UNLV football:

Blog: UNLV falls to 1-7 after dropping 32-7 decision at Boise State


Associated Press

Boise State’s Jamar Taylor hits UNLV quarterback Nick Sherry, causing Sherry to lose the ball Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012, in Boise, Idaho.

Updated Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012 | 4:25 p.m.

LasVegasSun.com Sports Talk

Where does UNLV go after its cannon misfire?

Las Vegas Sun reporters Ray Brewer, Case Keefer and Taylor Bern diagnose UNLV football's heartbreak against that team to the north while giving Rebels fans some life with info on the newest basketball recruit.


Game over

BOISE, Idaho — UNLV quarterback Nick Sherry left the game with a back injury and the Rebels fell to 1-7 overall and 1-2 in league play after losing 32-7 at Boise State on Saturday.

Sherry was 14-of-31 for 72 yards and threw his second interception on the play that knocked him out of the game late in the fourth quarter. Overall UNLV's offense was outgained 394-210 and got into the Broncos' red zone only once, coming away with nothing after a missed field goal. UNLV's lone score came on Kenny Penny's 30-yard fumble recovery returned for a touchdown.

The Rebels' defense got some pressure on the quarterback and overall wasn't that bad, but the Broncos' proved far too superior with a workmanlike effort for the victory.

Check lasvegassun.com later tonight for a full report from the game.


9:30 remaining in the third quarter

UNLV's first really positive drive of the day ended with a missed field goal. Luckily, the defense made sure it wasn't a complete waste. John Lotulelei forced a fumble on backup quarterback Grant Hedrick and Kenny Penny scooped it up for a 30-yard touchdown.

That particular play was a positive example of still giving effort, but mostly it was a sigh of relief for Rebels fans after that offensive drive still left them with no points.


3:56 remaining in the third quarter

The question at this point is, Will UNLV get anything positive from the rest of this game? The Rebels aren't going to win, that much is clear after another Broncos scored again on a D.J. Harper 1-yard touchdown run.

The Rebels have yet to reach the red zone and are getting controlled in every way shape and form. This was always going to be an ugly game so the outcome thus far isn't shocking, but it's still amazing to see this offense look arguably worse than it did in the second half against UNR last week.

You would figure that the Broncos may pull their foot off the pedal a little bit considering this lead. If that's the case, maybe Sherry and the offense can move the ball a little bit and feel better about themselves before the end of this game. That may be wishful thinking, but that's all the Rebels have at this point.



UNLV has very little to hang its hat on during halftime today. The Rebels are down big on the scoreboard and in basically every other metric, too.

They're trailing in yardage (247-113), first downs (13-6) and third-down conversions (50 percent to 20). UNLV does lead in time of possession and thanks to Freddie Wilson's interception to end the first half the Rebels are even in turnovers (2-2).

The offense, the one thing UNLV has been able to count on this year, is struggling to get past midfield. Nick Sherry is 10-for-21 for just 51 yards with an interception. Tim Cornett is averaging less than three yards per carry.

On the other side Boise State quarterback Joe Southwick is 13-for-18 for 143 yards and Broncos rushers D.J. Harper and Jay Ajayi both have touchdowns. It's just a dominating performance so far, and there's little reason to believe things will change in the second half.


3:19 remaining in the second quarter

The Broncos don't need any breaks today. Marcus Sullivan gave them one anyway.

While fighting for extra yardage around his own 15-yard line, Sullivan lost control of the ball and it landed right in the hands of Boise State's Jerrell Gavins, who scampered in for a 15-yard score. It was impossibly easy, as it appeared Sullivan more gave up the ball than had it taken away from him.

UNLV now has to hope it can just hold on until halftime.


4:09 remaining in the second quarter

Somebody had to be the victim. This time it was Sidney Hodge. UNLV's junior cornerback gave up a long pass play that landed Boise State inside the 5-yard line and one play later Jay Ajayi punched it in for an 18-0 lead.

I say somebody, because the Broncos aren't targeting Hodge any more than the next guy in the secondary. He just happened to be the one on this play. It could have just as easily been Tajh Hasson or Fred Wilson, because no Rebel on the edges can really be counted on today. Boise State is getting what it wants, for the most part, when it wants it. So far UNLV hasn't done anything to change that.


13:29 remaining in the second quarter

If not for John Lotulelei's big hit on Broncos starting quarterback Joe Southwick, it wouldn't have taken Boise State until the second quarter to score again. I suppose that counts as a small victory for UNLV.

Southwick had a receiver streaking down the middle wide open on a post pattern but overthrew him because Lotulelei came in untouched and crushed the quarterback. Southwick left for one play after getting up very slowly but returned to the field for the remainder of the Broncos' scoring drive, which was capped off by Michael Frisina's 30-yard field goal.

UNLV's offense now has positive yardage, but not by much. After one quarter they have 15 yards on 12 plays, including minus-7 rushing yards. It appears Boise State's defense is as good as advertised.


5:47 remaining in the first quarter

UNLV coach Bobby Hauck often talks about athletes out in space, and how the Rebels usually don't win those matchups. This talent discrepancy is on display early in Boise today.

The Broncos coughed up the ball on their first drive but quickly got it back and moved the ball easily on UNLV's defense for the first points of the game. D.J. Haprer ran in from 10 yards out and then converted the two-point conversion.

On multiple plays the Broncos' receivers caught short passes out in space and simply made moves to get past the Rebels. It didn't look especially hard, like it's something they'll be able to do all afternoon.

Don't expect Rebels to shock the league today at Boise State

BOISE, IDAHO — The joke going around is that No. 24 Boise State’s “blackout” today — the team has all-black uniforms and many fans will dress to match — isn’t a celebration of the Broncos’ homecoming. Rather, it’s for UNLV’s funeral.

Fans on both sides of this game have used that line, and it’s understandable why they would. It’s also wrong. Not in the sense that you should never analogize something in sports to death, though you can certainly make that argument. It’s wrong because it places too much importance on a game that for the Rebels is about surviving, not winning.

UNLV (1-6, 1-1) is not going to win today. Go ahead and copy those words to paste them in an "eat crow" tweet to me later, but I’m confident you’ll never get to press "command + v."

With the way UNLV’s schedule was laid out, the Rebels’ path to what could be termed a moderate success this season never included a victory in October. Not realistically, anyway. They needed to do more at the beginning of the year and they’ll have a chance at the end, but the middle never looked promising.

Throw in that end-of-September game at Utah State and this is easily the Rebels’ toughest five-game stretch of the season and arguably the most difficult slate for any team in the conference. It’s four road games sandwiched around UNLV’s biggest rival.

After the Rebels picked up their lone victory of the season against Air Force, it wasn’t like everybody expected them to go on a run. This team hasn’t won on the road in years, and Utah State and Louisiana Tech are two of the best non-BCS teams this year. And Boise State (5-1, 2-0) is better than both of them.

The Broncos, who are 28-point favorites today, haven’t allowed an opponent to score in the first half in the past four games. They lead the league in turnover margin, scoring defense and total defense. On top of that, midway through the season they’re starting to get pretty good on offense, too.

This game will most likely have the same feel as that 58-31 loss at Louisiana Tech two weeks ago. Fans may be upset at the scoreboard, but that anger is misguided. Because with the teams that will take the field at 12:30 p.m. today on NBC Sports Network, a Broncos blowout is the most likely outcome. By all means get upset about what that says about the state of the program in coach Bobby Hauck’s third season and the talent level he has brought in. Just don’t point to this likely lopsided loss as the reason to shake up the program.

The only way the Rebels are any different tomorrow than they are today is with a win. It doesn’t matter how bad the loss may be. It won’t kill them.

Bern’s prediction: Boise State 45, UNLV 14.

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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  1. You never know about any game Both Team's always want to win

  2. gee, with all the excitement following OTHER games today, i'll make a note to eventually find out how the rebels made out. my prediction 55-7.

  3. Don't worry. Hawaii is coming up. That second win should earn Hauck another contract extension.

  4. I don't expect to be shocked today. If they play with heart, then I'll be shocked....but that comes from the coach, so I'm hot holding my breath.

  5. I didn't think it was possible to hire a coach worse than Mike Sanford! UNLV has done the impossible and found Bobby Hauck! As Romney would say, with 23 million unemployed one more should be added to that!

  6. How much is Hauck getting paid for this drivel? Nice work. Sign me up.