WEEK 1 / Nevada (0-0) vs. UCLA (0-0)

Pac-12 Network | Saturday | 10:00pm EST

OG
#70 Joel Bitonio
6'4", 315 lbs, 26 consecutive starts
vs
OLB
#11 Anthony Barr
13.5 sacks, 83 tackles, 21 TFL (2012)

Analysis

Nevada begins the post-Chris Ault era on the road at the Rose Bowl under new head coach Brian Polian. After North Carolina offensive tackle James Hurst more than held his own when confronted by South Carolina's All-Everything defensive end Jadaveon Clowney in their nationally-televised confrontation, it will be Joel Bitonio's turn to try and stifle one of the nation's elite pass rushers in the form of outside linebacker Anthony Barr. The 5th year Wolfpack OT has started 26 consecutive games and is a preseason All-Mountain West honors candidate. A former high school basketball player and shot putter, this performance will go a long way in determining his NFL future as an OT or OG.

Barr is on every defensive award "watch list" coming into 2013 after recording 83 total tackles, 21 tackles-for-loss and 13.5 sacks a season ago. He began his career as a running back/F-back and actually started 11 of 24 games on the offensive side of the football during his first two years in Westwood. He moved to OLB after Coach Jim Mora arrived in the spring of 2012 and put together an All-PAC 12 and All-American caliber campaign by utilizing his elite athletic skills and explosive burst to rush the quarterback and chase down the football.

UPDATE: Barr recorded four tackles (three solo) and registered two tackles for loss (totaling -3 yards) in a 58-20 UCLA victory.