Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009 | 11:29 p.m.
Ryan Greene and Rob Miech break down UNLV's last-second 23-21 defeat at the hands of Oregon State, which was similar to several games the Rebels let slip from their grasp just a year ago. The guys look at what went wrong, and whether you can expect Mike Sanford's club to still have its edge next Saturday when Hawaii comes to town ... and beyond.
- Opponent: Hawaii
- Date: Sept. 19, 8 p.m.
- Where: Sam Boyd Stadium
- TV: The Mtn., Cox ch. 334
- Radio: ESPN Radio 1100 AM
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, drive-in movies -- and games against nationally ranked opponents during the second week of the college football season.
Oregon State, ranked No. 24 in the land, needed a field goal on the next-to-last play of the game to beat the upset-minded Rebels 23-21.
This was a tough loss, a bitter pill to swallow, one that somehow got away.
But it is also something you can build on.
Other thoughts and observations at 11:15 p.m. on a sultry Saturday night:
• Mike Clausen might be the best relief pitcher since Goose Gossage. All he did after replacing injured Omar Clayton (right knee) was direct the Rebels to two consecutive fourth-quarter touchdowns that had the Beavers sweating bullets. But instead of a save, he only gets a near save.
• If USC couldn't stop Jacquizz Rodgers last year (186 yards on 37 carries), it probably wasn't fair to expect the Rebels to do it. After a slow start the Oregon State running back found his stride, stepping off 166 yards on 26 carries. Maybe you could attribute some of that to UNLV's inability to stop the run, but Rodgers is a pretty special back.
• The Rebels have done a good job protecting the football the past couple of seasons but committed two official turnovers in the first half as well an unofficial one when they came up short on fourth-and-short. The most costly mistake was when Rodelin Anthony did an Edwin Moses impression and tried to hurdle three Beavers, only to lose the ball on a fumble. Not only did that stop UNLV's deepest penetration of the first half, it also led to its only touchdown, a one-yard lob -- and that's putting it mildly -- from Sean Canfield to Brady Camp.
• You usually cannot beat ranked teams from the Pac-10 when you turn the ball over. Last year, when the Rebels upset Arizona State in overtime, they did not commit a turnover.
• Cal Poly beat Sacramento State, which hung with the Rebels for nearly three quarters last week, 38-19. Good thing the Rebels don't play Cal Poly this year.
• Tonight's attendance was 25,967 which really wasn't all that impressive, considering 22,195 turned out for last week's season opener against Sac State and roughly a third of the crowd was wearing orange and black.