Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013 | 2 a.m.
UNLV’s current four-game winning streak has been good for everyone except the Rebels’ opponents and record books. Those need some reworking after UNLV’s highly-entertaining 39-37 victory against Hawaii on Saturday, and thanks to a couple of performances, even bigger numbers could fall in the near future.
That future starts Saturday at No. 17 Fresno State (5-0, 2-0), where Las Vegas predicts the Rebels' streak will end. Fresno State is a 23-point favorite as of Monday afternoon. Still, at least one UNLV career record may change hands this weekend.
This whole streak has been full of career highs, school records and league bests for the Rebels. From a victory against Central Michigan that tied for the largest comeback in school history (21 points) to the Rebels’ school-record 38 first downs against Hawaii, it’s been tough to keep track of all the numbers floating around. Here are a few more to cloud your mind:
15 — points senior kicker Nolan Kohorst scored against Hawaii, tying him for the school record. It was enough to earn him Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Week honors, the first of his career but the third time a Rebel has received that this season. The other two honors went to punter Logan Yunker.
Kohorst’s points tied him with Dillon Pieffer (2003) and Nick Garritano (1992). Garritano, currently the College of Southern Nevada baseball coach, coached Kohorst in baseball at Green Valley High.
Kohorst could have smashed the record had UNLV coach Bobby Hauck elected to kick instead of attempting two fourth-down conversions in the first quarter. The Rebels failed on both, which is part of the reason Kohorst was called out for a chip shot 19-yarder in the second quarter instead of the Rebels going for it on fourth-and-1 at the 1-yard line.
Kohorst also made kicks from 35 yards (second quarter to tie the game at 3), 41 yards (third quarter to take a 23-17 lead) and the game-winner from 44 yards. Plus he was 3-for-3 on extra-point attempts as the Rebels attempted, and failed, a two-point conversion on the fourth touchdown.
Kohorst has 44 points scored this season and needs 29 more to become the school’s all-time leader in that category. The current leader is running back Mike Thomas (244).
Speaking of Thomas …
41 — yards needed for Rebels senior Tim Cornett to break Thomas’ career rushing record. Much like Kohorst’s pursuit of the scoring record, it’s not fair to compare the current Rebels’ marks to those of Thomas, who accomplished his in only two seasons, but I’m doing it anyway.
Cornett finished the Hawaii game with 162 yards and two scores on a career-high 29 carries. He added 28 yards receiving that included a couple of catches on UNLV’s game-winning drive.
From the beginning of the year, it was a question of when, not if, Cornett would break this record. Now we know the answer is likely this week unless Fresno State holds Cornett (110 yards per game this season) to his lowest rushing total since last year’s loss at Hawaii.
113 — offensive plays for UNLV, the second-most run by a team in regulation in college football history. A stat correction took this down from 114 on the box score.
The record belongs to Houston, which ran 115 plays in a loss to Louisiana Tech last season. Considering the proliferation of hurry-up, high-scoring offenses, we could be in for a new record within the next couple of years. Considering how long the record stood before last season, that would be quite the feat.
Northwestern is also credited with 115 plays in the NCAA record books, but the Wildcats achieved that in an overtime loss to Auburn in the 2010 Outback Bowl. The previous regulation record was set by Montana in a rivalry game against Montana State. That was in 1952.
The Rebels were oh-so-close to another offensive record: Their 38 first downs set a new school mark but fell one shy of tying four other teams for the Mountain West record.
183 — consecutive pass attempts without an interception for Caleb Herring. That streak ended one play shy of setting a new conference record.
Herring was picked off on the final play of the first half. Before that, he set a new UNLV record for pass attempts without an interception (Omar Clayton, 173 in 2007-08), and that throw left him in a tie with Wyoming’s Brett Smith (2012-13) for the Mountain West record.
Herring’s streak dated to 2011, as he spent most of 2012 at receiver. If he’s disappointed at missing out on the record (Note: doubtful, because they won), Herring can take solace in his 34-of-57 passing for 385 yards. All three of those are new career highs.