The UNLV Rebels (4-6, 2-4) kept their bowl hopes alive while eliminating Colorado State (3-7, 0-6) from a bowl game during a 35-16 win in Vegas. The Rebels played well and made a few big 3rd down conversions and playing balanced football. The Rams drop their seventh straight game and have all but fallen completely apart after a 3-0 start. This was a very interesting game, catch the details after the jump.
UNLV came out with a great game plan of mixing run and pass and mixing up looks by using QB's Omar Clayton and Mike Clausen. Clayton got the majority of the snaps and gained 44 yards on the ground and 147 through the air with a touchdown both ways. Clausen had 15 yards on the ground and two touchdowns
So, the interesting part of this game came from CSU. After Grant Stucker started the game at quarterback and had two unsuccessful drives Jon Eastman was put in behind center. He looked decent but had obvious timing issues while coming in from back up role. Stucker came back in near the end of the game. Since this was a late game and turning into a blow out I went to bed, but I am assuming this was Fairchild playing musical quarterbacks and this was not Eastman getting hurt.
The more interesting part of this game is the absolute desperation that CSU played with. There was ten or more trick plays used by CSU. Reverses, reverse passes, wildcats, a statue of liberty, they were a hook and ladder away from the trick play cycle. By my count four players took snaps for the Rams. Two thoughts about this, if the Rams are going to lose might as well make it fun to watch. Secondly that team is in dire need of a new offensive coordinator (the current one was regulated to recruiting duties) and a new defensive coordinator as all night they had no faith that the defense could stop UNLV. Also a quarterback that Fairchild can trust because the offense has turned into wide receiver screens and runs. On the plus side the Rams ran the ball well again, Lou Greenwood had 65 yards in 13 carries and Leonard Mason had 41 on ten carries.
The stat line for CSU doesn't look awful which is the surprising thing, Time of Possession 38 to 22 CSU, total yards 424 to 321, penalties were even and CSU only had 1 turnover. The Rebels won the 3rd down efficiency battle which is no surprise as the Rams have struggled all year on 3rd downs. Last night the Rebels showed some people what they thought they would see at the start of the year.
The Rebels travel to Colorado Springs to take on the Falcons next week to keep their bowl hopes alive. The Rams travel to New Mexico in a battle of the not very good at football.