Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012 | 2 a.m.
If the UNLV football team can break its road losing streak Saturday by winning at Hawaii, the Rebels will accomplish something more important than snapping its ugly 21-game skid.
In a season of minor upgrades and several near-misses at wins, a victory against Hawaii in the season finale would provide a boost in returning-player morale in the offseason training program. It also would give the Rebels (2-10 overall, 2-5 Mountain West) three wins — an improvement of one victory from last year.
UNLV, which last won on the road in 2009 against New Mexico, couldn’t ask for a better opponent to face in attempting to change its fate away from home. Hawaii is 1-9, and its lone win came against lower-division Lamar.
Hawaii ranks 116th out of 124 Division I teams in points scored and 121st in points allowed.
“This would be great for our guys, great for our team and great for our seniors,” UNLV coach Bobby Hauck said. “We’ll go over there with that in mind. I can’t imagine we wouldn’t. I think our guys will be very motivated to go over there and play an inspired game and fight their tail off to get a win.”
This isn’t the first time UNLV appeared to be in position to break the road streak. Two weeks ago at Colorado State, the Rebels were a small betting favorite to win but had its worst effort of the year in a 33-11 loss. It was one of the rare times this fall the Rebels seemingly were out of the game by halftime.
Sure, UNLV will finish with its 12th consecutive nonwinning season. But the players are dedicated to finishing strong and helping lay the foundation for next year, senior offensive lineman Doug Zismann said.
“It would be good to go out with a win and have something to really look back on for the next offseason for all the guys here working for next season,” Zismann said.
Although Hawaii seems like an ideal opponent for the Rebels to break the streak against, traveling about six hours to the islands is a hurdle they will have to overcome. UNLV is 13-8 all-time against Hawaii but just 2-8 on the road. The Rebels haven’t won on the islands since 2000.
“It’s a hard trip. It’s a tough trip for everybody,” Hauck said. “Nobody likes that week.”