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Sophomore Caleb Herring officially named UNLV’s starting quarterback

Behind a strong, consistent performance to this point in fall camp, Herring earns first career start next Thursday at Wisconsin

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Sam Morris

UNLV quarterback Caleb Herring rears back to pass during practice Tuesday, August 9, 2011.

Bobby Hauck made it official Sunday evening: Sophomore Caleb Herring will start under center when UNLV opens its 2011 season next Thursday at Wisconsin.

It was long assumed based on developments and performances so far through fall camp that Herring would win the job. The announcement from the second-year head coach came a day after Herring shined in the team's Saturday scrimmage in Ely.

"Caleb just played better," Hauck said. "He has a better grasp of what is going on and a great handle on the offense. He has done a nice job in camp so far."

Herring's top competition coming into camp was junior college transfer Sean Reilly. Both have had their ups and downs, but Herring has shown much more consistency. To boot, Reilly's had trouble with his accuracy and has thrown a few too many interceptions in team drills for Hauck's liking.

Herring led four drives in the weekend scrimmage, going 5-of-5 for 74 yards and a TD toss. He also ran for 18 yards on two carries.

As for Reilly, he was at the helm for two possessions. On his first drive, he went 1-of-5, overthrowing Trey Mays in the end zone on third-and-two for what would have been a 32-yard score. Two attempts later, he was intercepted by Tim Hasson in the end zone after tossing the ball into double coverage. He rallied to go 2-of-4 for 46 yards when he next got a shot.

But in the big picture, Herring's performance in camp combined with his experience from last season in relief of senior Omar Clayton in eight games made him the right choice.

In spot duty in 2010 as a redshirt freshman, Herring was 28-of-56 for 365 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions. His adjustment from Mike Sanford's spread offense to Hauck's attack, which features more of a run game, was relatively smooth.

Now, he'll make his first career start against the 10th-ranked Badgers in primetime in front of millions of viewers on ESPN.

"It feels good to earn the spot," Herring said. "It was my goal from day one and it is great to be named the starter. I will still go out there and compete and practice as hard as I can every day."

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  1. Go get 'em, Caleb!

  2. I'd like to see the Rebels play with a little bit of a chip on their shoulders for this game against the Badgers. We're overmatched, a lot smaller and less experienced but sometimes a pesky team that keeps in close in the 4th can squeak out a win. Go Rebs!