Dean Hare / AP
Published Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010 | 7 p.m.
Updated Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010 | 10:21 p.m.
- Take Five: A closer look at UNLV vs. Idaho (9-17-2010)
- Clausen auditioning to become UNLV’s latest QB-turned-safety (9-14-2010)
- Hauck takes blame for miscues against Utah, looks ahead to Idaho (9-14-2010)
- A look at Idaho, UNLV’s next opponent (9-11-2010)
- UNLV can’t overcome special teams mishaps at Utah (9-11-2010)
- Notebook: Hauck explains agressive decisions in final minute (9-11-2010)
- 2010 UNLV Football Stats
- All Sun UNLV football coverage
Final, Idaho wins 30-7
MOSCOW, Idaho — Bobby Hauck has had a hard time awarding moral victories for his team in two losses to ranked opponents to start the game. It might be impossible to do so after his team's third consecutive defeat to start the 2010 season.
In a game where host Idaho was only favored by a touchdown, UNLV was plowed over in a nightmarish first half in the Kibbie Dome, ultimately falling to the Vandals, 30-7, on Saturday night.
Idaho (2-1) finished the night with 330 yards of total offense and bounced back successfully from a rough 38-17 loss at Nebraska a week ago. UNLV (0-3) struggled to crack triple digits in terms of total yardage until the waning moments, and has to wait another week to go for win No. 1, when it hosts lowly New Mexico (0-3) at Sam Boyd Stadium.
The Vandals set the tone early in front of a packed house of more than 16,000 fans, executing a 14-play, 69-yard drive to start the game, capping it with the first of two Deonte Jackson 1-yard TD plunges. Meanwhile, the Rebels couldn't get off the ground early, totaling only 64 yards and four first downs in the first half.
Idaho's Nathan Enderle was crisp for most of the night after one of the toughest games of his entire career, throwing for 210 yards and a score on 15-of-27 efficiency.
Clayton was just 3-of-8 for 41 yards before giving way to redshirt freshman Caleb Herring in the third quarter, sparking what could be another quarterback decision for Hauck to have to make in the next week.
Herring was 4-of-7 for 87 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Most of his work came on the Rebels' final drive of the night, when he hit Phillip Payne for two long passes, including a 26-yard touchdown score.
For full postgame coverage, including stories, photos, stats and analysis, stay tuned to lasvegassun.com/rebels.
8:06, 3rd quarter, Idaho leads 27-0
MOSCOW, Idaho — Say this for UNLV: The defense is not giving up here in the second half.
Idaho had golden field position on two straight possessions, including once inside of the UNLV 10-yard line thanks to an Omar Clayton fumble, and came away with only one field goal. The Rebels, in the process, recorded their first sack of the 2010 season, with Isaako Aaitui burying Nathan Enderle for a 9-yard loss.
Clayton won't get a chance to correct his struggles tonight, as redshirt freshman Caleb Herring is now making his UNLV debut, taking over after warming up some on the sidelines with Clayton. He immediately led UNLV to a pair of first downs, and the Rebels have a legitimate drive going.
Halftime, Idaho leads 24-0
MOSCOW, Idaho — Well, a positive for UNLV's struggling offense is that it will get a chance to set a tempo for the second half, starting the third quarter with the ball.
However, it's hard to tell what even a strong drive would do to bring down an Idaho team that is flying high with a 24-0 halftime lead and all the momentum in the world.
Will Chandler made his second interception of the season in the end zone to prevent Idaho from making it even worse, but that was about all that UNLV had to hang its hat on in the first half. Here is a closer look into the numbers ...
— Idaho has 16 first downs to its credit, while UNLV has only four. Making matters worse? The Vandals out-gained the Rebels on offense, 274-64.
— Omar Clayton was just 3-of-8 for 41 yards in the first half. Idaho's Nathan Enderle was 12-of-21 for 196 yards, one TD and one pick.
— Phillip Payne was held without a catch in the first half. Clayton targeted him three times early on, but hasn't looked back to him since. Part of that reason is that he hasn't had the time to find him. He was sacked twice.
— On the other side, UNLV was without a sack in the first half and still has yet to record one this season.
— Channing Trotter has eight carries for 28 yards for the Rebels, while Idaho's leading rusher is Princeton McCarty, who has 41 yards on seven totes.
— UNLV is coming off of a game where it held the ball for nearly two-thirds of the game in a loss at Utah. Tonight, Idaho has 17:08 to its credit in time of possession, while UNLV has 12:52.
— The Rebels are 2-of-7 on third downs. The Vandals are 4-of-6.
Honestly, it's hard to see UNLV coming back from this deficit. What we will learn in the second half is who is willing to fight through some struggle and who will throw in the towel. Could be a telling second half if you look closely.
6:00, 2nd quarter, Idaho leads 24-0
MOSCOW, Idaho — Following a botched fake punt attempt, it didn't take Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle long to make UNLV pay.
The Rebels attempted a keeper by punter Brendon Lamers on fourth-and-eight near midfield, and in turn, the Vandals sniffed it out almost immediately.
A play later, Enderle hit Daniel Hardy for a 56-yard gain after beautifully selling a play-action fake. That led to Deonte Jackson scoring two plays later from a yard out, pushing Idaho ahead of UNLV, 24-0.
Enderle continues to look more and more comfortable and confident, as UNLV again is not getting any pressure on the opposing quarterback. UNLV followed it up with an ugly three-and-out, which included Clayton getting dropped by Aaron Lavarias for a nine-yard loss on first down.
Idaho nearly made it a 31-0 game moments later, but had a five-yard touchdown pass from Enderle to Amauri Johnson called back due to a chop block. On the next snap, Will Chandler intercepted a ball he batted in the air in the end zone, helping UNLV save some face before heading to the halftime locker room.
11:02, 2nd quarter, Idaho leads 17-0
MOSCOW, Idaho — The hole just keeps getting deeper for the Rebels, as Nathan Enderle just recorded his first TD toss of the game on a bullet down the middle in between two defenders, finding Daniel Hardy for an 18-yard score. It puts the Vandals up 17-0 early in the second quarter in the noisy Kibbie Dome.
Idaho recorded five first downs on the drive, giving the hosts 12 of them on the evening to the one that UNLV has found in three possessions.
Enderle is now 9-of-16 for 101 yards and a score.
4:43, 1st quarter, Idaho leads 10-0
MOSCOW, Idaho — UNLV's Anthony White didn't end up having such a hot debut for the Rebels after missing the season's first two games due to injury.
The reserve fullback committed a personal foul penalty on a Rebels punt after the team's opening drive was over in three plays. It set the Vandals up with field position in UNLV territory to start their second drive.
The UNLV defense showed a bit more resistance the second time around, and after getting a bit fortunate when a third-and-long throw from Enderle was dropped in the end zone, Idaho brought Trey Farquhar out for a 50-yard field goal attempt. He boomed it right down the middle, giving them a 10-0 lead.
The Rebels got their first first down of the game on the ensuing drive thanks to a personal foul late hit call, but the drive stalled when Clayton was sacked by Robert Siavii on third-and-four near midfield.
On a sidenote, it appears that Mike Clausen's switch to safety is now official, as he made his defensive debut on Idaho's second possession of the game.
8:29, 1st quarter, Idaho leads 7-0
MOSCOW, Idaho — Idaho used a sound 14-play, 69-yard drive to push the Rebels backwards gradually on the game's opening drive, capping it off with a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Deonte Jackson on fourth-and-goal.
The final play was set up by Nathan Enderle hitting Michael LaGrone on a roll-out pass from the 10-yard line, but LaGrone was hammered at the goal line by Alex De Giacomo, and UNLV's defensive front then held on third-and-goal as Jackson tried to score the first time.
The noticeable struggle for UNLV on the game's first drive was defending perimeter run plays, as Idaho is getting a good jump on the Rebels when going from side to side. It's hard to tell if the turf is slicker than normal, because both teams seemed to have footing issues on the first drive.
On that jaunt, Enderle was 4-of-6 for the Vandals.
MOSCOW, Idaho — In as unique of an atmosphere as you'll find in the FBS college football ranks, UNLV tonight plays the game that could end up determining how the rest of its 2010 season plays out.
The Rebels (0-2) take on Idaho (1-1) in their first game under Bobby Hauck that is not against a nationally-ranked opponent.
The Kibbie Dome holds 16,000 spectators, and is the smallest, most intimate stadium in major college football. All of those seats are expected to be filled tonight when the contest kicks off at 7:30 p.m.
Personally, I'm expecting a raucous environment. The students hanging around here give it away.
Walking up to the dome, I passed a group of coeds who had on black T-shirts that read "nasty, inebriated." The shirts pay homage to the comments made earlier this summer by Boise State president Bob Kustra. If the fans here do live up to that billing, expect it to get loud in here.
For UNLV, it fits the clichéd billing of being a must-win game. The Rebels have a golden opportunity at-hand here to even their record against a beatable Idaho team and then next week against FBS and Mountain West punching bag New Mexico back at Sam Boyd Stadium.
If the Rebels are to pull it off tonight, here are the three keys to UNLV victory ...
1) Sacking the goose egg
The Rebels have yet to record a quarterback sack in two games, and as we learned over the past two seasons, a healthy pass rush only makes the pass defense look better. UNLV's secondary hasn't been porous, but opposing quarterbacks are completing passes against the Rebels at an alarming percentage. It's time for B.J. Bell and Isaako Aaitui to start infiltrating the backfield.
2) Run, run, run
Well, C.J. Cox won't be taking part in this venture. The junior, who among the UNLV running backs has the most yards from scrimmage through two games, is not dressed out tonight. That means that Bradley Randle and Channing Trotter will shoulder the load in terms of getting the Rebels' dormant ground game going against a weak Idaho defense. Also, don't be shocked to see speedy frosh Tim Cornett get some go. He has game-breaking ability.
3) It's your job, kid
Omar Clayton, after two weeks, is officially the Rebels' full-time quarterback again. Mike Clausen is not warming up tonight with the unit, as it appears that his move to safety is imminent. Clayton could have a golden opportunity at-hand tonight to regain his 2008 form. Given the numbers that the Vandals' offense is capable of putting up, he might need to.
As always, add the #unlvfb tag to your in-game tweets tonight to have some running dialogue with yours truly as the game goes on. Our Twitter dialogue can be seen below. Talk to you again soon.