REBELS FOOTBALL:

Hauck begins to look to 2011 as BYU stomps reeling UNLV, 55-7

Rebels coach lumps self into group of people who need to increase toughness

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AP Photo/Colin E. Braley

UNLV players, from left, Nate Holloway, Mike Clausen, Calvin Randleman and Nate Carter react during the final seconds against BYU, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010, in Provo, Utah. BYU defeated UNLV 55-7.

UNLV - BYU Football

BYU tailback Joshua Quezada (20) rushes for a first down as UNLV defensive lineman Nate Halloway (68) chases during the first half at LaVell Edwards Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010, in Provo, Utah. BYU plays in the New Mexico Bowl against UTEP Saturday. Launch slideshow »

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PROVO, Utah — Just when you thought the lows couldn't get any lower, UNLV's football team hit rock bottom on Saturday afternoon.

Or at least first-year coach Bobby Hauck hopes this is the bottom.

"It better be," he said following a 55-7 shellacking at the hands of struggling BYU at LaVell Edwards Stadium. "I'm just bitterly disappointed right now."

In the wake of easily the most lopsided loss of a frustrating 2010 season, Hauck held maybe his most insightful post-game press conference.

He stated the obvious in that several things that can be controlled have to change. But he also tossed himself into that category.

"Frankly, I don't think we have enough toughness on our team — in particular, mental toughness," he said. "And that starts with the head coach not being tough enough. I have got to improve myself, and we're going to spend the next 10 months developing toughness on our football team, because when things go wrong for us, we have a tendency to let them snowball on us.

"And that's not good, because we don't have the ability when things start to go the wrong direction to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and make things happen."

Hauck refused to say that his team quit on a sunny, warm afternoon in Provo, but it was clear that it didn't take long for the Rebels to take on the look of a defeated team.

Senior quarterback Omar Clayton threw an interception on the first play from scrimmage, however, the UNLV defense showed some resolve in forcing an eye-opening three-and-out on BYU's subsequent series.

After that, positives were few and nearly non-existent.

The Cougars (4-5 overall, 3-2 Mountain West Conference) would have the ball five more times before the half, scoring touchdowns to cap each possession.

Meanwhile, UNLV (1-8, 1-4) featured an offense that sputtered, to say the least.

The Rebels totaled only 73 yards in the first half, and before a 70-yard touchdown drive in the closing minutes, would post just one yard of offense in an uninspired second half performance.

Ultimately, it was just more of the same for UNLV on the road, who entered Saturday's action 0-4 away from Sam Boyd Stadium, losing those games by an average margin of 30.8 points.

On the other hand, BYU broke out from a season of offensive frustrations, clearly relishing ever second of it.

The Cougars had not scored more than 25 points in a game all season entering Saturday. They posted that against the Rebels just over five minutes into the second quarter.

BYU freshman quarterback Jake Heaps came into the game against UNLV having completed only 52.2 percent of his passes, with two touchdown passes and seven interceptions to his credit. He turned in a career day, going 19-of-31 for 294 yards, two TDs and no picks.

The highly-touted teenager celebrated with his linemen after seemingly every completion and was able to rejoice some more in the fourth quarter, watching the final 15 minutes from the sidelines.

The Cougars' season was somewhat reborn, as a shot at bowl eligibility now looks much clearer. Their next two games come against a pair of beatable league foes at Colorado State and at home versus New Mexico. They'll close against Utah, whose perfect season was ruined earlier in the day by apparently BCS-bound TCU, 47-7, down the road in Salt Lake City.

Across the field, Hauck couldn't help but think ahead to 2011, as 2010 becomes gradually tougher to watch week-to-week and the finish line draws closer.

After dropping his "spend the next ten months developing toughness" line, Hauck, who has repeatedly said that his focus is on this season and winning games, was asked if looking to 2011 takes on more of the focus.

"Absolutely," he said. "There's no reason to do anything else, and as I've said, I want our seniors to enjoy their last month of football, but we need to move forward with improving our program, because it isn't good enough."

Of the major questions moving forward, maybe the most talked-about will be how Hauck and his staff handle their quarterback situation.

For the fifth time in nine games, Clayton was lifted in favor of redshirt freshman quarterback-of-the-future Caleb Herring due to ineffectiveness.

Clayton played some in the second half, and on the same field where he threw for 350 yards in a narrow defeat two years ago, he was 3-of-8 for 13 yards and an interception.

Herring led the touchdown drive at the end, finding fellow frosh Marcus Sullivan for his first career score, and that made his stat line look a little brighter. He was still only 8-of-21 for 109 yards, the TD and an interception of his own.

At several other positions, though, injuries have left the Rebels weak, exposed and depth-challenged.

Hauck said part of making his team tougher this season will most likely not include cranking up practice intensity too much, as he can't afford to lose many more bodies. UNLV appears set to limp toward the end making the most of what it's got.

In other words, 2010 cannot end soon enough.

"We're playing a lot of young guys and a lot of walk-on guys. It's just where we are," Hauck said. "I need to knuckle down and we need to make this a hard-nosed outfit.

"Bailing wire and duct tape is holding us together right now and, unfortunately, that's the way it looks on the field, too."

Notes

• BYU finished with 516 yards of total offense compared to 144 for UNLV. The Cougars were also 11-of-17 on third downs and held the Rebels to a 3-of-14 showing in that department.

• Despite the Cougars' struggles in 2010, the announced attendance was a impressive 61,283.

• BYU got a little chippy late after UNLV senior safety Alex De Giacomo was given a 15-yard personal foul penalty for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Cougars back-up running back David Foote. Foote was down for several minutes, and De Giacomo went to coach Bronco Mendenhall to offer up an apology.

• In his second game back off of a two-game suspension for disparaging comments made on his Twitter feed, junior receiver Phillip Payne was again not heard from much. After posting only two catches for 26 yards in a 48-6 loss to TCU, he was held to one catch for 16 yards against BYU.

• Sullivan had the aforementioned 24-yard touchdown to cap his first game back from a chest injury suffered against West Virginia back on Oct. 2. The speedy Cheyenne High product also averaged 33.8 yards on four kick returns. Hauck values special teams greatly, and in that regard, Sullivan has been one of the Rebels' steadiest contributors.

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  1. "Hauck begins to look to 2011"---As does his team!

  2. The headline could have been:
    Rebels quit in lopsided loss to worst BYU team in decades.....

  3. College football is my all-time favorite. Why, oh why am I cursed to be a UNLV fan? There is no other college team I want to cheer for. But UNLV football has been killing me annually for the past 25 years straight. We... suck.... every... single....year.

    Tip:
    UNLV admin--Get donors, state taxes, whatever, and pour WAY more money into the football program, please. Get this embarrasment up on its feet.

    Coaches--Recruit, recruit, recruit, recruit. Then stick all of your biggest, baddest, fastest, ugliest, most athletic, meanest, smartest players we acquire, and put them all on defense. All of them. Worry about the poor offense later... and I do mean poor.

    Players--When are you scrubs going to get tired of having your heads kicked in every week by everyone else at every other school who plays college football? Hit the weights bigtime. Smarten up bigtime. Learn how to compete bigtime. Fight like you care bigtime. And quit acting like pansies every freaking Saturday. The fans are sick of your pathetic talk and no-walk... or, no-crawl even approach to the sport we love. Grow up and be men. You want to win?? Then pay the friggin price. If not, then please transfer your backside up to Reno so we can start kicking their trash around for once this decade.

  4. I've argued with Ryan about the program in the past, but all I could do as I looked at his blog today and the game on the TV was feel sorry for the SOB.

    Ryan, no kidding pal, I'm sorry you had to be there. What a pounding. Did they have early flights out of Provo? Do they even HAVE flights out of Provo?

    My best to you, man. I feel for you.

  5. To DocRebel,Thank-you!Congradulations!You just said everything that I would love for those idiots in the administrations office for the atheletics department to hear.That is exactly what they need to do,thank-you.God where are the dumb asses there to hear this kind of truth when they need-someone like you- to give it to them,straight.Thank-you.Now can we get you to go to the coaches office and repeat all that and then some to their faces and make them swallow it like real men should.Please do go there and tell them what you just said.I encourage it!

  6. ^^^ sensing some serious sarcasm

  7. What a way to ruin your Saturday. I'm now convinced that this coaching staff does not know how to run a spread offense. Everything looks like its in slow motion. Read-option hand offs are slow and awkward. It looks absolutely terrible. If the staff knows a more traditional offense, might as well coach what you know, because it CANNOT BE ANY WORSE than what is put out there now. Here's an idea, when your playing one of the worst run defenses in country, why not line up under center and jam it down their throats? Instead of doing some super slow developing BS that takes 10 seconds to get back to the line of scrimmage. And you can't tell me these players wouldn't be able to do that. Any player who's played any type of organized football has done that at least 1000 times.
    My only hope is that New Mexico actually beat Wyoming, although I don't think that matters much at this point.

  8. Hey Rebel fans, there is still room on the NEVADA bandwagon. The # 23 ranked Wolf Pack went to Idaho and blasted them 63-17 while racking up 844 yards. Can't wait to join the MWC, hopefully TCU stays in the league.

  9. Do I even need to say this again? Yah, I had better. UNLV made a huge tactical error with the hiring of Hauck. Huge! As I've always maintained, you don't hire a yuckster from a lower tier division to lead your FBS team!

    Rather, you find a quality assistant from the division in which you play - FBS - and let the guy make a name for himself while turning around a program that has no business belonging in the cellar of college football. Then, when he leaves, other *qualified* FBS coaches will want the job!

    Who is the UNLV AD? I think he should step down and appoint me as the new leader of UNLV athletics. No question!

  10. Think positively. It's basketball season!

  11. Why beat on Rebels they are just bad team and program. The Rebels have not had a coach with an overall winning record since Tony Knap in the 1980's. Will Hauck get the job done only time will tell.

  12. It's not mind boggling that Hauck was interviewed because of what he was able to achieve with the Griz. I've watched UNLV play this year, Montana (not so much this year) would run circles around UNLV. Like many Montana fans, I didn't care for Hauck because of his attitude, but the guy won football games. This year, the Griz have zero discipline compared to when Hauck was here. UNLV doesn't have the players to be competative. Recruiting has to be a nightmare for that program. Hauck is going to have to work magic to get kids to play there. I'm sure there are better coaches that could have been hired but I guarantee it's not just the coaching staff that is the problem.

  13. Some people^^ seem to forget that this is Hauck's first year and the current players are not the type of players he would recruit. We drove up to BYU to support our Rebels knowing they would lose but we don't care. When we get the right players on this team and start winning some games people will jump on the band wagon. Go Hauck-Go Rebels!!!!

  14. I think it's wrong to blame the coaching staff at this point, although everyone is at fault. The single most important thing is that there is not enough money in the football program to account for anything. The well's dry, people. It's been dry for decades. You can't draft good players next year, or the year after that if you can't tempt potential drafts with nifty scholarships or state-of-the-art facilities that most other crazed football colleges have. It's going to be status quo longer than anyone would like to admit, but until the unlv football admin wakes up and be proactive on their money management, we might as well shoot crap like we do every single year.

    DocRebel is absolutely right. It needs to start from the top; the UNLV administration needs to go out there and do fundraisers, find donors, and just scrap every nickle and dime they can find and pump it into the program. Only then, if we have the proper facilities, programs, coaches, and drafts we will be striding forward.

  15. GO REBELS!!!!

  16. DocRebel is ignoring a pesky fact: UNLV is a university and the core mission is being savaged by budget cuts, and will be again this year as the Secret Program is enacted by the new Governor.

    If the University can find money it needs to go into educating young people. This State deserves nothing less, and needs nothing less than a viable University to develop a workforce for the future.

    How can anyone pour money into a failing sports program, when whole academic departments are being shut down? The UNLV student population continues to grow, while the full-time staff are being reduced. But not the Football staff, all those well-paid coaches and assistants, oh no they are safe, despite years of futility.

    Why?

    All the conferences are re-aligning. This is a golden opportunity for the football program to shift conference, to something appropriate, and not pretend that UNLV will be competitive in something like the MWC in the foreseeable future.

    UNLV has other fine and successful sports programs. Focus on what works!

  17. Desertdem, why would UNLV degrade itself by lowering to a different conference? That is not logical at all.

    Do you suggest we become independent? /sarcasm

  18. We knew it was going to be tough coming into this season. At least UNLV will have appeal to some top tier high school players that want to start immediately, because I think as far as coach is concerned, there isn't a position that is safe right now.

  19. To the poster who said coaches cannot move up and be successful- Ask people at Ohio State how Jim Tressel turned out for them?

  20. desertdem: You need to study the relationship between sports and academics. Saying that athletics is drains academics is just not true. Athletic actually draws attention to the University and thereby increases interest and enrollment. Don't take my word. Do the research.
    Tough year! Hauck working with spread offense people is like trying to fit square peg into round hole. It will get better. Go Rebs!

  21. As a Montana State Bobcat fan, hated rivals of Hauck's former Montana Grizzlies, it is hard for me to admit this, but he is a good coach and UNLV was lucky to get him. One of the true measures of a coach's ability is recruiting. Hauck detractors should check the web for "NFL Players by College." There are 7 current players on NFL rosters who played for Hauck at Montana. By comparison, UNLV has 2, Nevada has 5 and even Boise State lists only 8! His teams at Montana played in 3 national championship games in 7 years. Now Montana is a leading candidate for joining the Mountain West Conference. Wouldn't it be ironic if they joined and made UNLV their first victim?

    By the way, did you know that there are 124 teams in the FCS (Formerly 1AA) division and 120 in the FBS? Only 16 teams qualify for the playoffs in the FCS. It's not easy to make it, much less play in 3 national championship games in 7 years.

    This stuff about the FCS being "JV" football is bull. Both Boise State and Nevada played in the same Big Sky Conference with Montana before moving up. Nevada still has the same coach! Jim Tressel coached at Youngstown St., another FCS school before taking the job at Ohio State. Just 3 years ago, Appalachian State went to Ann Arbor and beat Michigan. Before that, even a woeful Montana State team beat Colorado in Boulder! So you can go on and on about the "level" of college football programs, but it still comes down to coaching, and part of coaching is recruiting good players. The man has already proven that he can do that. Give him about 5 years.

  22. Coach Hauck&staff are good people.They want to recruit locally-If you really want to recruit locally Coach H, here's a great David & Goliath playoff game to watch live-Defending state champs, Bishop Gorman v. Shadow Ridge. The Mustangs D-line led by DE#88 and linebacker corps lead their Sunset NW Division and state in solo tackles. David might surprise Goliath one more time...hope to see you there Coach H.