unlv football:

This could be the week the Rebels break through on the road

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Steve Marcus

Running back Bradley Randle leaps across the goal line for UNLV’s third touchdown in the first half of the Rebels’ game against New Mexico at Sam Boyd Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012.

UNLV Beats New Mexico at Sam Boyd

UNLV's Bradley Randle, center, outruns a host of New Mexico defenders for a touchdown at Sam Boyd Stadium Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. Launch slideshow »

UNLV football coach Bobby Hauck knew it was only a matter of time until the question was asked.

Speaking with reporters Monday in advance of Saturday’s road game at Colorado State, the obvious topic when talking about UNLV football soon dominated the question-and-answer session: Is this the week the Rebels snap their road losing streak?

UNLV has lost 20 consecutive games away from home dating back to the 2009 season, but this week’s game could be different. Colorado State (2-7 overall, 1-4 Mountain West) is battling injuries at quarterback and suffering through the growing pains of rebuilding the program under a first-year coach.

And UNLV (2-8 overall, 2-3 league) is coming off its best performance of the year last week, rushing for 241 yards and more than 10 yards per carry in a dominating 35-7 victory against New Mexico. Even oddsmakers are siding with the Rebels, opening them as a 3-point betting favorite.

“You prepare for every game like it is the most important game of the season because it is the only one you get that week. Football is unique like that,” Hauck said. “There is no looking past anything.”

Colorado State isn’t the lone remaining winnable game during the final month of the season. UNLV also should be favored Nov. 17 at home against Wyoming and Nov. 24 at Hawaii, meaning the Rebels have a legitimate chance to close the season on a four-game winning streak.

First things first: winning Saturday at Colorado State to close the books on the ugly streak. A victory also would mark the program’s first back-to-back wins since the 2008 season.

“I don’t know if it is such a big deal who we beat but (the fact) we got a win,” senior offensive lineman Doug Zismann said. “The locker room was really hurting for one. It feels good to watch the film and to have something to really smile about.”

Win or lose, Zismann sticks to a philosophy of forgetting about the past game within 24 hours. However, that might be easier said than done with last week’s win.

Television cameras from one local station were granted rare access to the Rebel locker room to document the celebration, which more resembled a championship celebration than a simple league victory.

Just don’t expect the Rebels to have a hangover. They know the celebration at Colorado State would be even better.

“That is ancient history,” Hauck said of the New Mexico win. “We are on to Colorado State.”

UNLV has won two of its past three meetings against Colorado State, including a 38-35 victory last year for the Rebels’ second win of the season. Colorado State lost six straight games before beating Hawaii — arguably the league’s worst team — two weeks ago. Last week, the Rams lost 45-31 at Wyoming.

But with the UNLV road struggles, Colorado State easily could get back in the win column. Although this is one of the few road games UNLV is favored to win, Hauck doesn’t share that philosophy. He knows nothing is guaranteed, especially away from home.

“Anytime we go on the road to play, there are opportunities (to break the streak),” he said. “I would consider anytime we play a great chance to do that. I don’t want to discredit who we are playing at all. They are good team, and they are well coached.

“We view this as a game we can win, but all their people and the guys sitting in (the media) chairs there, and the next three weeks, view us as a team that can’t."

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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  1. Pound those Rams, Rebs!

  2. This will be a great chance to break the road losing skid

  3. I think the Rebels win this game and end their road losing streak.