UNLV FOOTBALL:

UNR has BCS and championship aspirations following hot 2010 start

Chris Ault miffed at wording of credential, sees it as disrespect

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Sam Morris

UNR quarterback Colin Kaepernick is hoisted onto shoulders after Saturday’s game against UNLV. UNR won the game 44-26 to run their win streak over UNLV to six.

UNLV vs. UNR Football

UNLV fan Alex Salvo reacts to a penalty late in Saturday's game against UNR. UNR won the game 44-26 to run their win streak over UNLV to six. Launch slideshow »

KSNV Channel 3 sports UNLV-UNR

KSNV Channel 3 coverage of No. 25 UNR's 44-26 victory over UNLV on Saturday night at Sam Boyd Stadium.

No. 25 UNR vs. UNLV

UNR ran its win streak against UNLV to six with a 44-26 victory on Saturday night at Sam Boyd Stadium.

The Rebel Room

UNR POSTGAME: Make it six for the Pack

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Ryan Greene, Case Keefer and Ray Brewer discuss everything that was UNR's sixth consecutive victory over UNLV in the Battle for the Fremont Cannon, including Chris Ault's random postgame tirade. Will things get better anytime soon for the Rebels? The guys discuss, starting with what to expect next week when the Rebels travel east to face West Virginia.

A true “BCS buster” is a team that no one sees coming.

So forget TCU and Boise State, two top five programs from non-BCS conferences. As good as those teams are, it would shock no one if either went undefeated and reached a BCS game for the second year in a row in January.

UNR, on the other hand, would come as a surprise. It must be considered as a possibility after UNR improved to 5-0 Saturday night at Sam Boyd Stadium by beating UNLV 44-26 to keep the Fremont Cannon for the sixth year in a row.

“It’s great to win on the road two times in a row and come back home next week,” UNR coach Chris Ault said. “We need to get better, though. We’re not where we need to be to compete at a championship-level consistently.”

UNR opens its WAC schedule next week with a home game against San Jose State. The Wolf Pack are looking to win their first conference title since 2005.

UNLV got to see a blueprint of how its rival plans to do that Saturday night, behind the legs of senior quarterback Colin Kaepernick and senior running back Vai Taua.

Kaepernick rushed for 97 yards, threw for 124 and accounted for two total touchdowns. Taua rushed 19 times for 188 yards and four total touchdowns.

It was the encore performance for the two, who finished their careers undefeated against UNLV.

“That’s the thing that’s real exciting,” Ault said. “The seniors never lost to UNLV and that’s real special.”

UNR entered the Silver State Showdown ranked 25th in the country. This week was the first time the AP Poll included the Wolf Pack since 1948.

They are off to their best start since 1991, when they went 10-0 in the regular season and won the Big Sky Conference as a Division 1-AA program before falling to Youngstown State in the playoffs.

“This is where we want to be,” senior defensive end Dontay Moch said. “We want to start chasing championships. That’s where we belong.”

The historic start from UNR has made fans to look forward to Friday Nov. 11, when it hosts No. 3 Boise State in what could be a battle of two unbeaten teams. But UNR has a couple of tests along the way.

The Wolf Pack must travel to Hawaii in two weeks, where they haven’t won in six tries and last beat the Warriors on the road in 1948. They also have a road contest with Fresno State two weeks before the Boise State showdown.

Ault, of course, insists he’s not looking that far ahead and says UNR needs to correct mistakes if it plans to be competitive in all of its remaining games.

He was particularly upset with the kickoff team, which allowed big returns to Marcus Sullivan and Tim Cornett.

“That’s stuff you can’t do. I’m disappointed with that part of the game,” Ault said. “You look at it and I tell everybody we’re not a great football team. We’re a good team and we get better every week, but we’ve got to continue to get better on both sides of the ball.”

Kaepernick wants nothing more than to make a run at a conference championship and BCS berth in his senior year, but says the Wolf Pack must cut down on their turnovers. They committed three against UNLV.

“F or the most part, they are mistakes we are making ourselves not stuff they are causing us to make,” Kaepernick said. “That’s stuff we can fix.”

Ault not happy about ‘UNR’ field passes

Before Chris Ault would address the media after the game, he had a complaint to voice.

Ault held up a stack of field passes that said "UNR Coach" and handed them to a sports information assistant with a message.

“Give these back to them and tell them we won’t wear them again,” Ault said. “We’re Nevada.”

Ault went on for a bit about the sign of “disrespect” while Wolf Pack fans cheered outside of the locker room at his comments.

Then, unprompted, he brought the issue back up during his interview time.

“Never give these to us again,” Ault said. “We wore them one time only. I really don’t think that’s the way you do things. We wouldn’t do that to them up there, right? Respect. It’s called respect.”

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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Previous Discussion: 26 comments so far…

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  1. UNLV and the Vegas media have no class - good job Coach Ault, set them straight.

  2. If it is so important to call them Nevada, why does this article refer to them many many times as UNR? Is the Sun saying it disagrees with Ault?

  3. @lakeside21, because for some reason, the Las Vegas media won't acknowledge the change that happened many years ago.

    Perhaps the Sun could comment...

  4. You want to talk about no class, how about Coach Ault calling for the play action pass with 30 seconds to go in the game and the wolfpack down by the goaline. Its too bad that the QB fumbled the shotgun snap and it was a busted play. Then everyone could see out classless Ault is.

  5. It is called respect, and Ault needs to realize there are 2 Nevada schools in this state. Call them Reno, or UNR, but Nevada is non-negotiable.

  6. Lakeside and Superbad- It is Sun style to refer University of Nevada, Reno as "UNR" and even acceptable on first reference.

    Since I've lived here, I've noticed that's how the majority of people around here refer to the university. It makes sense to me considering its own Web site is unr.edu where it calls itself University of Nevada, Reno.

    Everywhere I've been in the country has abbrevations like this for colleges that are accepted, which is why I was surprised how offended Ault acted. I grew up as a Georgia fan and never heard anyone upset when the university was referred to as "UGA." I'm sure there are more examples, but this is the first one that comes to mind.

  7. Case, you really are joking, right? Since 1995, the Athletics side of the University of Nevada, Reno has been known as NEVADA. Watch an ESPN game or an AP story, it's not "UNR" rather "Nevada." Much like Cal-Berkley is California, Wisconsin-Madison is Wisconsin (and is widely referred to in the state as "Madison"), Nebraska-Lincoln is Nebraska. Only a small-time sports writers and the UNLV Athletic Department refers to it as "UNR." Get your facts straight!

  8. "Wisconsin-Madison is Wisconsin (and is widely referred to in the state as 'Madison')"

    ...which just reinforces Case's point. Nicknames are often different for the familiar local teams than the national moniker. There are TWO campuses of the "University of Nevada". When the Reno sports teams come to Vegas many folks refer to them by an abbreviated nickname to distinguish between the two universities. So what?

    In the delusional minds of the Reno folks we're supposed to pretend that the "U-" and "N-" in "UNLV" stand for something else, as if the school up north is the one and only University of Nevada. Of course, these are the same people that think Colin Kaepernick is a legitimate Heisman candidate.

  9. @COrebel It doesn't help Case's point though because the newspaper in Wisconsin or anywhere else don't refer to them as "UWM" or "Madison" in the newspapers, simply Wisconsin. Go browse jsonline.com and see what the Badgers are referred to as. That's my point and is the truth. Also, there are a lot more than two universities in Wisconsin and all the newspapers and schools in that state seem to get which one is Wisconsin and so does everybody else nationally.

  10. Unit- You make some valid points, but I see a major difference in Nebraska and Wisconsin because those schools have the state's only major FBS football programs. In Nevada, there are two University of Nevadas that play on a major level.

    And you're right, the AP refers to your team as Nevada. But every newspaper in the country has its own style and our's states to use UNR. I have no personal problem with the team being called Nevada, but that's not Sun style and I'm surprised by the outrage created by a simple abbrevation used by the university itself.

    This will probably be my final thoughts on the subject. I'm not trying to get into an argument, just attempting to explain why we continue to use UNR.

  11. Plus, it's difficult to type on my phone so please excuse the typos. : )

  12. I definitely understand, wasn't trying to attack you, I think you guys provide the best Rebel coverage in town, much better than the newspaper across the street. To each his own!

  13. I'd also like to point out, which I forgot to in the other article, many of the schools that are called Wisconsin, Minnesota, Arkansas, etc. are FLAGSHIP schools.

    Reno is not a flagship school. In fact, the Nevada system doesn't have a flagship school. They have two equal universities.

  14. This was a football game folks. It always makes me laugh when the folks in Reno comment about their name.

    Two points:
    1- Are you that embarrassed about living in Reno that you have to keep screaming it's Nevada?
    2- Are you suffering from little city syndrome?

    ps. I have never seen a bigger bunch of sore winners as the UNR crowd. They are so small minded they can't take the win and go home. They feel compelled to whine, cry, twitch and froth about their given name.

    This isn't about respect, it's about class, something sorely missing in Coach Ault's game plan.

  15. vegas fans are ignorant and trivial beyond belief.

    We don't even care anymore that a rag like the Sun refuses to acknowledge the proper way to refer to Wolf Pack athletics as Nevada vs. using UNR when referring to it as a educational institution, nor do we care about simpleton vegas fans who bash Reno to mask their insecurities. The national media gets it right, and that's all that matters.

    @ Timothy Lomprey: "sore winners?" that is the first time I've ever hear it put that way, but rest assured that vegas fans will never experience that phenomenon, because you have to win first!

  16. Absolutely classic. We get our butts handed to us, again, and the first thing UNR's Head Coach can talk about is what his opponent calls his team??? Are they kidding up there? You're lucky we don't call you everything but white. My wife a third generation Nevadan commented about why the flag-twirlers for UNR only had Nevada on their little signs. She thought maybe they were a Flag-twirling team that represented both teams during the UNLV/UNR games. I kinda chuckled at that thought then explained the not so long simmering feud between UNR and 99.9 percent of Clark County.

    You see while UNR would love for us (99.9% of Clark County)to believe that the moniker for their athletic department and its teams should be "Nevada" simply because they and ESPN/Nation News media says so it's simply not going to happen. Nevada has 2 major FBS Football programs and therefore the differentiation between the schools should be the location aspect of the name that is shared between the schools. While UNLV enjoyed early success in both Basketball/Football at the major college level in D1-A we looked to the future when our little sister school, UNR, in the North could maybe one day have the same success we enjoyed and we identified ourselves as UNLV so as not to sow the seeds of confusion about which school in Nevada was being discussed.

    That made a lot of sense to her, since her Grandfather, who lived in Nevada his whole life, referred to UNR always as UNR, not Nevada or Reno. So don't be mad UNR fans, we here in Clark County have been doing this for a longtime, you kids should try to shed your teen angst and accept the fact that it is really you who is new to the Major College athletics side of the Nevada coin and while you enjoy this sudden thrust into the National Media spotlight your Big sister school is enjoying your success too, finally.

    Now remember to call your Mom and Dad when you finish your drive back to Washoe County they worry sick about that drive north. Isn't it sweet how grown up our(Clark County) kids act when they come home to visit from schoolie up in Reno? Love you and be safe. (look at them go, all sloppy drunk and angst ridden, brings a tear to my eye really) ;-)

  17. F-UNR

  18. The school up north is UNR, will always be UNR, and will never be called anything, but UNR, by Southern Nevada. (regardless if it's for athletics or not)
    At least we call them by an accepted name, unlike what a lot of their redneck fans call UNLV.

  19. from eljeffe:

    "You're lucky we don't call you everything but white."

    Got a little racist in you, eljeffe?

    Can't say I'm surprised that would leak into your post. Puts everything else you say into perspective.

  20. @ElJeffe It's pretty cool you named yourself after a bankrupt Mexican restaurant on Eastern! Pretty cool you had to bring race into the equation. If your wife doesn't know which colors represent which schools, she's not that smart to begin with!

  21. Lawl, Feeding trolls is my hobby, killing their weak premises is my profession. You seriously want to attempt to build a "Racist" remark from the oldest reference to using profanity in discribing something or someone?? Srsly guy? Don't be mad. Your limited access to varied social vernacular is easily understood by the moss/mildew growing on your back from living in the damp dark recess of your parents basement. However your basic UNR education may make it tougher for you to figure out how you're going to explain to all of us how you jumped to the race card in my statements. Racebate much clowns?

    Now back to your limited ability to focus on the arguement at hand, UNR is the little school toiling in almost complete anonymity in the outback of Nevada. The arguement is that you don't deserve to be known as "Nevada" alone because you lack the character or life experience to count yourselves among the California's and Michigan's. That is almost laughable, the level of body dysmorphia the collective of UNR and its alums is staggering if you're going to try to lump your body of achievements against those prestigious University's. Your small man complex (please don't try and say I'm mocking little people or dwarfs here) is quaint. Now go and achieve something and earn the respect and acknowledgment you so crave from the other 83% of the Nevada population.

  22. Funny thing is I actually went to UNLV and UNR (used for academics ONLY) and live in Vegas. I never compared Nevada to California or Michigan in terms of stature, rather just by name. You can act like UNLV is somehow superior to UNR in any way you wish, however about the ONLY things UNLV is superior in is basketball history, the hotel college and student population, that's about it. UNR recently was ranked in Tier 1, just barely getting, but still Tier 1. A ranking that UNLV can strive to achieve all they want, but will more likely than not ever get there.

    It's funny you try to elevate your argument by saying I can't keep to the argument at hand, yet almost all of your paragraphs provide no information to support your arguments, they just make fun of the rest of the State, which is hilarious because you and everyone else in Vegas will need the rest of the State when it dries up in the desert in the next 20 years. You're obviously from Vegas because you're so close minded about anything other than Clark County that it's sickening. While Vegas has always been a powerhorse in the tourism department and helped carry the state, the gold mines in Northern Nevada are doing the same now. Anyways, this will be my last post on this issue due to the fact we're both so far off target we're both forgetting what we were arguing about in the first place.

  23. Hardly anyone outside of our state (or the WAC) has heard of the University of Nevada at Reno. I couldn't count how many times I have to explain that there is another university besides UNLV in our state. A lot of people in our state haven't heard of it either. So don't complain that people call it UNR or Reno. Just be happy that it's acknowledged at all. When you enter the Mountain West, all the other fans will be introduced to you for the first time. I wonder what you'll be referred to as. UNR.

  24. Oh, little Reno Tech. So much drama over what to call you. You win your sixth in a row over UNLV and instead of focusing on a great season, you get your little blue panties in a wad over being called UNR.

    Remember this always, you represent little more than Washoe County. Maybe Elko, too. And feel free to take West Wendover. But 'Nevada'? Not so much.

    I will give it to the dirt miners from Reno Tech: They are ambitious. Next thing you know they'll want to be called 'University of the Entire Great Basin'. Or the University of the Western U.S.'.

    Techsters, enjoy your victory. Take it easy on San Jose State. But go home. You've been down here waaaaay too long. Time to get back to what you do best: Mine a little dirt and complain. Those chores may be better accomplished in Reno.

  25. I live in UT, and UNR just played BYU and walloped them, has been playing USU the past few years in the WAC, we refer to them as Nevada-Reno, just my two cents.
    They should change their name to UNNR, Univ. of Northern Nevada at Reno, they normally play more like a directional school anyways.

  26. UNLV use to be called University of Nevada South, since UNR was it's parent school. You can see that when you watch Viva Las Vegas. Debbie Reynolds use to be a professor in the University of Nevada for many years.