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UNLV’s road woes continue in 59-7 thumping at Washington State

Rebels’ defense sets ugly tone early as Hauck’s club returns home at an underwhelming 0-2


Associated Press

Washington State defensive end Travis Long, right, and defensive tackle Kalafitoni Pole, center, sack UNLV quarterback Caleb Herring (8) as linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis, left, pursues during the first half of their NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011, in Pullman, Wash.

UNLV loses to Washington State, 59-7

KSNV coverage of UNLV's 59-7 loss on the road to Washington State, Sept. 10, 2011.

UNLV Falls at Washington State

Washington State defensive end Travis Long, right, and defensive tackle Kalafitoni Pole, center, sack UNLV quarterback Caleb Herring (8) as linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis, left, pursues during the first half of their NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011, in Pullman, Wash. Launch slideshow »

PULLMAN, Wash. — There was no sugar-coating this one. No silver lining to to be excited about. On this Saturday afternoon, UNLV simply didn't show up.

The result was a brutal 59-7 defeat at the hands of Washington State, and afterward, the Rebels had no hesitation in admitting that they fell flat on their faces.

"We didn't expect to come out and perform the way we did, but at the same time, we have to come to a realization that we can't put all the work in that we did, make all the strides that we did and expect everything to fall into place on game day," sophomore quarterback Caleb Herring said. "We still have to give 100 percent effort, and today we didn't."

In hindsight, the game got away from UNLV (0-2) not very long after it began. Behind white-hot senior quarterback Marshall Lobbestael, Washington State (2-0) put together two impressive first quarter touchdown drives. Every time he dropped back to throw, not only was Lobbestael given all the time in the world to fire away due to the lack of an effective pass rush, but it seemed like every receiver he targeted had created significant space against his assigned defender.

The point where things really fell apart for the Rebels came late in the first quarter. UNLV was trailing 14-0 and faced a third-and-two from the WSU 41-yard line. Sophomore running back Bradley Randle was dropped for a two-yard loss and UNLV opted to punt on fourth-and-four. Five plays later, the Cougars had gone 81 yards in just 2:26 for a back-breaking score.

The rest of the afternoon was pretty much a blur.

Lobbestael, starting in place for injured junior standout Jeff Tuel, would finish the day 24-of-32 for 361 yards and five scores. Washington State piled up 610 total yards, with 471 coming through the air. They also totaled 32 first downs.

On the other side, Herring was just 11-of-20 for 60 yards, and the UNLV run game that was strong against Wisconsin mustered only 98 yards on 34 attempts, as the Rebels' young offensive line showed its age and experience this time around.

It took a 95-yard kickoff return from Tim Cornett with 5:29 left in the game for UNLV to avoid its first shutout loss since Oct. 31, 2009, at TCU.

"They looked like a competitive Pac-12 team and we looked like the team that everybody picked to finish at the bottom of the Mountain West," UNLV coach Bobby Hauck said afterward. "It's not who we want to be, but that's who we looked like today.

"I didn't think they'd hang it on us like that today."

Now, the biggest lingering unknown is where UNLV goes from here.

Many expected the Rebels to at least be competitive and make a game of it in Pullman, but instead, it was a day in which UNLV took two steps backwards. The entire thing was reminiscent of blowout losses last season at Idaho and BYU — Games where Hauck thought his team had a chance to come in and have a fighting chance but instead left thoroughly beaten.

By doing so, they squandered a golden opportunity to build some momentum and even create a bit of buzz back in Las Vegas before returning home for their Sam Boyd Stadium opener next Saturday against Hawaii (1-1).

Local interest in the program is fading already, and the Rebels will have to make some sort of a statement soon to get some of it back, but it might be impossible for UNLV's beleaguered defense to do a complete 180-degree turn before next Saturday.

In their first two games, they've allowed 1,109 yards and 110 points. In the process, they've had a difficult time stopping the run and creating any kind of a consistent pass rush up front. Behind those guys, the secondary is fleeting, as opposing receivers are finding openings and shaking free of coverages far too easily.

They'll now have to welcome in a Hawaii team that put 59 points on the scoreboard against them in the 2010 season finale and still has plenty of firepower.

So far, the Rebels' coaching staff has already run several guys onto the field on defense to try and create a spark, but right now, nothing is working. It's appearing likely that correcting things on that side of the ball could be something Hauck and his assistants will have to put plenty of focus on continuously for the rest of the season.

As for the offense, they showed last week that the promise for some fireworks is there, but Saturday proved that if the offensive line is struggling, it's going to throw things off. After looking consistently cool in his first career start, Herring never looked comfortable in his second shot. Several of his throws were off-target and thrown under pressure, while the lack of a consistent run game kept things off-balance.

According to Herring, the Rebels' emotions might need some tweaking, too, heading into next weekend's debut in front of the home crowd.

"Intensity is something that we should have. Every football team should have it, no matter what the situation is. Teams that don't have it on any given day, they get beat, and that's what happened to us today."

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  1. I'll be there Saturday, but I'm not expecting much.

  2. look at the poor bastards at notre dame, paying 150 a pop for lousy seats and a 0-2 football team. as long as people continue to buy the hype, they have no one to blame but themselves.

  3. Bobby Hauck...again, I say it...he's simply out of his league here in FCS. Can't even keep it close against WA State? That is very sad.

    Mike Leach anyone?

  4. Is the problems the Rebels defense is having a player problems or coaching or both?

  5. I didn't expect much from the team this year.They're just way too young.Plus, some players are just bad.They need a true passing QB, the running style QB is crap.You can only pull that off if you are CAm Newton.But even his time is limited cuz NFL crushes them after a couple of years.

  6. The University should really think about dropping the football program. Hauck is a great used car salesman.

  7. The entire Rebel team and coaching staff should be embarrassed and angry at themselves. For UNLV's starting quarterback to admit -- in only the second game of the season -- that the team didn't give 100 percent effort is pathetic. What a lack of leadership from Hauck and staff, and from starting QB. Rebels need to start anyone else at QB against Hawaii, somebody who is at least willing to give 100 percent effort.

  8. Told ya so! The FBS is a far FAR different animal from FCS. An FCS head coach is the equivalent to an FBS graduate assistant, it's not even close. Yet oh so many of you were drinking the Bobby Hauck koolaid that you couldn't comprehend this. Now you know.

  9. Bob, there was a large amount of UNLV fans that realized we screwed this hire up by passing on the one guy who actually had proven experience turning around losing D1 programs - Dennis Franchione.

    Livengood screwed this up so big, it's not even funny. By all accounts, Fran was in his office BEGGING for this job, but chose to go with the young unproven guy instead. This is not a job where you learn on the fly and adjust. That hasn't worked at UNLV ever. Strong-fail. Horton-fail. Sanford-fail. Now Hauck. Livengood was drunk off his 'success' with the Stoops hire at Arizona and thought he could do the same thing here with a young gun coach.

    This is a job that requires someone with experience, not someone who is green and taking their first D1 coaching job. The only guy who has succeeded here in the last two decades? Yep, the proven coach - JROB. Earth to Livengood?

  10. The Hawaii game is going to be ugly. Real ugly.

  11. Inspired by Lon Kruger's move this basketball season, please do not allow anyone on this defense to wear a Rebels jersey anymore. In fact, as sad as it sounds ... shut this whole program down. It is an embarrassment to the community!

  12. Until elite players want to come here we will always have mediocre talent. Fix the school first and then maybe we can start getting good talent.

  13. Wade, uglier than 59-7? WOW. Is that even possible?

  14. @ tim, Yes, it certainly is possible...

  15. Bad things happen sometimes.They can bounce back.things look dark now but someday that can be a story to talk when we're on top.

  16. "Hey recruit, don't you worry about our stadium being in Hooterville, complete with dirt parking lots in the middle of nowhere".
    Man, we are a division 3 team. Since forever. And they gave the coach an extension? This is getting a little old..

  17. Coming from a school that filled a 60,000+ stadium every Saturday, watching/listening to UNLV is sad. Even the guys doing play by play on the radio sounded upset with the teams lack of effort. There was one play in the 4th quarter where WSU was running the ball to run the clock out (with their 3rd string guys) and UNLV's defence still could not stop them.

    The lack of effort was terrible. I was thinking about checking out a game this year, however if that is how the team acts when they are down, I will watch real college football on TV.

  18. Hey Wade, you know what else is going to be ugly? The stadium. It's going to be a sea of green & black with a couple of red dots here and there. How does a team in the middle of the Pacific fill up our own freaking stadium every time they play here? Its embarrassing man.

  19. We gave Hauck a 2 yr extension??!! I told you so.....it was a huge mistake! Now we have to live with this clown for 2 more yrs....ridiculous!

  20. wow no more predictions from me, this one turned out way worse than I had expected..Sorry to all rebels fans but I wear the green in black when the warriors come to town.

  21. First off - you want to try to bash WAZZU after they just kicked your tail in worse than Wisconsin did? This Washington State team should be better than UNLV -much better than UNLV.

    The interesting point when you look at this long list of UNLV Coaches that have had the shot to turn this around all came from established programs. Strong - Notre Dame. Horton - Nevada. Robinson - USC, Sanford - Utah - none coming from actually building a program from the bottom up.

    Coach Fran - did accomplish this and yes was begging for a shot. Leach would be perfect - Texas Tech would not be on the map if not for him. Considering how Craig James invested his own money in trying to get Leach fired, who ever gives him another shot will be getting a steal.

    Hauck has yet to say - the team needs to be blown up. His play last year of so many Freshman, sure seemed to indicate this is where he is planning to go. He has a team that has leadership recruited by Sanford who dont seem to be buying into Hauck. It still does not excuse how his D Coordinator does not get more heat - he is protecting him mightily.

    If the local press does not actually ask the hard questions this week, I dont know when you ask. I guess after the Hawaii game - a team that also struggles on the road who has shown real well in their two games. Hauck is not being pushed enough to make some real comments for accountability. Keep the questions up and maybe some real answers will be provided. Looks like a mess right now. Yes when Southern Utah can beat Sac State after they just beat Oregon State on the road - you have to wonder how bad the Rebels really are.

  22. One thing Bobby Hauck never had to face was so many in a college football constituency saying to drop the football program. I'm amazed in other UNLV forums at the number of people wanting to drop football.

    Hauck perhaps did not know the depth to which Rebel football has fallen for people to say these things. It's a rot that has poisoned this program to a quite high level. The losing Rebel football culture has seeped into the players, esp. I can only hope it does not get to Hauck.

    Many Rebel fans have noted the lack of intensity by the Rebel D. Even some D players have said as much. "Ok, player, you know it, what you going to do about it? You talking about yourself? Are you going to be the player turns this D around?"

    DC Paulson has been criticized when at Montana. Many fans were glad to see him go. Now, UM has an attacking, blitzing, aggressive D, something Coach Paulson does not believe in. He's a bend don't break guy. Well, his D not only bends, it breaks.

    I encourage Hauck to severe old-time ties with an assistant that is hard for him to do. But, if he doesn't, IMO, UNLV football will continue with the losing culture of the past, and the calls to drop football may become justified.

  23. Having said what I did re: Paulson, I should note that he has at least 3 former Griz in the NFL on active rosters. There may be one or two more. I'm not sure it's the coaching. In fact, I doubt it. It's the losing culture of Rebel football, sustained by years of failure and ongoing "fan" doubts and calls to drop Rebel football. This is what Hauck & co. needs to overcome, if they can, with the players.

    Some in these comments have noted how successful coaches from other FBS schools have come here and largely failed. Maybe all of YOU need to take a good look at yourselves.

    It's like Shakespeare:

    "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
    But in ourselves, that we are underlings."
    Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)

  24. One big misfortune was in Livengood having to fire Ty Gregorak, an outstanding LB coach, who was crucial in the successful D at UM. He's back at UM, now, & contributing mightily to a successful UM D, so far.

  25. UCLA 27-17 San Jose State, New Mexico State beat Minnesota this past weekend. UNLV is the worst team
    in D 1 football as fans of the Rebels all we want is improvement. Hauck is not the man for the job he's lost the team.

  26. Maybe UNLV should consider dropping down to the FCS? But that might not help considering Sac State beat Oregon State but at least they'd be more competative.

  27. UNLV should consider dropping down to FCS or switching to a conference they can compete in. They could still schedule their BYU, Univ. of Hawaii, and Wisconsin $$$ games but save us some dignity please. I just want to know why our Nevada student's tuition $$$ is funding this crap when only 28% (including walk-ons) of the team is from NV. If you want to drive up interest in the program and improve the fan base then use players from Nevada like in IOWA, Florida, Texas, and California where they have 80% of their team from their home state. We are paying to educate athletes who don't care about winning here because they aren't from here...it is that simple. Hey Governor, keep your furlough days and salary reductions...stop cutting our pay and trim the fat from this program.

  28. Why all the cruel sentiments here. UNLV is down hearted and they probably don't feel too good..But we got to stand with them. These are young kids and they need some encouragement.The coaches no doubt are embarrassed too. But hey lets not beat on them while they are down. I say go UNLV put the past behind and just work and put 110% on the field.Just fight out there and don't feel the shame. Yes the talent may not be there and they may not keep up with these teams but give them a few years.

  29. Kirkland, the local press will NEVER ask the tough questions. Never happened before, doubt it ever will. This is the biggest problem facing UNLV football - a local press that either simply doesn't care enough to ask the good, tough questions that are deserved, or simply acquiescing to pressure from the UNLV athletic dept. to keep it positive. Ever notice how the Sun and RJ typically have the same exact stories each day? It's not very subtle.

    Sonny - I understand you are Hauck's boy, but seriously man...get a grip. The team is losing because the fans are salty on the coaching staff and the enabling local press after 20years of garbage and excuses? It's the fans' fault that Hauck is failing miserably? LOL. Yes, anything but place blame on the people directly responsible. You should send in your resume to the Sun/RJ. Fit right in.

  30. I'm not so sure, JahReb, that the blame can be put on just those "directly responsible." Seems to me (& I'm now learning this from the Montana experience) that any football program is like turning an aircraft carrier. It takes time to get on a new course.

    I do believe perception of a football program lies as much with the fan base as the quality of the coaches & players. It's the old chicken/egg thing. As a Montana grad back in the late 50s, UM was perennially near or at the bottom of the Big Sky Conference, or whatever conference it was at the time.

    In about 1985 or '86 a brand new stadium was built. No more of bleacher benches at the field well south of the campus. This stadium was built almost right in the middle of the main campus. Who stepped up to put most of the money into making the new stadium possible? Dennis Washington, who many of you know.
    It's called Washington-Grizzly Stadium, one of the best, if not THE best venues in FCS football.

    Griz fortunes took a while to improve, but by 1995, the Griz won the FCS National Championship, & I won't go into how that came about, but you may guess. Well, the stadium attracted better coaches, better players, more fans, etc.

    Hell. You're Las Vegans, for Chrissakes! You've got people who know how (& the $$$) to put on a great show, & I suggest UNLV football will be the greatest show of all! You just have to step up and do it. Livengood and Hauck can't do it alone.