 7, 2012USF football arrived in Reno, Nevada late Friday afternoon after about a 2,300-mile flight from Tampa.
The Bulls prepare to face a Nevada team that won its opener at California and went 5-1 at home last season. In fact, Nevada has proven to be one of the best homefield advantages in the country in recent years. The Wolf Pack have gone 17-1 in its past 18 games at home, including a memorable victory over Boise State in 2010.
"I don't think anybody is taking anything for granted," Holtz said. "We understand the challenges we have in playing a good football team with the obstacles in front of us with playing on the road, the altitude, and what they run as an offense and everything else."
Nevada runs a pistol formation, something USF doesn't see in the Big East, or for that matter, anywhere.
The Bulls will also have to deal with the high altitude, not to mention adjust to the three-hour time differential in the west coast time zone.
"I think a lot of it has to do with the altitude," Nevada tackle Jeff Nady said to the Reno Gazette-Journal in regards to the Wolf Pack's homefield advantage. "I don't know that personally because I'm from here, but you hear the freshmen guys who come up here say, 'I can't breathe! I can't breathe!' It's definitely a factor and as the months go on and the temperature drops, you come up here and it's cold and you can't breathe if you're an opposing team, but it's something we are used to here at Nevada."
But Holtz had a message for his team as it deals with the longest road trip in school history.
"Control what you can control," Holtz said. "Let's not worry about the things that are out of our control and make it a business trip."
-Junior running back Marcus Shaw, who injured his ankle in the opener, isn't expected to play, Holtz said Thursday. Senior Lindsey Lamar had plans to redshirt this season, but Shaw's absence will likely force Lamar into action on Saturday as the No. 2 running back behind Demetris Murray.
-The Bulls did receive some good news this week along the injury front, as sophomore left tackle Darrell Williams is expected to play Saturday after missing the opener with an ankle injury. Right tackle Quinterrius Eatmon has also been limited with a minor concussion, but the redshirt sophomore is expected to start Saturday after rotating in off the bench in the opener.
-Saturday's meeting will mark the first ever meeting between the two schools, and is the first game of a two-game series, which concludes when the Wolfpack travel to Tampa in 2015.