UNLV offense and defense lag in 41-0 loss to TCU

Rebels must win final three games to be eligible for a bowl game

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AP Photo/Mike Stone

TCU linebacker Kris Gardner (33) reaches for the ball fumbled by UNLV wide receiver Ryan Wolfe, center, on a punt return as center Clint Gresham (54), left, wide receiver Jimmy Young (88), safety Malcolm Williams (15), defensive end Wayne Daniels (96), cornerback Jason Teague (27) and linebacker Tank Carder (43) converge on the play in the second half Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009, in Fort Worth, Texas. TCU defeated UNLV 41-0.

UNLV vs. TCU

TCU wide receiver Antoine Hicks (13) breaks the tackle-attempt by UNLV cornerback Alex De Giacomo on the way to a touchdown in the first half against UNLV on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009, in Fort Worth, Texas. Launch slideshow »

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  • Opponent: Colorado State
  • Date: Nov. 7, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Sam Boyd Stadium
  • TV: The Mtn. (Cox Ch. 334)
  • Radio: ESPN 1100 AM
  • All-time series:CSU leads, 4-12-1
  • The line: CSU by 1.5

In UNLV’s five previous losses this season, it was easy to place the bulk of the blame on either the offense or the defense.

TCU’s crushing 41-0 victory against the Rebels Saturday in Fort Worth was different. Both units turned in equally inept performances.

“We just didn’t do the things you need to do to win a game,” UNLV coach Mike Sanford said. “We didn’t tackle well enough, and we didn’t block well enough.”

The Rebels offense managed only seven first downs and 160 total yards of offense en route to being shut out for the first time this season.

Quarterbacks Omar Clayton and Mike Clausen combined to go 9-for-23 for 41 yards and an interception. They never got the Rebels inside of the TCU 30-yard line.

The defense, meanwhile, gave up 578 yards of offense to No. 8 TCU, including a number of big plays.

The first came near the end of the first quarter when TCU quarterback Andy Dalton threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Antoine Hicks.

Five minutes later, TCU’s Ed Wesley sprinted down the field for a 59-yard touchdown. The Horned Frogs went into the locker room with a 20-0 lead.

“I think TCU is obviously an excellent football team, and they are deserving of their rankings,” Sanford said.

At the beginning of the third quarter, Sanford said he expected his team to fight back.

But the Rebels appeared to have no fight left. Dalton, who had three touchdowns and 178 yards on 12-for-20 passing, threw for two more touchdowns before TCU coach Gary Patterson substituted in his backups.

Even the Horned Frogs’ second string had no problems moving the ball on UNLV. They scored one final touchdown with less than two minutes remaining to make their victory look even more dominating.

When UNLV got the ball back, it was content to just run the time out and accept the shutout.

“This is by far the best defense we’ve faced all season,” Sanford said. “We were obviously not productive on offense, and we’ve got to be able to score points and move the ball.”

Aside from one 40-yard rush from Clausen in the second half, the Rebels averaged less than three yards per carry. Channing Trotter had 12 yards on six yards.

UNLV’s special teams also struggled. Ryan Wolfe muffed a punt deep in UNLV territory that TCU recovered and turned into an easy touchdown.

The offensive woes forced Kyle Watson to punt a career-high 11 times.

TCU improved to 8-0 and is four wins from a possible BCS bowl game appearance.

UNLV needs to win its remaining three games just to be eligible for a bowl game. The Rebels play Colorado State and San Diego State at home and travel to Air Force.

“We competed today,” Sanford said. “We just didn’t do the things that you need to do to win football games.”

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Previous Discussion: 11 comments so far…

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  1. I wonder if Sanford will get fired this week? He needs to do the honorable thing and resign.

    www.firemikesanford.com

  2. In a word; WOEFUL.

  3. The last time UNLV was shutout was on 11/08/03 in a 7-0 loss at home to San Diego State.

  4. "We just didn't do the things you need to do to win a game," UNLV coach Mike Sanford said.

    Sounds like a great coach? I mean how much longer intill this guy gets fired,"comon" This guy has the same excuse every week but does nothing about it.maybe he cant!!unlv season is over they will not beat airforce let alone san diego state..

  5. The Coaches and Players all quit in that horrible game in Fort Worth

  6. They are all horrible games. We beat UH who are at the bottom of their conference. We beat UNM who is at the bottom of our conference. We beat Sac State who is in the bottom half of their conference. And, then we get killed by a combined total of 135 points by the three top teams in our conference. The bottom line is we can't compete with the big boys. The sad part is the UNLV administration doesn't care because if they did they would say enough is enough. I'm done. This is it. If it's not about basketball I'm not commenting any more and I'm not following Rebel football any more. I know how to say enough is enough. This season is over.

  7. I have been done a long time ago, I just keep coming on here to talk trash about Sanford and this team. What a bunch of losers and quitters!! This team has taken 10 steps back since last year and are making the kind of mistakes they did in his first year. Remember he is not being judged by wins and losses and we shouldn't be so harsh he is such a nice guy, Koloskie needs to be kicked in the a** with steel toes!!

    There should not be one UNLV fan at Sam Boyd the rest of the season or if you are there you need to bring out the posters - "Fire Sanford Now" - "Koloskie is a puss" and etc...

  8. They should just get rid of football altogether. They suck and will never be any good. Face it this a basketball school.

  9. I think its a bit much to bash the young men (many of whom are quite talented) who chose to come to UNLV. I actually feel badly for them, they were told this was an up and coming program and they have a terrible coaching staff. A guy like Ryan Wolfe who in his years here as never seen a winning season, and who really should go down as one of UNLV's best ever, its sucks for him. But football will never be pitched as the school makes money on it, period. Everyone knows Sanford is gone at the end of the year, I have a suspicion he may know, let's figure out who's next.

  10. Case;
    Had 12 yards on six yards? Read your stuff buddy. Seriously, UNLV couldn't get invited to a high-school bowl game in New Mexico.

    As for Sanford saying "we competed today". Hey Coach, you didn't want the team to talk to the media a few weeks back, maybe it is your turn to keep quiet!

  11. @shawn2724,

    I know you mean well but 98% of the players on this team absolutely suck. The coaching staff is the worst in D1 football but somwhere along the line as a player you have to refuse to lose and execute efficiently and neither side of the ball can do it or has stepped their game up. Way too many missed assignments, tackles, blunders for these guys to be good players.

    Ryan Wolfe is a great receiver from the 20 to the 20 but he is not clutch and cannot get it done when it counts. How many td's does he have this year - 2? I could be wrong on the number but it is way too low. There is not one player on this team that has stood up and taken control of this team with leadership and put the team on his shoulder pads. The fat lady has been singing over this program for the past 40+ years. I wouldn't shed one tear if they banished this program from collegiate sports tomorrow!!