Analysis:

By the Numbers: Adding context to the Rebels’ woeful road record

UNLV isn’t alone and hasn’t set a school record yet — but they’d still prefer to snap their 22-game road losing streak Thursday at Minnesota

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Associated Press

UNLV head coach Bobby Hauck reacts as his team fails to convert on a third-down play in the red zone against Colorado State in the fourth quarter of Colorado State’s 33-11 victory in an NCAA college football game in Fort Collins, Colo., Nov. 10, 2012.

Tim Hasson said the Rebels talk about The Streak all the time. From coaches and players who have been through it all to players who actually are undefeated (though also winless) on the road, everyone in the locker room knows UNLV has lost 22 straight road games.

They don’t shy away from that number just because of what it means — no current player knows what it’s like to board the team plane after a road victory.

“We’ll see soon,” said senior Tim Cornett, sitting two seats down from fellow senior Hasson at Monday’s UNLV football press conference at the Lied Athletic Complex.

The Streak is on the tip of everyone’s tongue, of course, because UNLV opens the 2013 season Thursday on the road at Minnesota. The game kicks off at 4 p.m. Las Vegas time on the Big Ten Network.

In between those two players sat UNLV coach Bobby Hauck, who’s been around for 20 of those 22 defeats.

“We need to flip that switch at some point,” Hauck said. “Whether it’s this Thursday or not we’ll see.”

The Rebels are 14-point underdogs against the Golden Gophers, who defeated UNLV by three in triple overtime last year in Las Vegas. Here are a few numbers that provide some context for The Streak, which the Rebels hope they don’t have to talk about on the flight home:

1 — Other team I could find in the country with a 22-game nonhome losing streak: Kansas. The Jayhawks’ woes are a little different because they include a trio of neutral games against Missouri in Kansas City, but it’s still close enough to let the Rebels know they’re not completely alone.

7 — The closest margin of victory during this streak, which occurred in a 21-14 loss at New Mexico on Nov. 12, 2011. That’s the only game the Rebels were able to keep within single digits.

23 — There isn’t a lot of info readily available on road losing streaks, both because it’s a pretty specific search target and programs don’t like to publicize such things. However, there is at least one program with a recent road losing streak longer than UNLV’s, and that is Colorado.

In 2011 the Buffaloes won their final road game of the season, 17-14 at Utah, snapping a 23-game road losing streak (that was actually 24 if you count a bowl loss).

26 — Believe it or not, this current streak isn’t a school record. From 1994-98 the Rebels lost 26 road games in a row.

Coach Jeff Horton started his Rebels’ tenure in 1994 and won his first two road games. Four years later he didn’t win another one and was fired after going 0-11 in his final season.

43-12 — The average score over UNLV’s 22 losses. Let that sink in for a moment.

“UNLV and defense haven’t been synonymous, ever,” Hauck said at Monday’s press conference.

No argument here.

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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