UNLV can’t rally from early deficit, falls at Wyoming, 41-14

Rebels’ comeback attempt loses traction in second half, team drops to 1-5, 0-11 on road under Hauck

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Associated Press

Wyoming linebacker Todd Knight (27) and safety Luke Anderson (3) wrap up UNLV running back Dionza Bradford in their game Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011, in Laramie, Wyo.

UNLV vs. Wyoming Football

Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith celebrates his touchdown catch on a trick play during an NCAA college football game against UNLV on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011, at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie, Wyo. Launch slideshow »

UNLV falls to Wyoming, 41-14

KSNV coverage of UNLV's 41-14 loss to Wyoming at War Memorial Stadium, Oct. 15, 2011.

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This time, UNLV clawed back after a tough start on the road, but in the end, it was the same old story for Bobby Hauck's club in a game away from Sam Boyd Stadium.

The Rebels battled back from an early 20-0 deficit Saturday afternoon at Wyoming, but in both teams' Mountain West Conference opener, UNLV couldn't complete the cycle, falling 41-14 at War Memorial Stadium.

UNLV is now 0-11 in road games in the Bobby Hauck era.

The Cowboys (4-2) scored just 66 seconds into the game when freshman quarterback Brett Smith spotted a wide open Dominic Rufran down the seam for a 41-yard score.

Things began to snowball in the wrong direction for UNLV not long after when, on his first pass attempt of the day, first-time starter Sean Reilly had spotted Phillip Payne on a six-yard hitch route. The ball slipped from Payne's grasp, turned into an interception going the other way, then an Alvester Alexander touchdown run a few plays later.

The Cowboys would lead 20-0 when UNLV got a break to go its way, with Wyoming's Chris McNeill muffing a punt return and setting the Rebels up in plus territory.

A pair of Tim Cornett touchdown runs made it a 20-14 game at the half, but the Rebels' offensive attack behind Reilly, which included mostly run plays and nothing too tricky in the pass game, lost its effectiveness.

Wyoming finally broke the levee with a McNeill 76-yard punt return for a score late in the third quarter, then a McNeill touchdown pass to Smith on a trick play four minutes later.

Reilly's first start for the Rebels since transferring in from Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif., lasted roughly three quarters, as he completed 7 of 16 pass attempts for 79 yards and the lone pick. He didn't have too many chances to take shots downfield as the Rebels' staff was apparently easing him into the role some. Sophomore Caleb Herring came in late to complete 2 of 5 passes for 25 yards.

Going inside the numbers for UNLV …

• Freshman running back Dionza Bradford got his first career start on Saturday and went for 102 yards off of 22 carries. This came a week after he picked up 78 yards against Nevada-Reno on 18 totes.

• Still, though, UNLV picked up only 3.2 yards per rush on 48 attempts as a team, which certainly didn't help Reilly get comfortable on a consistent basis.

• Wyoming's Smith was 10-of-19 for 92 yards and two touchdown tosses. He also picked up 58 yards on the ground.

• The Cowboys ran for 230 yards on 45 attempts, averaging 5.1 yards an attempt.

• UNLV was just 3-of-15 on third downs and 1-of-3 on fourth downs.

• It was another tough day for Payne, who a week ago at UNR went without a catch for the first time in his career. After starting the day with the drop that turned into a pick, he only caught one pass for 32 yards.

• For what it's worth, junior punter Chase Lansford was once again strong for UNLV, averaging 52.8 yards on his nine kicks.

UNLV now heads into its second bye week of October and will begin preparations for what looks to be one of the few golden opportunities it has at a win the rest of the way. Colorado State, who fell to 3-3 with a 63-13 loss at the hands of Boise State on Saturday evening, comes to Sam Boyd on Oct. 29 for a 3 p.m. contest.

Will the Rebels stick with Sean Reilly at quarterback? Will some of the younger guys on the depth chart on both sides of the ball start moving up in time to get some experience in building toward 2012? Those are a couple of the questions that likely won't be answered for another week as Hauck and his staff will likely give their players some time to recharge before the season's second half.

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  1. Shall we continue to BEAT THE DRUM....?

    Mike Leach, Mike Leach, Mike Leach

    Come on UNLV alums....start the 'Occupy UNLV Athletic Department Offices' protest now!

  2. Wow, another loss. UNLV football is a pathetic joke.

  3. Same old CRAP!...I hope there is a method to this madness. We basically hit the restart button again with Hauck. 3 freshman starting on offensive line, no qb option both look horrible.

  4. Good thing basketball starts in a few weeks.

    The problem I have is that I do not see any improvement in any part of their game. Is it possible to keep going backwards?

    How much longer until we start to see ANY improvement?

  5. I'm not gonna yell for haulks head this season. But his assistance heads that's overdue. And yes I do understand that it ultimately is the head coaches problem.

  6. Agree, it's Mike Leach time, he would thrive in Vegas, he is quirky, we are quirky.

  7. Pretty sad when your punter is your best player ...
    I am sure it is a good idea to be careful with a QB making his first start, but the lack of imagination in the offensive game plan was ridiculous. Same 2 yards and a cloud of dust on 1st down. Even in the short passing game, there can be some creativity to give the kid a chance to succeed. Some quick and safe passes on first down ... Didn't happen. When he got it in the vicinity of the receivers, they dropped it. They were horrible. The offense is a tragedy.
    That being said, I have to echo the sentiments of many others. Until we invest in first class facilities that will attract some first-rate recruits, there is absolutely NO CHANCE that Rebel football will be relevant.

  8. Take ONE hit from any UNLV football player and survive it ...?

    That would require a UNLV football to actually HIT someone.

    Not going to happen anytime soon.

  9. GooGooDolls is a funny troll. Unfortunately Mike Leech wouldn't coach for peanuts, which is all UNLV has to pay a coach with. Duke has been content with having a terrible football team for a long time because their Bball team is so good. I think it's time we become like them.

    BobbyG.. It's foolish to say that fans can't criticize a sports team simply because they themselves can't play the game. If that were the case then society wouldn't be able to criticize any sort of entertainment.

    "Bob Realist" your name is ironic. :)

    Where's my boys heretic and JahReb piling on the Rebel hate train?

  10. There is no trolling on this when it's the truth. How can no one be calling for Hauck's head right now, any other program in the country goes 0-11 on the road guess who pay's the price. That's right the head coach. Yet all you Rebel fans are content with the fact that somehow the whole program is going backwards. It's a joke. The players gave up & who can really blame them. I would like to support the rebels but dear god. How do you get behind a program that is going backwards as well as the fact that there is no end in sight. You say that there is hope with Colorado State, yet there in the top 5 programs in the nation for sacks! Let me guess how that's going to end up for a qb that has no protection?!? Wake up fans, you want to turn the program around? Start calling for some heads to be fired!!!

  11. Agree GoBruins.

    I would absolutely love to spend a few fall weekends in Las Vegas, and would gladly pay for tickets to the games...but not when the program can't compete on any level. I'd have a much better time watching some of the better high school teams.

    If you look back, I said from the day Hauck was hired that I believed UNLV had made a big mistake. And to this day, I think you'd be hard pressed to say I was wrong in my assessment that Hauch was not qualified for this job. The proof is not necessarily in the win-loss column but more so in the fact that UNLV is simply not competitive in any way, shape or form.

    Apparently UNLV heads are ok with a dismal football program that fails to draw fans consistently (average attendance in 2 home games - ~12,500). Doesn't it make you wonder how long UNLV will field a football program that doesn't draw fans, considering how expensive it is to run a team and pay the coaching staff exorbitant salaries considering the financial situation UNLV sits in today?

  12. We aren't the worst team in the league. That goes to New mexico. Unfortunately we have to play them though and I fear for the results of that game.

    Lansing (punter) is of course going to be great, he gets a lot of experience out there!

    Basketball is right around the corner. Not a minute too soon.

  13. Mike Leach would be perfect for UNLV and perhaps the only coach in America that could take a program and get it moving quickly. 11 years as TTU, 11 bowl games, at
    East 6 of those years the top passing and total offense leader in the country. When you think small, your results are going to be small. The transition from the Big Sky to FBS is such that only a small percentage have made it. UNLV needs to start all over again, the current staff has lost ground gaining nothing. I would expect at least better execution bigger size up front in the 2nd recruiting year. If not Mike, hold on now, Mike Stoops, the guy couldn't and wouldn't get involved wi the fans, he was stiff a sideline screamer and he got dumped despite a pretty good three year record, his start was awful but in his third year he put things together and got I to a bowl . He's great defensively and hopefully he's learned a lesson about being "above" the fans and all the PR duties. UNLV has sucked defensively for a very long time, this year to get thumped by a SUU at home shameful. FCS only has 65 on scholarship, kids no Div 1 school wanted. That should have gotten Bobby bought out. Get the Pirate before so,done else does. Many schools were afraid of offending ESPN by going after him, like Maryland. Since the MWC gets ZERO from ESPN, who cares if they are upset.

  14. Icr.......You're spot on about being too careful.Remember Pete Carrol when he started Barkely for the first time. How'd he break him in? It was via short hitch passes,2 yd slants, half back flanker passes, short screen passes, play action after play action passes.In first 8 min of game Barkely threw 15 times & had 100 yrds cuz of yrds after catch.Tell that to UNLV O'Coodinator.Barkely didn't throw the ball more than 10yrds, but you saw the confidence swell. USC did that with Linert who is not good.Luck does that at Stanford today at the start.IN 3rd QTR of that game Barkely was throwing 30 yrd confidently.That's how you ease in a new QB not handing off.Come on UNLV coaches read, watch & study great successful caoches, & study their plays.UNLV have good players. Maybe they are bad attitudes, I just don't get it.

  15. I see no Ryan Greene beat reporter jumped of band wagon...Is Wyoming some power house that I don't know about with first rate facilities...their qb is a freshman...reno qb freshman...put your money up taking a hit from a UNLV football player (please) I'm watching camera men bounce right back up so stuff that crap in your pie hole!..This is a crap run outfit that gets out coached and out played week in and week out!...Ryan please enlighten us with your insight! Where have you seen improvement and hope? And I did and have bought season tickets and I'm RAF member and Alumni we are the stewards of the program...give me your email and I can forward you all the pie in the sky promises from Livengood each week that good and at least COMPETITIVE games are right around the corner! Season totals wins ov 2.5 lofty goals! Lets go out and reward this effort with a new football stadium!

  16. What a terrible, terrible team we have. Count me among those who haven't seen any real improvement. I thought there was against Wisconsin, and of course the upset win over Hawaii, but everything else has been regression after regression.

    I was at Wyoming for a semester in my undergrad years. Not a great football program by any means, but War Memorial is one of the most enjoyable places I've ever watched a game, and it's nice to see the Pokes having some success again.

    I myself haven't been to a home game yet this year. Team's been awful and I hate Sam Boyd Stadium.

  17. This team isn't just losing, which I could tolerate. They aren't even competitive. A friend of mine is a former Southern Utah offensive lineman. I asked him if he went to the game, and he said that he didn't because he didn't believe that SUU had a chance - in a game they won by 25 points. The only mystery to this season is now the Rebels ever beat Hawaii.

    Bobby Hauck and his assistants had a great run at Montana, and they didn't suddenly become incapable of coaching. I don't know what the current problems are, but I hope they figure it out soon. I believed that we would see some progress this season, but instead this may go down as the worst team in the history of a school with a litany of bad teams.

  18. Would love to see Mike Leach - however he will be gone to another program before UNLV gets their act together and makes a decision.
    Same issue - they need someone who knows about to build a program from the ground up, not someone who has just been a part of an existing winning program.
    Interesting to see how little former UNLV players are even involved with the program? To see Ickey Woods coaching Women's Football, that is more exposure to a UNLV Football program than they have had in years. Considering how recruiting has gone and the fact that the existing Coordinators have not lit the world on fire - why not clean house and bring back staff that has some connections to the program or at least have that experience in building a program to help Hauck?
    Last time I checked, I did not see a Nationally or even Western Ranked program coming out of Wyoming? Las Vegas has a nationally ranked high school in the US Top 10 and UNLV can not find talent? With High School Football in Las Vegas continuing to get better, the expectations that UNLV should be much better is fair. So where is Hauck in getting top talent? He does not have a clear cut starter at QB? So why not go after an athletic QB who the bigger schools want to switch positions and go get them to be the next starter? It does not look like Herring will recover and a JC starter - that is not a long term fix. So if you want to start Freshman, why not grab some local talent - they can not do any worse and somehow Wyoming can get talent to go to their school - so what is the issue at UNLV? It is like Football is a money maker for all of those in town who never went to UNLV - they continue to get paid. But, while we see a Dave Rose and Stacey Augman return for UNLV Hoops - why is it that a Hunkie Cooper or Ickey Woods is not considered for a role with this program?