Monday, Aug. 30, 2010 | 3:16 p.m.
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First-year head coach Bobby Hauck made the announcement Monday during his weekly press conference. Clausen beat out senior Omar Clayton, who entered the last two seasons as the UNLV starter.
"Mike had a slight upper hand," Hauck said. "As we said all along, we'd have an open competition, and Mike came out on top."
The left-hand throwing Clausen, who has passed for 1,230 yards and nine touchdowns in his career, is no stranger to starting. As a freshman, he started the final three games and picked up victories against New Mexico and Wyoming.
He also saw significant action last year. He came off the bench against Oregon State and nearly led the Rebels to a comeback victory. UNLV trailed 20-7 when he entered, and he completed 6-of-9 passes for 58 yards and rushed four times for 25 yards in leading the near-comeback.
"I'm not going out wide-eyed or not knowing what to expect," said Clausen, who has four career starts and 21 appearances in two years.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Clausen is more athletic than Clayton and presents a threat in the running game. He has 375 yards and nine rushing touchdowns for his career on 120 attempts.
Clayton will also receive some playing time, Hauck said. He said the quarterbacks posted similar numbers in camp.
"It was really close. We had a great competition," Hauck said.
The full depth chart also was released Monday. At running back, senior Channing Trotter beat out junior C.J. Cox and redshirt freshman Brandley Randle, but Hauck said all three would receive carries. His plan is to limit each to fewer than 20 carries.
On the offensive line, senior captain Matt Murphy still is nursing an injury, and his status for Saturday won't be determined until later in the week, Hauck said. If he can't start at left tackle, sophomore Yusef Rodgers will get the nod.
Defensively, the starters on the line are juniors James Dunlap and BJ Bell at defensive ends, and seniors Isaako Aaitui and Ramsey Feagai at defensive tackle. True freshman Kjelby Oiland will back up Aaitui at tackle.
The starting linebackers are Starr Fuimaono, Ronnie Paulo and Calvin Randleman — all seniors. In the secondary, the starters are Will Chandler at left cornerback, and Quinton Pointer or Deante' Purvis on the right side. The safeties are seniors Mike Grant and Alex De Giacomo.
Led by Kohorst, four true freshmen from Las Vegas are part of the depth chart.
The others (all second string) are offensive tackle Cameron Jefferson from Desert Oasis, linebacker Tim Hasson of Cimarron-Memorial and Eric Tuiloma of Desert Pines at strong safety. Hasson is a walk-on.
• Western High product Paulo, three others named captain
Senior linebacker Ronnie Paulo of Western High in Las Vegas has been selected by teammates as one of four captains for the UNLV football team.
The other three captains are safety Alex De Giacomo, offensive tackle Matt Murphy and center John Gianninoto. All four are seniors.
Hauck will keep the same captains all season. Under previous coach Mike Sanford, the captains changed each week.