Published Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012 | 11:30 p.m.
Updated Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012 | 6:39 a.m.
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This could be considered be a new low for the UNLV football team.
The Rebels were limited to 203 yards Saturday against host Hawaii in the season finale, struggling from start to finish in a 48-10 defeat to extend their road losing streak to 22 straight games and finish the season with a 2-11 record.
UNLV was the betting favorite in its final four games, but couldn’t beat the teams they were supposed to in posting a 1-3 record down the stretch. The loss to Hawaii, the last place team in the Mountain West Conference, is easily the most disappointing.
Hawaii ranked 116th out of 124 Division I teams in points scored and 121st in points allowed, but didn’t play like a team whose only previous win came against a lower-division school.
The game was essentially over by halftime with UNLV, which had just one first down and 39 yards in the first half, unable to move the ball offensively and trailing 31-0. For the game, the Rebels was just 1-of-15 on third down conversions — and that didn't come until late in the fourth quarter.
"Pretty disappointed to come over here and get drilled like that. Good job by them (Hawaii)," UNLV coach Bobby Hauck said. "They played well and obviously controlled the game. Their defensive front mauled our offensive front pretty good. We did not win on their corners, on third down especially. Conversely, we didn’t win against their wide receivers and that was the difference in the game."
UNLV scored 10 points in the final quarter against Hawaii’s reserves, getting on the board with a 43-yard field goal from Nolan Kohorst and a 5-yard touchdown pass from Nick Sherry to Taylor Spencer.
By then, it was too little, too late.
Sherry’s promising rookie campaign under center sputtered in the final weeks of the season, including Saturday when he completed just 17-of-42 passes for 166 yards and three interceptions. One of the interceptions was returned for a touchdown in the second quarter and a bulk of the yardage came in garbage time. The last was the final offensive play of the season.
While Sherry eclipsed the 2,500-yard passing mark for the season against Hawaii, his final two performances — both on the road — weren’t an indication of the potential he showed early. Two weeks ago at Colorado State, Sherry completed just 12-of-30 passes for 88 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He was injured at the end of the Colorado State game and missed last week’s contest with Wyoming.
UNLV was promising for parts of Hauck’s third-year at the helm of the program. They beat Air Force, should have beat instate rival UNR but squandered a second-half lead, and lost five home games by a combined 24 points — much better than the regular blowouts of the past two seasons.
But, when it is all said and done, the only stat that matters is in the win column. And, for yet another season, UNLV finished with just two wins. They are 6-32 in Hauck’s tenure.
"Any time we see progress and can’t sustain it; it’s a hard thing to swallow," Hauck said.
Several fans took to Twitter and message boards Saturday to show their displeasure with the coach and program, urging school officials to make a change. But UNLV Athletic Director Jim Livengood has often said Hauck, who is under contract through 2014 season and signed a two-year extension last year, would be given another season. Plus, it’s widely considered UNLV doesn’t have the financial resources to go another direction.