Sun File Photo
Friday, April 18, 2008 | 2 a.m.
If You Go
- What: Scarlet vs. Gray spring football game
- When: 6 tonight
- Where: Sam Boyd Stadium
- Admission: Free
Beyond the Sun
Spring games can be big business in college football.
At Nebraska, ticket brokers are getting $95 for Saturday’s sold-out Red-White spring game at 81,000-seat Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. That’s for a general-admission ticket with a face value of $8.
More than 78,000 fans showed up last weekend in Tuscaloosa to watch Alabama’s spring game.
Fortunately for fans of UNLV football, you won’t have to deal with scalpers or long lines at the concession stands when the Rebels hold their annual Scarlet-Gray spring game at 6 tonight at Sam Boyd Stadium.
Admission to the UNLV spring game, which is nothing more than a glorified scrimmage, is free. And you’re almost guaranteed a seat in the first two rows. Even if you arrive late. That tends to be the case when your team is coming off four consecutive two-win seasons.
In the past three spring games under head coach Mike Sanford, the teams were assembled by a draft and the starters sprinkled between the two squads. This year, in hope of getting a jump on developing team chemistry, players projected as starters on offense and defense will be on one team (Scarlet) and the rest will make up the other.
“I do think that the spring game is very important,” Sanford said, discounting the notion that it’s a meaningless exercise. “There are still some position battles that are going on and we’re still trying to evaluate players.”
Here are the five positions to which Sanford will be paying closest attention during tonight’s game:
Sophomores Travis Dixon and Omar Clayton are battling for the starting job and will play on the same squad Friday. No matter how stellar one or the other looks in the spring game, the starting quarterback won’t be named until summer.
Casey Flair, Ryan Wolfe and Rodelin Anthony have separated themselves from the pack, but Sanford still is looking for a fourth starting receiver from a group that includes Justin Marvel, Renan Saint Preux, Tate Knutson and Gerold Rodriguez.
3. Running back
Frank Summers again will lead the Rebels’ running game, but Sanford is looking for a solid backup to emerge out of the battle among Channing Trotter, David Peeples and Chris Brogdon.
As hard as he looks, Sanford just can’t find another Beau Bell. The standout three-year starter graduated and left Sanford searching for a replacement or three. Starr Fuimaono is a returning starter and Jason Beauchamp saw considerable playing time last season and made three starts.
5. Defensive line
Malo Taumua, Jacob Hales and Thor Pili have starting jobs nailed down, but Sanford is looking for a fourth starter from a group that includes Isaako Aaitui and Heivaha Mafi.