Sunday, Oct. 18, 2009 | 2:02 a.m.
Ryan Greene and Rob Miech dissect UNLV's fourth consecutive loss, this time a 35-15 defeat at the hands of Utah. The guys look at why the defense wasn't to blame for this one, and what's on the horizon for two programs apparently headed in different directions for the rest of the 2009 season.
- Opponent: New Mexico
- Date: Oct. 24, 5 p.m.
- Where: Albuquerque, N.M.
- TV: The Mtn. (Cox ch. 334)
- Radio: ESPN Radio 1100 AM
But plenty else went wrong for Mike Sanford's club, which fell to 2-5 and lost its fourth straight.
Here's a look at just what went both right and wrong.
1: Last season, UNLV was tied with Ohio State as the nation's most efficient offense inside the red zone. But this year, as a disappointing season has progressed, the Rebels are getting less and less dependable to produce points inside the 20-yard line. In six tries on Saturday night in the red zone, UNLV scored four times, which is far from stellar, and inside of that, produced just one touchdown. Now, through seven games, the Rebels are tied for 89th out of 120 FBS teams in red zone offense.
0: For the first time since late in the 2007 season, junior quarterback Omar Clayton went without a touchdown pass. As if that's not enough, he completed just over 52 percent of his passes (23-of-44) and threw two costly first half interceptions.
17: One thing UNLV did have on Saturday which it hadn't in the two previous weeks — losses to UNR and BYU — was offensive balance. Junior running back Channing Trotter, who combined for just 12 offensive touches in the last two outings, had 17 against the Utes, producing 73 yards of total offense.
111: UNLV's defense allowed Cimmaron-Memorial grad Eddie Wide to pile up 111 yards on 17 carries, highlighted by a back-breaking 37-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter which officially put the Rebels away for good. Wide was contained for much of the night, but produced when it counted, and in the process became the seventh different player to rush for at least 100 yards on the UNLV defense in seven games.
327: The defense deserves a bit of credit for holding Utah to 327 yards of total offense after allowing UNR and BYU to combine for 1,384 yards in the previous two weeks put together. The defense was also the main reason why UNLV was still in the game into the early portion of the fourth quarter. The Rebels forced five Utah fumbles and recovered two of them. Still, Utah quarterback Terrance Cain played his best game away from Salt Lake City so far this season, completing 17-of-24 passes for 174 yards and two scores. He also ran for 22 yards and another touchdown.
20: UNLV not only has a golden opportunity to end its four-game skid next weekend, but it will be the Rebels' best chance this season to snap the nation's longest road losing streak in conference contests, which currently stands at 20. A loss next weekend against winless New Mexico, who is dealing with plenty of turmoil of its own, could sting much worse than anything that Mike Sanford's club has experienced thus far in 2009.