Las Vegas Sun

November 14, 2018

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Notebook: Tuskers QB Brooks Bollinger an early standout

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Las Vegas Locomotives quarterback J.P. Losman throws against the Florida Tuskers Wednesday at Sam Boyd Stadium. Florida won the game 29-15.

UFL: Tuskers vs Locomotives

Despite Samie Parker's two touchdowns, the Locomotives could not overcome a 22-0 deficit, losing their second game of the season 29-15 to the Florida Tuskers Wednesday night.

Locomotives vs. Tuskers

Las Vegas Locomotives quarterback J.P. Losman is slow to get up after being sacked during their game against the Florida Tuskers on Wednesday at Sam Boyd Stadium. Florida won the game 29-15. Launch slideshow »

Brooks Bollinger is the UFL’s early standout

From the moment Las Vegas quarterback J.P. Losman signed on to play in the UFL, the league hailed him as its top player.

But Florida Tuskers quarterback Brooks Bollinger apparently has something to say about that. Through two games, Bollinger has put up the league’s most impressive statistics.

He passed for 225 yards and four touchdowns on 20-for-26 passing in the Tuskers’ first game. Against the Locomotives on Wednesday, he added 310 yards and three touchdowns on 24-for-32 passing.

And it almost never happened.

Although Florida coach Jim Haslett drafted Bollinger to play for the Tuskers months before training camp, Bollinger couldn’t make up his mind about the UFL.

“I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do or where my career was headed,” Bollinger said. “I have a family and kids, so I wasn’t sure if this would be in our best interest.”

Bollinger stayed at home during the first week of the Tuskers’ training camp. He wasn’t going to play.

But then he realized how much he missed football. He thought about it some more and called Haslett to tell him he wanted to be a Tusker.

Ironically, Losman played a role in Bollinger’s decision.

“When I first heard about the league, the first thing that gave it credibility was the head coaches, obviously,” Bollinger said. “But when I first started hearing about guys like J.P. Losman and (Las Vegas backup) Tim Rattay, I got interested in this league.”

Like Losman, Bollinger has a wealth of NFL experience. Bollinger appeared in 21 games in a five-year career that included stints with the New York Jets, the Minnesota Vikings and the Dallas Cowboys.

Moving game from Los Angeles will not affect possible franchise

When the UFL originally scheduled the Locomotives’ Nov. 20 game in Los Angeles, it said the move was because it hoped to add a team in the city next year.

Although UFL Commissioner Michael Huyghue announced Wednesday that the game would be moved to Las Vegas, he said it would not affect Los Angeles’ possibility of landing a team in 2010.

“In fact, we have a prospective owner for that team and he was here at the game tonight,” Huyghue said. “He was very pleased with what he saw.”

Huyghue said the plan remained to add two more teams next year. Hartford, Conn., is still on the top of the list to get a team.

Huyghue said other cities that have shown interest include San Antonio, Salt Lake City, Boston, Philadelphia and Cleveland.

“We’ve got to get through this season, but I still think two cities is where we’re going to go,” Huyghue said. “I keep saying it’s like the Frank Sinatra song — we’ve got to keep doing it our way.”

Grudge match coming soon

The Locomotives won’t have to fret over Wednesday night’s defeat for long, because the Tuskers are next on their schedule.

The Locomotives’ next game is on Friday Oct. 30, in St. Petersburg, Fla., against the Tuskers. Las Vegas coach Jim Fassel said he believes the teams are more evenly matched than they appeared Wednesday.

“The best team doesn’t always win. It’s the team who plays better,” Fassel said. “Maybe they’re the better team, but they obviously played better tonight.”

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