Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 | 2 a.m.
A three-win season surely isn’t anything to brag about for a college football team.
But, if UNLV (2-9 overall) beats Wyoming on Saturday in its home finale, the Rebels players can hold their heads high with the satisfaction they improved from last year’s two-win season. And, if the Rebels were to win next week at Hawaii in the last game of the year, they would double their win total from 2011.
“Wins are what we want. We have made improvements,” said Hauck, the Rebels’ third-year coach, in his weekly press conference. “Everyone is tired of losing. Everyone is tired of us not going out week after week and playing consistently well for four quarters. That is what we have to do. When we do that, wins will come.
“We have made the progress to the point where we can say that, but we have to go out and win games. We keep score for a reason, and we have to score more than the other team.”
Rebuilding the Rebel program often has been a trying task, especially last Saturday in a 33-11 loss at Colorado State that extended UNLV's road losing streak to 21 games. The Rebels have a 6-30 record in Hauck’s tenure.
The Rebels played one of their worst games of the season at Colorado State, committing four turnovers and not scoring until the fourth quarter to drop a game they were favored to win. For all intents and purposes, the outcome was determined by halftime.
“The lack of consistency is driving us all crazy,” Hauck said. “It showed up in last weekend’s game. We have to put things together week to week, quarter to quarter and just finish. Obviously, we don’t need to recap last week’s game. The turnovers killed us. Now it’s on to the next one.”
The Wyoming game, which kicks off at 1 p.m., could be different.
The Rebels have been competitive in their previous six home games at Sam Boyd Stadium this year, and they match up evenly with a Wyoming (3-7, 2-4 Mountain West) team experiencing similar struggles. Also, the Rebels have won their past two home games against Wyoming.
Yet, Wyoming has won its past two games, including topping New Mexico last week on the road. Two weeks ago, the Cowboys scored 45 points in beating the same Colorado State team UNLV struggled against last week.
“They have a good team. They have some similarities to us where they have lost a lot of close games,” Hauck said.
Saturday will be the final home game for UNLV’s 15 seniors. And even though their UNLV career has just two games remaining, Hauck has continually praised his senior class for finishing what they started.
“It’s been a long road, but (the seniors) have stuck it out,” senior offensive lineman Yusef Rodgers said. “Like coach says, we have invested so much in this program. It’s only right to go as hard as you can and enjoy the ride while you are here.”
No update on Nick Sherry
Hauck said he wouldn’t know until today whether redshirt freshman quarterback Nick Sherry, who left the Colorado State game in the fourth quarter with an apparent head injury, would be available for the Wyoming game.
Sherry, who has passed for 2,378 yards in his promising rookie season, had his worst game Saturday. He completed 12 of 33 passes for 88 yards with two interceptions. He also lost a fumble.
Backup Caleb Herring, who also is part of the wide receiver rotation, completed two passes for 33 yards in relief against Colorado State. The junior was the primary starter last year and still gets several practice snaps each week.