rebels football:

Channing Trotter excited about Hauck’s offensive approach

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Sam Morris

Running back Channing Trotter runs a route during the first day of UNLV football practice Monday, March 15, 2010, at Rebel Park.

UNLV's First Practice Under Hauck

On the first day of spring practice, the UNLV football team practiced for the first time under new head coach Bobby Hauck.

UNLV Spring Football Practice

Head coach Bobby Hauck pushes his players during the first day of UNLV football practice Monday, March 15, 2010, at Rebel Park. Launch slideshow »

Channing Trotter felt he could have made a difference in the game that likely would have changed the fortunes of the UNLV football team last fall.

The tailback had an 18-yard touchdown run in the first quarter against Wyoming in the fourth game of the season and added two other runs of more than 10 yards in the initial half. Then, he was unheard of for virtually the rest of the game.

It’s not that Trotter didn’t run hard. It’s that coaches abandoned calling running plays.

UNLV turned the ball over four times in falling 30-27 to start a four-game losing streak. A win against Wyoming, however, would have put the Rebels at 3-1 overall and full of confidence heading into the meat of their schedule.

UNLV eventually recorded its ninth straight losing season and coach Mike Sanford was fired with one year left on his contract.

Enter new coach Bobby Hauck.

Hauck’s version of the spread offense will have more emphasis on the running game, meaning the rising senior Trotter will receive his chance. While no spots in the lineup have been won in this the first week of spring practice, the 5-foot-8, 200-pound Trotter is the Rebels’ leading returning rusher with 541 yards and nine touchdowns.

He expects UNLV to run the ball 25 to 30 times a game next fall. And he is working hard to make sure it’s his number that is called.

“Obviously this offense is geared more to what I like to do, and that’s run the football,” Trotter said. “The more carries I receive, the better groove I can get in.”

Trotter only had 114 carries last year, which was also a team best. The year before, Frank Summers was under-utilized in only rushing 183 times for 740 yards.

That could change under Hauck.

Hauck said he is striving for offensive balance and will let the situation of the game dictate how the plays are called. If UNLV is behind, for instance, there will obviously be more passing plays.

Regardless, he said, there is a basic expectation for all players on offense. Running backs must protect the quarterback on passing plays, and wide receivers are expected to be blocking down field on running plays, Hauck said.

“(That is) if they want to touch the ball,” the coach said.

Hauck, still refusing to single out any particular player, praised his crew of running backs for their performance at Wednesday’s practice. Backs like Trotter, junior-to-be C.J. Cox and red-shirt freshman Bradley Randle each received carries during a drill at the end of the two-hour practice. Several running plays went between the tackles.

“I came here to play running back,” said Trotter, who had a season-best 102 yards and three touchdowns against Sacramento State last year. “Getting carries is what any running back wants.”

Cox, who gained just 175 yards on 50 carries last year, said the new coaching staff has given him a fresh start.

“Hauck brings a certain energy to the field,” Cox said.

Next practice in pads

UNLV will practice in pads for the first time Thursday. The first two practices have been in helmets only, per NCAA regulations.

“We will get a better feel for them (Thursday) and Saturday when we put pads on and play a little,” Hauck said.

Hauck has opened all positions to competition and says there have been times when a starter from the previous season loses his job, and never regains it.

“Some days the offense will win. Some days the defense will win,” Hauck said. “We have to go out and compete.”

Former No.1 draft pick visits Rebs

Steve Emtman, the first pick in the 1992 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts, was at Rebel Park Wednesday for practice. Emtman, a defensive lineman, played for the University of Washington, where Hauck coached from 1999 to 2002.

Emtman said the Rebels are headed in the right direction under Hauck.

“UNLV has a good group of coaches. They are fantastic,” Emtman said. “They are going to be aggressive and get those guys to play hard.”

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  1. UNLV has such an exciting group of running backs that it would be insane not to feature them in the offense. Cannot wait to see Bradley Randle in action.

    I love Omar Clayton as a person and think he has done well as a starting QB but every time I saw Mike Clausen last year it seemed as though he was moving the ball more effectively. Obviously, Clausen was used in certain situations that may have made a difference. However, Clausen appeared to see the field better and in an offense that does not focus as much on the 'read-option' (Omar's forte) Clausen may be more effective.

    What do you think, Ray? (BTW: Keep up the football stories. Can't get enough)

  2. I like Hauck's approach, let's hope we see it translate on the field. Go Rebels!

  3. If coach Hauck cannot win here then nobody is going to win here. How can anyone not be excited for this group of players & upcoming season? I trust Bobby's decision making abilities to place the right players in the right positions. His offenses always produced big yards and big plays at Montana. Last year a 3,000 yard passer, 1,400 yard receiver, a 1,000 yard rusher with 22 td's, I would say that's balance. Imagine what he is going to do with players like Clayton, Clausen, Payne, Trotter, & Randle! Oh did I mention this defense will be leaps and bounds better under this coaching staff with players being put at the right positions playing with intensity, motivation, & disciplined hunger. Get your season tickets now!!

  4. I dont expect greatness the first couple seasons in the MWC, but give him a couple years to establish himself and recruit his type of players and should be great with teams here like TCU, Utah, etc. Anything else to me is icing on the cake.

  5. Hey BetOnBlack the best that ever done it is U, I see U calling it like it is again this year U know me am all about the D what it looks like any changes out there . What about the kids Bridget Jr. and Childers heard they have put on some lbs. Let me know East Side kid Gone West...

  6. Coach Houck will bring excitement back to Rebel Football

  7. Gang: Nothing all too concrete to report on the QB competition. Clayton did complete a nice pass to Phillip Payne yesterday. He zipped the ball between two defenders. ...I really like the red-shirt freshman Caleb Herring. In time, he could be something special. I like the way he throws the ball. Definitely the future.

  8. Say what you want about Sanford but he didn't leave the cupboard bare for coach Hauck, he did recruit well. The past 2 seasons this team was able to win 5 games by themselves without a coach. I don't think a bowl game this season is out of reach. Thats what I'm expecting even with the tough schedule.

    Bridget is a shutdown corner who should have played last year not redshirted. Childers is solid all the way around. Hopefully Starr steps up and moves himself to safety in the open competition tryouts during camp. I'd like to see CJ Cox moved to safety where he was a high recruit out of High School. UNLV is deep enough at RB we could use Cox's speed at "FS" IMO. Can't wait for Wisconsin, expect a UNLV win in the opener, callin it now..

  9. Steve Emtman was drafted in 1992 by the Colts and out of league by 1997 due to injuries. Hauck was at UCLA when Emtman left school. Hauck did not make it to Washington til 1999

  10. The only thing that concerns me is the tough schedule. It will be difficult for Hauck to win in his first season, and I hope fans don't give up on him too soon.

    And I agree that Sanford was a pretty good recruiter, and didn't leave the cupboard bare like Robinson did, but like Bayno, he was no head coach.

  11. Tarkus - If we're losing i don't think too many people will bail on Hauck his first year, as long as the fight is there. If they roll over for some opponents the public will be pissed.

  12. Hey BetonBlack I just heard that the kid Bridget will be moved to Free Saftey this up coming year have any body heard that around town WOWWWWW good move ya think this kid can see the whole field do I here 6 INT'S this year that would be big.

  13. Bet on Black even you ? I consider you a great student of this game by the remarks you make.
    It is amazing the tarnish that is left by poor coaching has even effected you on our talent that we already have.
    Bet on Black ,Starr a fantastic hitter,however my opinion he does not go backwards good enough to be in the secondary.Also not enough dexterity.
    We have a Saftey #22 De Giacomo jc transfer
    from the POWERHOUSE of J.C FOOTBALL El CAMINO,in Los Angeles.
    De Giacomo was a J.C All American,Defensive Captain, and Hardest Hitter Award winner.2years back.
    With all honesty the poor coaching ruined this kids game. Therrell D/coordinator and Saftey coach was telling him to hit differently. He never was named as starter,though he played more then the other Saftey.This got him to doubt his game and himself.
    Sanford promised him he was going to start, That is Why he came here not UCLA,not Washington nor Kansas because these coaches said ,"you will start".and your not.You are now messing up his game. To top it off Therrell runs cover 2 the majority of the time with no pass rush .. well you know who is not going to look good ..the D.Bs
    Besides De Giacomo,there are few more casualties that occured from the inept staff that was here. We need to take a breathe and watch Hauk do some tuff love and get us Right.
    We will do just fine this year.

  14. @Moni,

    Maybe so about Starr but this I do know he is not a legit SLB, way too small. Technique can be tweaked a little bit and it makes all the difference on the field during games. All I know is the best athletes at heir positions need to be on the field on both sides of the ball & I feel that this new coaching staff is going to do that.

    I think we all will be surprised with the discipline and change in technique we see in this defense. The athletes are there are this team they just need leadership & coaching to push them over the edge. The 1st thing that needs to be addressed is the D-line. If we cannot get in the backfield with pressure it will be another long season.

  15. @ BETONBLACK I REALLY FEEL YOU, HEY YOU DO NO WHAT YOUR TALKING ABOUT ON THIS SITE WITH UNLV FOOTBALL . SO WITH THAT YOU ARE MY EYE'S AND EAR'S 3200 MILES AWAY FROM LAS VEGAS.BETONBLACK AS YOU MAY NO FROM LAST YEAR I'AM A DB/CB FAN LOVE ALL THE INFO THAT U CAN GIVE OUT , HELL I THINK THAT AM GOING TO BUT INTO THIS KID BRIDGET SINCE YOU SAY HE IS THE REAL DEAL . ALSO WHAT 'S UP WITH THE #8 QB ANY GOOD.

    THANK'S BLACK
    YOUR EAST COAST BUDDY,

  16. @runstopper

    I think we all like to think that we know what we are talking about, most of the time it is just biased fan nonsense. I call it like I see it, ya know I bring the good and the bad, straight shooter. The #8 QB is Caleb Herring, 2x CIF state champion in Riverside County. Great runner, great passer with rocket arm, and soft touch as well. Bridget is the real deal had picks in practice last year while defending Payne on the fade pattern.

  17. "We will go to the ends of the earth to find a player. We will spend every waking moment preparing for our opponents." Coach Bobby Hauck (pronounced Howk I'm told by my Montana friends)

    I might have a word or two wrong but it's pretty close.

  18. @BetOnBlack thanks and will be out to 2-4 games this year maybe I could meet ya when I come out. Again thanks for all the info.

  19. COACH TODD BERRY, WHAT A GENIOUS!!!!