Live Game Blog: Rebels ripped by Vandals, 30-7, drop to 0-3 in Hauck era

Powered by impressive first half, Idaho muzzles UNLV at the Kibbie Dome


Dean Hare / AP

UNLV’s Bradley Randle (28) cuts upfield during a second quarter kick return against Idaho on Saturday at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, Idaho. The Rebels fell to the Vandals, 30-7, dropping to 0-3 on the season.

Updated Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010 | 10:21 p.m.

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Final, Idaho wins 30-7

MOSCOW, Idaho — Bobby Hauck has had a hard time awarding moral victories for his team in two losses to ranked opponents to start the game. It might be impossible to do so after his team's third consecutive defeat to start the 2010 season.

In a game where host Idaho was only favored by a touchdown, UNLV was plowed over in a nightmarish first half in the Kibbie Dome, ultimately falling to the Vandals, 30-7, on Saturday night.

Idaho (2-1) finished the night with 330 yards of total offense and bounced back successfully from a rough 38-17 loss at Nebraska a week ago. UNLV (0-3) struggled to crack triple digits in terms of total yardage until the waning moments, and has to wait another week to go for win No. 1, when it hosts lowly New Mexico (0-3) at Sam Boyd Stadium.

The Vandals set the tone early in front of a packed house of more than 16,000 fans, executing a 14-play, 69-yard drive to start the game, capping it with the first of two Deonte Jackson 1-yard TD plunges. Meanwhile, the Rebels couldn't get off the ground early, totaling only 64 yards and four first downs in the first half.

Idaho's Nathan Enderle was crisp for most of the night after one of the toughest games of his entire career, throwing for 210 yards and a score on 15-of-27 efficiency.

Clayton was just 3-of-8 for 41 yards before giving way to redshirt freshman Caleb Herring in the third quarter, sparking what could be another quarterback decision for Hauck to have to make in the next week.

Herring was 4-of-7 for 87 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Most of his work came on the Rebels' final drive of the night, when he hit Phillip Payne for two long passes, including a 26-yard touchdown score.

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8:06, 3rd quarter, Idaho leads 27-0

MOSCOW, Idaho  — Say this for UNLV: The defense is not giving up here in the second half.

Idaho had golden field position on two straight possessions, including once inside of the UNLV 10-yard line thanks to an Omar Clayton fumble, and came away with only one field goal. The Rebels, in the process, recorded their first sack of the 2010 season, with Isaako Aaitui burying Nathan Enderle for a 9-yard loss.

Clayton won't get a chance to correct his struggles tonight, as redshirt freshman Caleb Herring is now making his UNLV debut, taking over after warming up some on the sidelines with Clayton. He immediately led UNLV to a pair of first downs, and the Rebels have a legitimate drive going.

Halftime, Idaho leads 24-0

MOSCOW, Idaho — Well, a positive for UNLV's struggling offense is that it will get a chance to set a tempo for the second half, starting the third quarter with the ball.

However, it's hard to tell what even a strong drive would do to bring down an Idaho team that is flying high with a 24-0 halftime lead and all the momentum in the world.

Will Chandler made his second interception of the season in the end zone to prevent Idaho from making it even worse, but that was about all that UNLV had to hang its hat on in the first half. Here is a closer look into the numbers ...

— Idaho has 16 first downs to its credit, while UNLV has only four. Making matters worse? The Vandals out-gained the Rebels on offense, 274-64.

— Omar Clayton was just 3-of-8 for 41 yards in the first half. Idaho's Nathan Enderle was 12-of-21 for 196 yards, one TD and one pick.

— Phillip Payne was held without a catch in the first half. Clayton targeted him three times early on, but hasn't looked back to him since. Part of that reason is that he hasn't had the time to find him. He was sacked twice.

— On the other side, UNLV was without a sack in the first half and still has yet to record one this season.

— Channing Trotter has eight carries for 28 yards for the Rebels, while Idaho's leading rusher is Princeton McCarty, who has 41 yards on seven totes.

— UNLV is coming off of a game where it held the ball for nearly two-thirds of the game in a loss at Utah. Tonight, Idaho has 17:08 to its credit in time of possession, while UNLV has 12:52.

— The Rebels are 2-of-7 on third downs. The Vandals are 4-of-6.

Honestly, it's hard to see UNLV coming back from this deficit. What we will learn in the second half is who is willing to fight through some struggle and who will throw in the towel. Could be a telling second half if you look closely.

6:00, 2nd quarter, Idaho leads 24-0

MOSCOW, Idaho — Following a botched fake punt attempt, it didn't take Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle long to make UNLV pay.

The Rebels attempted a keeper by punter Brendon Lamers on fourth-and-eight near midfield, and in turn, the Vandals sniffed it out almost immediately.

A play later, Enderle hit Daniel Hardy for a 56-yard gain after beautifully selling a play-action fake. That led to Deonte Jackson scoring two plays later from a yard out, pushing Idaho ahead of UNLV, 24-0.

Enderle continues to look more and more comfortable and confident, as UNLV again is not getting any pressure on the opposing quarterback. UNLV followed it up with an ugly three-and-out, which included Clayton getting dropped by Aaron Lavarias for a nine-yard loss on first down.

Idaho nearly made it a 31-0 game moments later, but had a five-yard touchdown pass from Enderle to Amauri Johnson called back due to a chop block. On the next snap, Will Chandler intercepted a ball he batted in the air in the end zone, helping UNLV save some face before heading to the halftime locker room.

11:02, 2nd quarter, Idaho leads 17-0

MOSCOW, Idaho — The hole just keeps getting deeper for the Rebels, as Nathan Enderle just recorded his first TD toss of the game on a bullet down the middle in between two defenders, finding Daniel Hardy for an 18-yard score. It puts the Vandals up 17-0 early in the second quarter in the noisy Kibbie Dome.

Idaho recorded five first downs on the drive, giving the hosts 12 of them on the evening to the one that UNLV has found in three possessions.

Enderle is now 9-of-16 for 101 yards and a score.

4:43, 1st quarter, Idaho leads 10-0

MOSCOW, Idaho — UNLV's Anthony White didn't end up having such a hot debut for the Rebels after missing the season's first two games due to injury.

The reserve fullback committed a personal foul penalty on a Rebels punt after the team's opening drive was over in three plays. It set the Vandals up with field position in UNLV territory to start their second drive.

The UNLV defense showed a bit more resistance the second time around, and after getting a bit fortunate when a third-and-long throw from Enderle was dropped in the end zone, Idaho brought Trey Farquhar out for a 50-yard field goal attempt. He boomed it right down the middle, giving them a 10-0 lead.

The Rebels got their first first down of the game on the ensuing drive thanks to a personal foul late hit call, but the drive stalled when Clayton was sacked by Robert Siavii on third-and-four near midfield.

On a sidenote, it appears that Mike Clausen's switch to safety is now official, as he made his defensive debut on Idaho's second possession of the game.

8:29, 1st quarter, Idaho leads 7-0

MOSCOW, Idaho — Idaho used a sound 14-play, 69-yard drive to push the Rebels backwards gradually on the game's opening drive, capping it off with a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Deonte Jackson on fourth-and-goal.

The final play was set up by Nathan Enderle hitting Michael LaGrone on a roll-out pass from the 10-yard line, but LaGrone was hammered at the goal line by Alex De Giacomo, and UNLV's defensive front then held on third-and-goal as Jackson tried to score the first time.

The noticeable struggle for UNLV on the game's first drive was defending perimeter run plays, as Idaho is getting a good jump on the Rebels when going from side to side. It's hard to tell if the turf is slicker than normal, because both teams seemed to have footing issues on the first drive.

On that jaunt, Enderle was 4-of-6 for the Vandals.


MOSCOW, Idaho — In as unique of an atmosphere as you'll find in the FBS college football ranks, UNLV tonight plays the game that could end up determining how the rest of its 2010 season plays out.

The Rebels (0-2) take on Idaho (1-1) in their first game under Bobby Hauck that is not against a nationally-ranked opponent.

The Kibbie Dome holds 16,000 spectators, and is the smallest, most intimate stadium in major college football. All of those seats are expected to be filled tonight when the contest kicks off at 7:30 p.m.

Personally, I'm expecting a raucous environment. The students hanging around here give it away.

Walking up to the dome, I passed a group of coeds who had on black T-shirts that read "nasty, inebriated." The shirts pay homage to the comments made earlier this summer by Boise State president Bob Kustra. If the fans here do live up to that billing, expect it to get loud in here.

For UNLV, it fits the clichéd billing of being a must-win game. The Rebels have a golden opportunity at-hand here to even their record against a beatable Idaho team and then next week against FBS and Mountain West punching bag New Mexico back at Sam Boyd Stadium.

If the Rebels are to pull it off tonight, here are the three keys to UNLV victory ...

1) Sacking the goose egg

The Rebels have yet to record a quarterback sack in two games, and as we learned over the past two seasons, a healthy pass rush only makes the pass defense look better. UNLV's secondary hasn't been porous, but opposing quarterbacks are completing passes against the Rebels at an alarming percentage. It's time for B.J. Bell and Isaako Aaitui to start infiltrating the backfield.

2) Run, run, run

Well, C.J. Cox won't be taking part in this venture. The junior, who among the UNLV running backs has the most yards from scrimmage through two games, is not dressed out tonight. That means that Bradley Randle and Channing Trotter will shoulder the load in terms of getting the Rebels' dormant ground game going against a weak Idaho defense. Also, don't be shocked to see speedy frosh Tim Cornett get some go. He has game-breaking ability.

3) It's your job, kid

Omar Clayton, after two weeks, is officially the Rebels' full-time quarterback again. Mike Clausen is not warming up tonight with the unit, as it appears that his move to safety is imminent. Clayton could have a golden opportunity at-hand tonight to regain his 2008 form. Given the numbers that the Vandals' offense is capable of putting up, he might need to.

As always, add the #unlvfb tag to your in-game tweets tonight to have some running dialogue with yours truly as the game goes on. Our Twitter dialogue can be seen below. Talk to you again soon.

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  1. Let's go Rebs!! We can win this one!!

  2. I see there has been no improvement in stopping the rush...

    This is going to be another long game if things keep up the way they have the 1st quarter.

  3. Nevermind, the down field coverage is worse and the quarterback for idaho can take a nap before he decides to throw the ball because there is zero pressure on him.

  4. Another fake, wow...thanks Hauck, if we'd have wanted this kind of embarrassment we would have kept Sanford. You're a freakin' joke.

  5. this is not happening.... 3 games for the rebels and 2 fakes... worst fakes i have ever seen. wow.... 2 starters and 5 players on Idaho from vegas .. almost funny this game.

  6. Same as the Mike Sanford coached Rebels...except worse on D and zero offense. They are even worse.

    I am not watching Rebel football anymore.

  7. Wow, we are doing really well considering our opponent is a top ranked team.......oops.

    Same dance, different day.

    I want Sanford. I want Sanford.

  8. I'm glad I didn't completely drink the Hauck kool-aid cause I'd be throwing it up about now.

    I'm turning this game off right now. Embarassing. 23-0 and over 6 minutes left in the half. I bet Idaho scores again before the half.


  9. We need to fire Hauck.
    We are being dominated by the University of Idaho.
    We miss you Mike Sanford!

  10. I see everything you guys do and to think I had the bartender change the tv for me but the optimist in me says we really don't have the hogs. So many missed open tackles, no rush an unorganized secondary an offensive line built for pass blocking different offensive schemes me crazy but I'll give Bobby time to build a better product. 96' Alumni

  11. SHUT THE HELL guys wanted hauck..and u got um..who he said it was going to be guys are hypocrites..screw the long haul huack well be ok...but no one is expecting.a 6-7 win season people..I have to admit I am dissapointed with the.first haLf..but.geez don't be like nick saban and his first.year at bama..first year..compeing in.the top 10...June Jones..first year at SMU 1-11....than next year..8-5...sanford is gone..I.believe in alone.or.not

  12. The Rebels were 5-7 each of the last two years, and should have been in a bowl game each year. At least Sanford could coach offense.

  13. Freshman coming in!!!!

  14. So a bunch of you wanted an FCS coach to head up an FBS team. How's that working out for ya? How about a big fat cup of I TOLD YOU SO. I laughed at all you idiots back in December when you thought he'd make a great coach because of his record coaching some minor league junior varsity squad at Montana. I'm still laughing ahahahahahahaha

  15. 1 step forward and now 3 steps back. I understand not having very good players but I really expected better play calling. Once Idaho went down to score on the first series, we had to panic and start throwing right away-resulting in another 2 quick scores for Idaho. Encouraged last week, don't know what to think now!

  16. The offense could at least move the ball and score points last year. Hauck did not have to rebuild the offense. The defense was terrible last year, not the offense.

  17. UNLV has the worst offense in D1 college football and close to the worst defense. The only winnable game for UNLV for the rest of this season is NM and that game will be close. 1-12 is how this is going to look. I can see the freshman playing most of the rest of the season in preperation already for next season. Seasons over already fellas....

  18. Hard to watch, however this has to happen. The only way to change the program in fundamental ways is to expose what is wrong with the current players and how business is conducted.

    Have to give the man 4-5 years, have to give him a chance to get his own recruits in and Sanfords out. Have to give the system teh same amount of time to work through. Yes, it will be tough to watch this, but there will be ups along with the downs.

    Rome wasn't built in a day. Lord knows good UNLV football can't be built in only three games.

  19. Who threw the hand grenade into the offense? I bet UNLV couldn't move the ball against Gorman...

  20. Well I am always amazed at the old boys network of hiring buds as coaches - should consider real qualifications - hire Larry Kehres to get results.

  21. I live in Reno and watch UNLV every week on my 52-inch hi-def. I can always find the UNLV game on the many channels that show college football.
    I read the Sun's and R-J's UNLV stories every day on the Web sites.

    I don't know the inside information about UNLV. But there is something intrinsically wrong with this team that goes deeper than a first-year coach trying to turn it around.

    Over time, I have realized that it doesn't matter who the coach is, UNLV does a poor job of recruiting local talent. And the local talent in Las Vegas is really, really good. Just listen to Tom Lemming on the CBS Sports channel. Look at all the Las Vegas kids who proudly represent their home city at many big-time schools.

    UNLV looked really, really bad against Idaho, a team that will finish behind Boise, Nevada, Fresno and maybe Hawai'i in the WAC.

    Please just throw the ball to Phillip Payne every play, please. He'll find a way to catch it.

    Bobby Huack is stuck with Sanford's players and maybe will do a great job recruiting to turn the program around. But a Big Sky Conference coaching staff and Big Sky recruiting connections will not get it done in the Mountain West Conference. If he focused on Las Vegas and got the best kids, he'd have a championship caliber team. I don't blame Las Vegas kids for leaving. Why would they want to play at UNLV under present conditions? (I've never understood the location of the studium.) But there are so many good and hungry players in Las Vegas that are really good, when you take a look at some of the past and present rosters at schools like Oklahoma, Utah, Oregon State and Nevada.

    I look at Las Vegas as the Miami of the west -- full of talented high school players who leave town to play college ball. Former coach Howard Schnellenberger got the local kids and won a national championship. UNLV's coaching staff should learn a lesson of history.

    The revolving door of head coaches at UNLV does little to establish trustful local recruiting conmtacts, I would assume.
    I would also assume that Las Vegas's rep as Sin City is something recruiters must overcome with some parents. It seems like a lot of people get shot by cops in Las Vegas, from reading news reports.

  22. Comment removed by moderator. Name-calling.

  23. I was surprised the game was so lopsided. I'm now curious to see how Idaho performs against Colorado St next Saturday. What will people call the game between UNLV and NM?

  24. how many days 'til Rebel Basketball tips off? not soon enough, kids, not soon enough. time for Rebel Football to be eliminated, me thinks...we have not been good at footbal since the Harvey Hyde All-Hands that got us in jail Team...

  25. I have never been a football fan of UNLV, basketball yes. Notwithstanding, this is Hauck's first season. He and the staff are saddled with Sanford players playing under a new regime. I agree that this season is one of transition. One win this year, 3-5 next. Then hopefully a winning team that can compete with the best of the Mountain West. I truly believe that Hauck must be given a "free pass" for the next 2 years to establish some sort of cohesive transition to his style of play with his own recruits. If not then I will join the bandwagon with rants of bring in the next coach. Until then let's give the guy a chance. As unhappy as the posters are on this blog, I am quite certain that Hauck and Company are even more disappointed.

  26. To ol66,

    "UNLV does a poor job of recruiting local talent. And the local talent in Las Vegas is really, really good."


    "If he (Hauck) focused on Las Vegas and got the best kids, he'd have a championship caliber team."

    Wait. Hold on. The man just got here. And btw, after he arrived here one of the first things he did was visit the local high schools and see those kids you are writing about. He started making the exact connections you are referring to; but you think he can magically make them successful college players at UNLV while they are still in high school? How can Hauck have a championship caliber team without having the time to build one? You need to cut him some slack and give him 4-5 years.

    "Why would they want to play at UNLV under present conditions? (I've never understood the location of the studium.)"

    Stadium. UNLV is landlocked. The Las Vegas Stadium was first built in 1971, and over the last 40 years taxpayers have not been eager to spend additional tax money on higher education in this state, let alone money to buy land in order to spend more money to build an additional stadium when we already have one that not only can host UNLV football games, but also brings in U2 or Paul McCartney once in a while to keep the university's lights on. Being from up north you should know this; the Nevada legislature has always provided UNR with more money to operate than UNLV, even though UNLV is a larger university with a much greater population in a city that is much, much larger than Reno. This inequity has necessitated that UNLV get in the business of hosting events like the NFR in order to replace revenue that instead is given to UNR by powerful senators like Bill Raggio. The location of the stadium is not a barrier keeping us from developing a great football team. Thats a red herring. Move Nebraska's stadium to another town, and every home football game there would be an invasion of that town by Big Red. You build the program first. You make it successful next. Then the tradition and pride grows. Then the fans come and loyalty builds. That is what Hauck is trying to do. He cannot do it in 3 games or 3 years. He needs at least the same amount of time we gave Sanford.

    "UNLV's coaching staff should learn a lesson of history. The revolving door of head coaches at UNLV does little to establish trustful local recruiting conmtacts, I would assume."

    Hauck knows this, I assure you. Again, it takes time.

    "It seems like a lot of people get shot by cops in Las Vegas, from reading news reports."

    There is no reliable national database that will tell you the number of people shot by police, city by city. However, I would note two things: we are a city of almost 2 million people and I don't remember hearing that anyone ever shot by las vegas police was a UNLV football player. We also have the same laws about alcohol and minors and bans on prostitution as everywhere else in the country.

  27. Why is everyone giving up on the team already? I don't know about the rest of you "fans" but I enjoy watching the team because they represent our city and it's fun to watch the same group of guys compete and grow each week. For some reason there seems to be a mentality among people in Vegas that the Football team exists only to win National championships. The team needs support no matter if they win or lose and it's sad to see people give up so quickly on them. Hauck will turn the program around if we give him a few years and we're likely to see positive changes by the end of this season.

  28. Ol66, keeping local talent to stay local is very important and for the first time we have a football coach attempting to do just that. But, how about keeping local talent within their own state? We, up until now, have always critisized UNLV for not doing this but how about UNR? Their recruiting presence down in Las Vegas is minimal and they go heavily into Northern California. I say, let's do a better job of keeping Nevada talent in Nevada.