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UNLV hands New Mexico its first win of the season


Associated Press

UNLV’s Dionza Bradford (33) heads into the end zone followed by New Mexico defenders in the first half of their game Saturday, Nov. 12, in Albuquerque.

UNLV loses at New Mexico

KSNV coverage of UNLV's road loss to New Mexico, Nov. 12, 2011.

In a season that has had more than its share of low points, the UNLV football team will have a tough time trying to figure out just where Saturday night's 21-14 loss at New Mexico ranks.

Is it worse than getting whipped at home by a Football Championship Subdivision team like Southern Utah? Was it more embarrassing than completing just one pass for eight yards in a 37-0 blanking by Nevada? Or as dreadful as losing 59-7 at Washington State?

Decisions, decisions.

New Mexico (1-9, 1-4), after all, came into the game with the nation's longest losing streak at 12 games. The Lobos ranked dead last among 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in scoring (12.56 points per game) and scoring defense (45.56 ppg) and had scored a grand total of seven points combined in their three previous games.

The Lobos didn't have any problems moving the ball on UNLV's defense, however, finishing with 415 total yards, including 274 yards passing by quarterback B.R. Holbrook, matching his output for the team's previous three games combined.

And it was the much-maligned (for good reason) New Mexico defense that came up with the big play down the stretch.

Senior linebacker Carmen Messina stripped the ball away from UNLV quarterback Taylor Barnhill and defensive end Jaymar Latchison recovered at the Rebels 34-yard line with 1:58 remaining. Three plays later, sophomore running back Demarcus Rogers plunged in off left tackle from two yards out for his second touchdown of the game.

The Rebels (2-7, 1-3) got the ball back on their own 12 with two timeouts and 1:15 to go. But backup quarterback Sean Reilly, who connected with Phillip Payne for a 7-yard completion on first down, threw three straight incomplete passes to end any UNLV comeback hopes.

It was the 14th straight road loss for the Rebels, including 12 under second-year coach Bobby Hauck, a number harder to swallow because of the fact it came against a New Mexico team that won for just the third time in its last 38 games dating back to 2008.

"Obviously, we're really disappointed," Hauck said. "We probably did enough good things here to come in to beat New Mexico. But we made far too many mistakes that cost us the game."

"Yes, it's very frustrating," added senior defensive end B.J. Bell, who finished with four tackles. "But they came out and they came to play and they did their thing. So you have got to give it up to them."

It took exactly one play and nine seconds for the Lobos to take a 7-0 lead in this one. On the first play from scrimmage, Holbrook froze the Rebels secondary with a nice play-action fake and hit freshman wide receiver Deon Long in stride for an 80-yard touchdown pass. That gave the Lobos their first lead in a game since a Sept. 24 loss against Sam Houston State.

The Rebels answered with an impressive 80-yard, 10-play drive that was capped by a 45-yard touchdown run up the middle by freshman Dionza Bradford (152 yards on 20 carries) to tie it 7-7.

But New Mexico, which had been outscored 125-10 in the first quarter of its nine previous games, came right back with an 80-yard, 14-play drive, chewing up over eight minutes on the clock in the process. Rogers scored on a 1 -yard run to give the Lobos a 14-7 lead with 32 seconds left in the first quarter.

The score remained that way until early in the fourth quarter when Tim Cornett went untouched up the middle from four yards out to tie it, 14-14.

New Mexico then came right back and marched into scoring position. But Lobos placekicker James Aho, who earlier had missed a 37-yard attempt, failed badly on a 46-yard try.

Both teams then exchanged punts before Barnhill's big fumble set the stage for Rogers' game-winner.

"It wasn't our best performance," said senior linebacker Nate Carter, who made a huge stop on Holbrook on a fourth down run from the 1-yard line in the second quarter. "We just didn't really execute that well. As a whole, we just didn't play the way we should play."

Barnhill, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound redshirt freshman from Rhome, Texas, became the third player to start at quarterback for UNLV this season after Caleb Herring, who was knocked out of UNLV's Nov. 5 loss to Boise State, was a late injury scratch even though Hauck said Herring was fine at his weekly press conference.

Barnhill, who had appeared briefly in five games but had not thrown a pass before Saturday night's loss, completed 7 of 10 attempts for 54 yards but was effective running the ball, finishing with 77 yards on 17 carries, and one very big fumble.

"We tried to warm (Herring) up but he just wasn't able to go," Hauck said. "The same with Reilly. He's got some nagging issues too that he's battling, so we had to go to our third guy. We did give (Barnhill) a lot of work this week because we were prepared that could potentially happen."

The Rebels get another chance at snapping the road losing streak next weekend at Air Force.

"You regroup and go forward," Hauck said.

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  1. I'll say it.Maybe it's time for
    a.Bobby Hauke to go,the program is not showing any signs of improvement
    or b.getting rid of the football program altogether and going to the WCC for basketball.
    they can't get a football stadium or facilities built on campus and Sam Boyd is an awful stadium.Maybe Mike Sanford was right.This town doesn't care about UNLV football and quite frankly the program has never really given this city a reason to care.

  2. The stands were nearly empty, we had a red-shirt freshman at QB and we were playing a team that was 0-9. It was the perfect storm on antipathy.

    I have figured out why I sill watch the games. I am the guy driving down the road who just can't take his eyes off of the terrible accident in the other lane. Sad, I know.

    On the one positive note, Bradford looks pretty good.

  3. When a team shows no heart, effort, or fight it always falls on the coach. When you have seniors leaving the field with 40 seconds to go in the game the coach has lost this team. I dont care who you start & what age they are this is college football, when you step on that field you better be ready to fight. Hauck needs to go, it is so obvious he isn't going to get it done.

    This loss is worse then the southern utah defeat, simply inexcuseable. When Bobby says in his pregame we are playing a bunch of 1st & 2nd year players, he's making excuses for defeat. If you bite as a pup you still bite as a dog. What a joke!!

  4. So the UNLV football teams stinks. Who cares? It doesn't affect 99% of us. When you come right down to it, it's unimportant and meaningless. Get a life and worry more about what's happening in your life and how you can prepare for your own future then about some football season that will soon be forgotten.

  5. Well Jerry you must care, other wise why would you take the time out of your day to not only read the article, but to take the time to write about it. Also I will say it again the head coach needs to go. This guy has lost all control of his team. Once you do that you will never get it back. Now again before all of you guys start to say how I am a hater, I really do want to root for my home team. Yet come on, now do you see where I am coming from? Everyone after last game said that this is the game.. well that came & went. Do not pin it on a 3rd string qb. He had all week to practice. As well as Mexico has the worse defense in college football, even possibly the worse team in college football. OK now all of you can slam me all you want.

  6. GoBruins, you aren't a hater...the majority of UNLV football fans are the biggest dopes in the world. Excuses. Silver linings. We're young! Yeah we lost by 4TDs but did you see Bradford rush for 100 yds...we are improving! Dopes. I can guarantee you that a majority still believe Hauck is the right coach and has things 'moving in the right direction'. That is how silly and myopic it has gotten.

    Any type of critical discussion means you're automatically an impatient, unrealistic hater. Because, you know...expecting a team in a bad conference to win 6 lousy games is soooooooooooooo out of the question. No, we need to give Hauck time! He only needs 6 years to get us to a winning record.

    It's over. It's never happening. Not only did Livengood royally screw this hire up, he could very well be responsible for killing the football program. Thank god UA had boosters to make him do something about Makovic, otherwise he probably would have killed that program too. He may know how to balance a spreadsheet, but has zero idea what he is doing with football. You think he's gonna fire Bobby next year even if he goes 0-11? HA. Fat chance. Thanks for that extension Livengood, brilliant!

  7. Hauck might want to try another line of work.

  8. JahReb, you are right on.

    Hauck can't even manage a clock but somehow we are supposed to be patient.

    It gets real wearisome.

  9. JahReb, spot on buddy.

    It just baffles the mind that they gave this guy a contract extension for actually going in the wrong direction. Time to just bite the bullet fire him. Start fresh with all new coaches. This program can be turned around. Either that or just drop down to the FCS division.

  10. How embarrassing!

  11. One can only imagine how much worse this program can become? I agree completely with the above post about "who cares if UNLV starts a 3rd string RS freshman" you are expected to win PERIOD. Ive seen plenty of freshman have career days against UNLV. The play calling was horrible the OC handcuffed Barnhill & would not let him throw the ball. Why not take shots down field to Payne & Johnson? Bobby has no leadership or he would have made it happen. Thats why Payne walked off the field with 40 seconds to go, he's like I'm out of here. What kind of message has Hauck sent to the senior playmakers on this team? Absolutley pathetic, how disgusting does that contract extension look now?

  12. Like I said, hauck is an idiot! He had the team playing not to lose as opposed to going out there to win. This game was horrible. He is still coaching as if he was in the fcs. What a joke!! Good thing we have Dave Rice and the Runnin' Rebels.

  13. I agree with most here...especially jed...TRY TO WIN THE DAMN GAME! Lets be honest, when the announcers said Herring wasnt playing we all knew what that meant: 75% of an already small & conservaative playbook just got removed from the gameplan. Until the final minute...we didnt throw ONE, not one pass down the field! Meanwhile, they got 8 to 9 guys in the box, leaving single coverage out wide, and we dont even TRY TO exploit it once. I'm not going to point fingers at Barnhill...the kid fought & played hard. Its not his fault the coaches handcuff his best playmakers with cautious & vanilla playcalling. Johnson 1 catch? Seriously? Barnhill runs it well enough to make the Pistol effective...but if you dont show a willingness to stretch the field too...you become one dimensional. Reilly is the exact opposite of that in the Pistol resulting in the same thing...one dimensional towards handing it off. Because our opponents know our our playcalling is sooooo cup half empty & "trying not to lose the game".....we ADVERTISE what we are going to do through our personnel! We stack the deck against ourselves! And not getting the ball to your best weapons is unforgiveable. Period. And if Reilly is a better passer and can play in the 4th qtr..why cant he play in the 1st, 2nd, or 3 qtrs too? Give him a series or two and chuck it around...GIVE THEM SOMETHING NEW TO DEFEND!! I totally understand how Payne and those guys would be frustrated because its hard to go all in when your leaders wont go all in with you and take the risks it takes to win the game. If you arent going to fire every bullet you have to win the game....why play? Whats the point?

  14. Ok, so I am actually *stunned* that UNLV lost to this sad excuse of a football team in New Mexico. My goodness.

    It is and should be crystal, I repeat crystal, clear to *everyone* that this team has not made any kind of improvement in all the time it has been together. The only other team I can compare UNLV to is the Minnesota Golden Gophers. At least in Minnesota the team is showing signs of improvement.

    Who will argue now that Hauck has to go? He is clearly out of his league. If he can't coach a team to beat the likes of NM, then he doesn't deserve to be a football coach at this level. He just doesn't have it. It was a bad hire, and everyone sees it now....finally.

    Now everyone should be aware, Mike Leach is still available, but he has expressed an interest in the soon to be vacant Ole Miss job. UNLV better act, and act quickly if they care even a little bit about their football program.

    Mike Leach, Mike Leach, Mike Leach. Everyone together now - Mike Leach, Mike Leach, Mike Leach!

  15. Well losing the senior class is nothing new when new coaches come in from outside the program and try to create an identity and they're the left overs of an older system. What worries me is if Coach Hauck doesn't get these games more competitive and prove he can coach up his players we'll have gone backwards once again. This is not Montana where you enjoyed a significant talent pool advantage you have to do more with less out here!
    I wish they would have considered Randall Cunningham proven NFL player college Hall of Famer Alum etc....You can see the support Coach Rice is getting from the community. We had good times at UNLV Randall, Harvey Hyde, Ron Myers, Ickey, John Robinson.
    It can be done as it has done before!

  16. As a Griz fan, it's hard not to say that karma has caught up with Hauck. I don't like wishing bad upon anyone, including Hauck, but I don't feel bad for him one bit. The amazing tradition at Montana alone is enough for the players to give it everything they've got, every weekend. Our current coach was on the hot seat this year because he failed to make the playoffs last year for the first time in 17 years, even though he had a winning record. I will say that Haucks teams here in Montana were always disciplined, but both coordinators were poor. Even with poor coordinators, the Griz still won games because we get great talent here. Montana leads the FCS with 9 players currently in the NFL. Hauck was an average coach who took over an amazing program. We have another coach right now that seems to be average, but time will tell. The point is, he's not that great of a coach, and he has proven that at UNLV. I think he could be ok if he had coordinators who were better, but he continues to use his guys. The other side of the coin is the UNLV program itself; no talent, no support, no tradition, no expectations(except to get better). Hauck became an arrogant bully here in Montana. He figured he could talk to people any way he wanted because of the success. A lot of people here didn't like that. Then, he wanted out of here because of the heat he was getting, and he figured he'd done enough in Montana. I think it's safe to say the UNLV and Hauck need a fresh start.

  17. The best part of last night's game was when we had a third down conversion attempt... any of them. We are ranked dead last for third down conversions and NM is ranked dead last at stopping them... and we still stunk.

    It was a race to oblivion!

  18. Livengood made a mistake. He had a chance to hire Dennis Franchione but went with unproven Hauck. Yeah Franchione would've led the team to two bowl games and move on, but that's not a bad thing. I want to root for the football team the way I do basketball. I want to walk into Sam Boyd on a BYU/UNLV game and see more red than blue. I want to see that cannon painted red again! I will always be hopeful, but Hauck is not the right coach to bring on that hope.

  19. @tait: I appreciate the perspective from Montana. I always wondered what the perception of Hauck was there. Since he has been at UNLV I have seen the team do nothing but regress. Generally if a coach is going to turn a program around, you begin to see evidence of it in his second season. If anything the Rebels are worse than they were a year ago. I pretty much expected the loss at New Mexico, as I was sure the Rebels would put out little effort while the Lobos saw it as a legitimate chance to avoid a winless season. This is a team who lost to FCS Southern Utah by 25 points at home and lost by 52 to a usually-terrible Washington State squad.

    I would almost like to see a challenge game between UNLV and Bishop Gorman High. I'm not sure the Gaels wouldn't win the game by two touchdowns.

  20. New Mexico IS the worst team in DI football. How Hauck has a job is beyond me.

  21. Gormon would win. EAsILy

  22. We are young. We are inexperienced. We are horrible. So why are we playing like we have something to lose? We really don't. So, open up the game plan, Hauck! Get creative if that is something you are capable of. At least, it might get the kids having fun. Maybe something good will come of it. At least things may be more interesting. God knows we need it.

  23. lcr, that must have been what NM was thinking last night when they did that play action that put us in the hole from the start.

    btw, that coach was an interim coach not a guy with an extension.

  24. Gorman? Palo and Arbor View would beat UNLV easily, Gorman would just embarrass them. Nathan Starks would have a field day blowing past their defense.

  25. Well Air Force is only favored by -22.5 points so I say save the money & just don't show up to the game. Save the players from embarrassing themselves yet again.

  26. Im just going to stop all of you tht say we should drop football or drop to a lower division, that would be a death sentence to UNLV. We need football to survive and even improve. Yes its a tough sell, we suck, the location sucks, and our coach still thinks we are in the 80's playing football, but UNLV needs football if it wants its basketball program to grow more than it is. Why do you think we havent gotten looked at by the big 6? Its cuz football and droping it and going to the WCC isnt going to make things better. Football is the real money bringer to any school. All we need is a team that has the desire to win. What they should do is pick up a coach with offense, bring some life to UNLV, at least if we loose its 65-62 or something thrilling, release the entire team from its scholarships and hold open tryouts, getting people who actually want to play football, not just a free ride, and then schedule nothing but pansies for at least 5 wins a year. Look a t KSU- Snyder did it and they are now one of the top programs in the country. It works. We need football, period.

  27. I'm going to take a contrary view to most of you and say that I thought we did okay on Saturday considering the circumstances. This is mainly based on the actual team and not some fantasy notion of the head coach being a failed savior.

    Our starting QB was a late scratch, replaced by the 3rd guy on the depth chart who clearly had a limited grasp of the playbook. I thought Barnhill looked pretty good running the read option, and save the fumble at the end of the game, made very few mistakes. Unfortunately, he just doesn't have the ability to make plays down the field, especially with receivers that clearly don't care about getting open.

    Bradford had another good game running the ball, although I'd like to see Cornett get more work, as he is the only real game breaking weapon we have on offense.

    The real glaring problem I saw on defense was the safety play in the middle of the field. Guys were constantly out of position, biting on fakes, and losing guys running crossing routes. If there is one area Hauck should focus on in the off-season it's the safety position.

    We haven't won a game on the road since Hauck took over (average loss by over 30 points), so I think having a chance to win a game on the road is a step forward, no matter who you're playing (New Mexico is a bad team, but they definitely didn't play their worst game on Saturday).

    It's funny watching some of you guys change your opinion week to week based on the game's result, "FIRE HAUCK!", "Wait we looked better this week", "HAUCK SUCKS HE NEEDS TO GO", "Oh we won a game, maybe we can make it to a bowl game", "AHHHHADDFFSFF", etc. Even though it's hard to watch sometimes, I'm not ready to give up on the program yet, I'll wait at least until after next season.

  28. UNLV didn't appear ready to play Saturday. Everyone hasn't quit, but clearly some have decided to give less than their best. This team doesn't show commitment. For whatever the reason, the coaching staff isn't able to motivate ALL the players. Its sad because I watch the games and wish I could still have the opportunity to play. The talent difference is often slight, but the preparation and effort is the tangible that makes the difference. I see great effort from some, but average play and heart from too many.

  29. Welp, NM WAS the worst team in the league. At least we can be the best/worst at something right?

  30. UNLV-123 & boog44me: I agree with what you say. I wish we could bet better play out of our DBs and Receivers. The pass defense has some nice moments but also has some head shakers. I don't see much of any separation on the part of our receivers. I saw a lot of wannabe tackles which shouldn't be this time of the year. We just are not good enough to make mistakes against any team(penalties & fumbles). It is frustrating but I do not think it is the time to burn Hauck at the stake!

  31. LV-24 you are kind of right on.But There are some kids on that team that do want to win.They are the younger guys. And yes,football is the king sport.We got to make it work. there is talent on that team and the younger players are good and there is good leadership within those ranks.If UNLV got good football this town would be ecstatic over that, & Sam Boyd would be packed.

  32. UNLV-123
    When you say barnhill can't get the ball down field, what do you mean. I've seen him throw the ball 60yds flat footed in warm-ups several times with ease. With ability to scramble i see no problem at all. What gives. Who have you been watching? He might have the strongest arm on the team.Please advise.

  33. There's a lot of things wrong with UNLV football, a combination of several variables that I dont have time to get into at the moment.

    What I see most often is breakdowns on both sides of the ball. Football is about 11 men winning each individual battle every single play. All it takes is for 1-2 players to breakdown on any play to blow open a game. Compound that by multiple plays throughout a game & you end up with blowouts.

    Mental focus, discipline, & 100% determination has to be brought every play or you're selling yourself & your teammates short. I don't see that from Haucks Rebels. It is the same thing year after year, missed tackles, guys out position getting burned for big plays, horrible offensive play calling, & players quitting in games.
    Until coaches & players are held accountable to high standards we are going to continue to see more of the same. Excuses get no one anywhere in life!

  34. Rebels are #3 in the ESPN bottom 10 poll. Keep up the good hard work boys & you will finally make it to #1 in a poll. With that being said Fire couch Hauck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! let's hire a coach who will not give up. Does anyone have either hauck's or the AD's email address so that we can start writing letters to get Hauck out of here?

  35. UNLV 123

    Go back and look at my posts about Hauck. I've said from the DAY he was hired he was the wrong coach for the job. I've said it every week.

    Mike Leach!!!!! Before it's too late to even try.