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Long layoff almost over for Nevada, BC

1/6/2011

There are two teams who understand the long layoff Oregon and Auburn have had between games -- Nevada and Boston College.

As those two teams prepare for the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl on Sunday night in San Francisco, they will have had about the same number of days between games. If you want to get technical, Boston College will have had 42 days between games, tied for the longest layoff with Texas A&M. Nevada, Oregon and Auburn all played Dec. 4. The Ducks and Tigers play Monday in the BCS national championship game.

The question about having such a long layoff is one that is always asked during bowl season, but it is appropriate in the case of all four teams. All four were playing really well when the season ended, so you always wonder whether teams will be off rhythm or appear to be rusty at the start. The stakes are obviously much higher for Oregon and Auburn.

But there is plenty on the line for Boston College and Nevada. The Eagles ended the season on a five-game winning streak to become bowl eligible, and would love nothing more than to represent the ACC well and give the conference a winning record in bowl play. Nevada closed the season with six straight wins, including a huge upset over Boise State, and is ranked No. 15 going into the game. A win would cap the best season in school history.

Needless to say, both teams are eager to get on the field.

"When you practice for so long, it starts to get a little bit monotonous," Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick said. "Everybody's looking forward to the game. Once you practice for so much you're excited to get back on the field and get into game mode."

Offensive lineman John Bender repeated that thought in a blog post he did on the school's Web site.

"Hitting each other all day every day gets old pretty quick," he wrote. "We’re definitely ready to hit somebody else who’s not our teammate. We all want to turn that scoreboard on and play a real game as quickly as possible. Only a few more days until we get that opportunity, and we’re all very excited for it."