REBELS FOOTBALL:

LIVE BLOG: UNLV thumped by Washington State, 59-7

Rebels allow 610 yards of total offense as beleaguered defense faces serious questions moving forward

Image

Associated Press

Washington State defensive end Travis Long, right, and defensive tackle Kalafitoni Pole, center, sack UNLV quarterback Caleb Herring (8) as linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis, left, pursues during the first half of their NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011, in Pullman, Wash.

Updated Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011 | 4:37 p.m.

UNLV Falls at Washington State

Washington State defensive end Travis Long, right, and defensive tackle Kalafitoni Pole, center, sack UNLV quarterback Caleb Herring (8) as linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis, left, pursues during the first half of their NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011, in Pullman, Wash. Launch slideshow »
Final, Washington State wins, 59-7 PULLMAN, Wash. — What happened in a drawn-out second half at Martin Stadium Saturday afternoon is completely moot. The bloody first half pointed out all of UNLV's flaws and then some, as they head home on the very short end of a 59-7 final score. The Rebels' defense couldn't set a tone early, as Washington State racked up 610 yards of total offense and a whopping 32 first downs on the afternoon. UNLV trailed 35-0 at halftime after Cougars senior quarterback Marshall Lobbestael had a field day, throwing four of his five touchdown passes before the intermission. He finished 24-of-32 for the afternoon with 361 yards. Maybe most disappointing on the UNLV side was that the offense couldn't build off of its decent performance from a week ago at Wisconsin. Sophomore QB Caleb Herring was just 11-of-20 for 60 yards, while UNLV picked up only 98 yards on the ground as a team off of 34 carries. Worst of all, UNLV let a golden opportunity slip away in terms of the big picture. Had they been more competitive and at least taken the game into the fourth quarter, it could have created a bit of buzz as they head home for their Sam Boyd Stadium opener next Saturday night against Hawaii. Now, instead, UNLV has to somehow regroup and prepare for one of the most explosive offenses it will see all season with more questions hanging over its head than ever before under Bobby Hauck. For full coverage from Pullman, Wash., stay tuned to lasvegassun.com/rebels.

End of Third Quarter, Washington State up 45-0

PULLMAN, Wash. — Marshall Lobbestael was just named the Player of the Game on the jumbotron at Martin Stadium, and he earned that honor in just three quarters.

He's done for the day, having gone 24-of-32 for 361 yards and five touchdown passes. He was hardly challenged by the UNLV pass rush all day, and picked them apart in return. His final contribution of note was a seven-yard touchdown pass to Marquess Wilson late in the third quarter, giving Wilson 102 receiving yards on the day. That made it a 45-0 contest, and Wazzu doesn't appear to be done yet.

At this point, the only area of interest remaining is to hear what Bobby Hauck has to say after this one. In his 15 games at UNLV, this is likely the least effective performance he's seen his team have.

Halftime, Washington State up 35-0

PULLMAN, Wash. — No silver linings today, folks.

Washington State just wrapped up an absolutely dominant first half at Martin Stadium and headed to the locker room with a 35-0 lead over UNLV, thoroughly dominating on both sides of the football.

Fifth-year senior quarterback Marshall Lobbenstael, starting in place of injured junior standout Jeff Tuel, is 18-of-21 for 274 yards and four TD strikes so far, as he's had all day to operate in the pocket against a punchless UNLV defense. The Rebels' secondary is looking lost more times than not, and the Washington State wideouts have had a field day against them in return.

WSU has 372 yards of total offense so far, and appears well on its way to its second victory of the season.

The Rebels, meanwhile, are squandering an opportunity to create some buzz back in Las Vegas as they have their first two home games of the season in the next two weeks. Instead, many back home now are probably wondering when basketball season starts (first practice is on Oct. 14, in case you're one of those wondering).

One point in this one I'll look back at as crucial came late in the first quarter, with UNLV trailing 14-0 and facing a fourth-and-three in Washington State territory. Instead of going for it and trying to draw some blood, UNLV decided to punt it, and not long after, WSU held a commanding 21-0 edge. For the most part, since then, the Rebels have lacked confidence on both sides of the ball.

On offense, numbers-wise, UNLV's lone bright spot is sophomore back Tim Cornett, who has 42 yards on eight carries. But the Rebels are just 2-of-8 on third downs, while WSU has only faced five of those, converting on four of them.

I'm not expecting this one to get any closer, and I'm also not expecting Bobby Hauck to be too positive after this one. This game, oddly enough, is quite similar to last year's 30-7 loss down the road at Idaho, when UNLV was run ragged in a road game it was expected to be competitive in.

End of First Quarter, Washington State up 14-0

PULLMAN, Wash. — It was definitely not the start UNLV had envisioned, as the defense is struggling mightily for the second straight week. Washington State has had no problems moving the ball up and down its home turf, building a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.

The Cougars are moving in now on their third score, too, which might make the hole too big for UNLV to dig its way out of today.

Washington State quarterback Marshall Lobbestael is 8-of-9 for 128 yards and a TD toss so far, as he's seen very little pressure from the UNLV defense. On the first play of WSU's current drive, James Dunlap sacked him for an eight-yard loss, but two plays later, Wazzu was working with a fresh set of downs. As the first quarter draws to a close, the Cougars are now at the UNLV 20-yard line and moving with continued ease.

The Rebels' defense looks lost for the most part. The first score of the game was a 48-yard jaunt by WSU running back Ricky Galvin, who ran away from three UNLV defenders in the final 25 yards of his journey.

On the other side of the ball, UNLV's offense just isn't doing enough damage. Caleb Herring has attempted only two passes, while the Rebels have come up short on third downs, going 1-of-3. On the last drive, Bradley Randle was dropped for a one-yard loss on third-and-one near midfield. UNLV wound up punting, and that could turn out to be a key missed opportunity for the Rebels.

So far, WSU has out-gained UNLV 205-41 in terms of total offense, and it's appearing at the moment that this one might only get uglier.

PREGAME

PULLMAN, Wash. — Welcome to the most important game of UNLV's 2011 football season.

Sounds a bit early to be saying that, doesn't it? But the outcome of today's 2 p.m. clash with Washington State at Martin Stadium could play a major role in how the next few weeks are viewed.

UNLV (0-1) comes in today as a 14-point underdog, but after showing some offensive pop last week at Wisconsin, they should be able to hang with the Cougars (1-0), who are without standout junior quarterback Jeff Tuel. Tuel suffered a collarbone injury in WSU's blowout of Idaho State last weekend, and coach Paul Wulff now turns to fifth-year senior Marshall Lobbestael behind center. Lobbestael has been inconsistent when previously given opportunities to run the show.

If UNLV comes out victorious, the Rebels will be 1-1 with back-to-back home games coming up against Hawaii (toss-up) and Southern Utah (very winnable), then they'll get a bye week before traveling to face rebuilding Nevada-Reno on Oct. 8. In other words, if they win today, the next month lays out quite favorably for the Rebels, with some nice spots on the horizon.

If UNLV doesn't win, the season is far from lost, but the Rebels at that point would likely be again playing to build towards 2012. A win, and they could have a legitimate chance at — gasp — five or six wins this seasons.

The key, though, is that UNLV has a chance. They got what they'd hoped to get out of last week's trip to Wisconsin — some positives to work with and no major injuries. Now, they have to capitalize on it.

If UNLV is going to do so, here are three things that they'll have to do well …

1) They have to test Wazzu's run defense. Idaho State didn't really try to last week, and the young UNLV offensive line should come in with plenty of confidence after a solid debut last Thursday at Wisconsin. Plus, it could help keep plenty of the pressure off of UNLV's struggling defense.

2) Caleb Herring's relatively mistake-free performance a week ago in Madison went sort of unnoticed, but that's not a bad thing. He performed well in the Rebels' opener and managed the game like a veteran. He has to keep doing that. Wazzu can score, and giving them extra possessions is far from a smart idea.

3) Jumping out early might be UNLV's best bet. Last season, in seven road games, they never held a lead. It would be interesting to see how this team does away from Sam Boyd Stadium while not playing from behind.

As for my prediction today, I'm thinking we'll see a wild one. I'm taking Washington State, but it will be a fun game to watch — er, listen to. I'll say the final today in Pullman is 38-34.

Stay tuned here for all of your updates as the game unfolds today, plus you can check in with me on Twitter at @ryanmgreene. Also, don't forget to add the #unlvfb and #unlv hashtag to your in-game tweets to show up below.

Talk to you again after kick-off.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 28 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy.

  1. Well, everyone was wrong. The offense sucks too. What an embarrassment this team is. Good job Hauck, you make Sanford look like a genius.

  2. We're worse than the Mud dogs without the Waterboy. The drunk cheerleaders could probably beat us too.

  3. this is funny... not an ounce of improvement.

  4. Too late to rescind that 2 year extension?????

  5. I can see tomorrows headline. "Rebels look to improve after inpressive second half" LOL

  6. I'm still trying to figure out why unlv gave hauk a 2 year extension,maybe cuzz he showed he has control over the team displaine wise,no facebook= no wins.Looking more like a 2 win season if that..Starting to think he was the wrong hire,I see no inprovment at all..I was looking forward to catching a few games this year.Guess I'll be hanging out at the local pop wearner games...

  7. Why is it when UNLV football comes to town 3rd stringers see playing time......we might as well be the Washington Generals of NCAA football!

  8. 91F in Pullman is the problem. UNLV not used to the heat!!!!!!

  9. WOW, where are the apologists draped in a silver lining?

    This is what happens when you abandon the upperclassmen that you didn't recruit in favor of "your" picks.

  10. UNLV should abadon the football team. Use the resources to fund other sports they can be competitive in.

  11. Trust me, folks. No silver lining today. There was last week, and I'll stick by that. Today is a downright terrible performance, though. Top to bottom. No positives at all.

  12. We put every opposing quarterback on the Heisman watch!

  13. Shameful. The only team the TV agreement is helping is UNLV because no recruit wants to see this. I agree the media has to step up and call this out. Quit drinking the Kool-aid and at least put a fight up. Bottom feeder Pac12 team taking us to the woodshed, and we cant tackle, cover, or touch anyone. Half the high school teams in town could perform better.

  14. Haven't seen Wazzu_LV post yet but I'm sure he'll show up soon enough. Figured I'd pop in and let you hear it... You were right, I was wrong.

    I'm honestly at a loss for words. This is basically a repeat of the Idaho game from last season. All the positives from the Wisconsin game are gone. Wow... just wow.

  15. I'm glad I chose not to drive to Pullman and instead went to the good Hawaii/Washington game. Came back and looked at the score...ouch. 1 step forwar...wait, never mind.

  16. Wow! I had been willing to give Hauck the benefit of the doubt for a year, and yes, Ryan, after last week's game I thought maybe the offense had improved somewhat, but Moapa's defense (allowed -4 total yards last night) would have done a better job today.

  17. Possibly the worst defense in the history of D1 football. Where do you even begin, perhaps bringing the program down to DII? They could go winless this year, the way they are playing they won't even beat SUU or UNM. Somewhere along the way the players need to look within themselves & make something happen, unless they are so athletically inferior that they cant. This is really sad!!!

  18. Hey all easy on the situation.Yes this is a bad team but we got to see this team in the next 2 years.They are running that silly pop Warner triple option offense and that will not work with this personnel.Of course they can't use pro set offense cuz Caleb really can't throw.The poor defense just needs new and bigger players.But Bobby still needs more time.

  19. Hauck was hired out of Montana presumably because he had a successful program there. It is important to recall that he inherited one of the finest Div 1-AA programs (if not THE finest) in the nation. In the preceding eight years before Hauck came to Montana, the team won 7 conference championships and two national titles. Hauck never had to build a team. He was presented with perhaps the premiere program at its level in the nation.

    There have been a number of successful coaches who have run the Montana FB program. However, in the history of the school, there has never been a head football coach who left Montana and was successful at the next level.

  20. I just wanna see anyone on defense get off their blocker. It doesn't matter who the D cordinator is they give up a ton of yds & still can't tackle. Its not that difficult to bring someone down, I don't get it. I have never seen so many defensive players that look afraid to blast somebody. Way to many arm tackles & swiping at the ball carrier.

    Payne has mentally checked out, about the only bright spot is Cornett, he runs with some attitude. Hawaii might drop 60+ on this defense.

  21. As my bartender said "How are you going to recruit players looking at a Stadium where you park on dirt? So true, so sad. They may be a decent high school team, but this is getting too old.

    And we give him an extension. Easiest 500G anyone ever made.

  22. We gotta get the Rebels scheduled to play my Golden Gophers...
    2 disastrous programs that are desperate for a winning formula.
    Goph's are so bad, their coach had a seizure on the sideline near the end of the game today in a LOSS to New Mexico State. Coach Kill will be okay, but the team has a long way to go.

  23. Ryan - what did you say about this being a potential win for the Rebels? WSU has gone through a TON OF PAIN in this rebuilding process with a Coach that no one is really sure is the right one for the job. He had past kids who were mad that WSU fired a Coach who was one game away from bowl eligibility in consequtive seasons. Cleaned house - put a Freshman in at QB and took their lumps.

    Even after beating UNLV - WSU's Coach is not safe from being fired. WSU has gotten players away from other programs with the ability to promote that the kids will play right away.

    It seems like UNLV is a nice payday for anyone who can talk about how they are qualified due to something that they were associated with. Not built.

    Wonder if Dave McCann former UNLV Football Announcer (while being BYU Alumni President) can't wait to write more about BYU in that other paper - now that he is not getting paid by UNLV? He is chuckling that he is not connected to the UNLV program anymore.

    If Hauck is going to take his lumps - start the Freshman and let them take the lumps by getting experience. If Payne wants to pout - well Phillip you get to explain your attitude at the NFL combine - if you get that far after having an amazing Freshman year. Mike Sanford - was that you in the Louisville Press Box getting beat by some Florida International on Friday? Hauck - go after stud Nevada kids - they sign - they start. No more of the - Devonte Christopher - we wont give you a chance to play QB at UNLV only WR - to let Utah say - sure you can compete then learn if he wants to play he moves position - it was that simple to get that kid and UNLV blew it.

    After hearing the stellar UNLV Radio Crew (Colorado and Stanford represented) - "Mike, I dont think you have ever gone through a half like this in your career". If you have not been through it - how do you teach getting out of it? Easy to take over a winning program, is UNLV surrounding it's program with people who know how to build one? Montana was a winning program, UNLV needs to have people associated with those who BUILD PROGRAMS not just come from established ones.

    Cougars come back to Vegas next year - Ryan I hope you took the 14 points today - your so called PAC 12 Cellar Dweller, not like much research was done before making that comment in your preseason article that all WAZZU fans in Las Vegas laughed about, just beat the hell out of the Rebels today!

  24. The only time opponents don't score on us is when we have the ball. Unfortunately we have to keep punting it right back to them.

  25. Comment removed by moderator. Personal Attack

  26. I told you so.....I'm so freakin' PO'd that we extended this clown Hauck!

    What do all of the Homers have to say about his extension now?! I was crucified when I criticized his extension. Now we have to suffer another 2 yrs of this crap!

  27. The players on defense need to remove all the mirrors in their dorms and anywhere else they may be. There simply could be no way they could look at themselves without being thoroughly humiliated.

    I used to laugh at those who said we should shut down the program ... the last laugh is on me! Unplug this travesty.

  28. hauck, you gotta be missing those tough as nails MT boys by now. it's not your fault, unlv is just a really bad football school.