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December 1, 2015

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Ray Brewer: From the Pressbox

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Instant analysis: One bright spot in tough loss to TCU

UNLV vs. TCU Football

UNLV head coach Bobby Hauck puts his hand on his head during the second half of their game against Saturday, October 30, 2010. Fourth-ranked TCU won the game 48-6. Launch slideshow »

UNLV vs. No. 4 TCU

No. 4 TCU stormed into Sam Boyd Stadium on Saturday night and maintained its perfect 2010 season with a 48-6 victory over UNLV, who dropped to 1-7 under first-year coach Bobby Hauck.

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Even if it was for only a few minutes Saturday in another lopsided loss for the undermanned UNLV football team, the Rebels’ performance during the second quarter of its 48-6 defeat to No. 4 ranked TCU showed some promise.

Some might classify it as a moral victory.

Despite being absolutely dominated for most of the game, the Rebels gave the undefeated Horned Frogs a little more than they bargained for during an eight-minute stretch of the second quarter.

When you consider the Rebels trailed 21-0 one minute into the quarter, the simple fact that they didn’t roll over and accept their fate was impressive.

After quarterback Omar Clayton had an interception returned 30 yards for a touchdown at the start of the quarter, the Rebels did something some didn’t expect — put up a fight.

On UNLV's next possession, Clayton capped a nine-play scoring drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Michael Johnson. It was just the second touchdown TCU has surrendered in five Mountain West Conference games.

TCU drove the length of the field on its next possession, but the Rebels’ defense didn’t flinch. They recovered a fumble on the goal line to stop TCU from extending its lead back to three touchdowns.

Even though the rest of the game followed the script everyone expected, it was entertaining to see UNLV take one small step in the program’s seemingly endless quest for improvement. In a game where it sometimes felt like UNLV was a high school team playing against the Dallas Cowboys, the efforts generated some brief optimism amongst the sparse crowd at Sam Boyd Stadium.

Moral victories such as a few minutes of moving the football against TCU’s exceptional defense are nice. But the only victories that count are the ones that are recorded in the standings — something the Rebels (1-7) likely won’t see again in 2010.

The rest of the game was surely painful for the Rebels to endure, with UNLV being outgained 529-197 and only averaging 3.5 yards per play.

Yes, TCU is that good. Yes, UNLV is that bad.

UNLV has 20 freshmen in its regular rotation, and that lack of experience is tough to overcome — against TCU or any other team on the Rebels’ schedule.

While the deficiencies are so numerous and the improvements have been so few, the team still brings a solid effort each game. And in a season of moral victories, that’s certainly a good starting point.

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