So much for UNLV to be a sleeper in the Mountain West. Nevada was supposed to be good as well, but after slow star their Pistol offense exploded for their highest point total of the year with the 63. The Wolfpack also racked up an amazing 773 yards of total offense even by committing four turnovers, and being without their top running back Vai Taua.
This game was going back and forth during the first half with Nevada getting up early 14-0, but then UNLV responded to tie the game at 21 apiece at the half. The second half was a disaster for UNLV as they were out scored 42-7.
This loss was an absolute disaster for UNLV and Mike Sanford really could be given the pink slip after two embarrassing losses even though he did sign a three year contract extension last December. This game was really bizarre in how Nevada won the game. Nevada had 773 yards of offense --559 on the ground, four turnovers, and 15 penalties for 169 yards. While UNLV had one turnover and a decent 276 yards of passing offense, plus the time of possession was basically a fifty-fifty split.
The Rebel downfall besides the obvious of their terrible defense, but their running game needs to be addressed because this game they were only able to manage 70 yards which was their lowest of the year. The 559 rushing yards was amazing enough, but the Wolfpack for the first time in school history had three 100 yard rushers. The passing game for Nevada was also solid with dual threat QB Colin Kaepernick going 15 for 18 with 208 yards and a score.
"I would say that Omar was pretty beat up, and he doesn't have anything long-term, but we made a decision. We felt like he'd be injured more if we played him today, and we needed to get him back healthy."
Even with Mike Clausen starting the drop off is not there, and the blame should not fall on Clausen starting. The running game was a mess with QB Mike Clausen getting 15 carries compared to twelve for the rest of the backs. Not really sure what Coach Mike Sanford was thinking, because Nevada was able to move the ball at will, and some type of running attack would have kept the Nevada offense on the sideline.
Instead they opted to attempt to play score for score and had Clausen throw fifty times, and to make things worse star WR Ryan Wolfe was smothered and only managed five catches for 36 yards. With the four turnovers UNLV's defense was able to muster up the UNLV offense should have been able to do more.
It ended up being a good thing this game was not telveised, or UNLV fans may have started throwing their television sets out the window. Now it is up to UNLV --more specifically Mike Sanford-- to save this season. They do have three winable games at New Mexico then a home game for San Diego State and Colorado State. Well, the Ram game will be an upset but it is a winnable game.