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Game Thread Ohio State vs UNLV, 09/23/17 @ 12:00 ET (BTN)

Discussion in '2017 Football Season Capsule' started by ScriptOhio, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.


    [​IMG]n Tony

    When Tony Sanchez entered his second season at UNLV, he probably thought he could lead the Rebels to at least six wins and a bowl appearance. A 3-9 record in his 2015 debut season was understandable, as he formulated his coaching staff and began recruiting talent to Sin City.

    Well, things don't always work out the way any of us think they will.

    While Sanchez's team "improved" to 4-8 in 2016, a rash of injuries absolutely decimated depth on a roster that lacked it. We'll get into more of this shortly but perhaps the most striking note about the Rebels from a year ago is that by season's end, Sanchez had to start players that were recruited to play quarterback and cornerback at wide receiver. Yeah.

    Different circumstances inflict themselves upon any and every coach in all sports, so those in Las Vegas that care about UNLV football should probably applaud Sanchez for even winning four games. In 2017, he faces a multitude of questions at the game's most important position, quarterback, and must replace essentially every starter on a defense that wasn't close to being formidable.

    On top of it all, Sanchez will continue to be judged for his decision to bring 66-year-old Kent Baer as defensive coordinator and then 60-year-old Barney Cotton to direct the offense. Seasoned veterans, sure, but both are at least 17 years older than their boss.

    The Rebels make the long trip to Columbus on Sept. 23 to face Ohio State for the first time ever. Let's get to know them a little bit more.


    There are so many ways to dissect UNLV's production on offense in 2016. Pretty much all of them revolve around injuries and the subsequent adjustments that the coaching staff had to make as a result.

    The Rebels averaged 31.6 points per game, good for 47th-most in the country. They still lost eight games, which is more an indictment on their defense than anything. We'll get to that below.

    What is staggering about how UNLV moved the ball last fall was who physically was doing it. Returning leading rusher Keith Whitely left the team in August, then No. 2 receiver Kendal Keys was lost for the season with a knee injury in training camp. Top punt returner and wide receiver Brandon Presley broke his foot in the first game of the season and never returned to the field. No. 1 receiver Devonte Boyd missed the final two games with a broken arm and Darren Woods, another receiver, missed the last six with a knee injury. The hits just kept coming for Sanchez and Cotton.

    Additionally, a trio of quarterbacks took the lion's share of the snaps in what essentially amounted to three separate four-game stretches. Those names: Johnny Stanton, Kurt Palandech and Dalton Sneed. The latter was the player mentioned earlier who finished 2016 as a wide receiver. So yeah — anytime Cotton would get some semblance of a game plan and consistency put together, one of his key pieces hit the injury report.


    Head Coach Tony Sanchez (3rd season, 7-17 record at UNLV)
    2016 Record 4-8, tied for 3rd in the Mountain West's West Division
    2016 Postseason None
    Biggest Losses C Will Kreitler, RB David Greene, 10 starters on defense
    Biggest Returnees RBs Charles Williams and Lexington Thomas, 4 starters on OL, WR Devonte Boyd
    Summary UNLV's 2016 campaign was riddled with injury. Can its defense stop anybody?
    Matchup Sept. 23, 2017: UNLV at Ohio State, kickoff TBA

    Still, the Rebels moved the ball with some regularity in the high-scoring Mountain West mostly due to a terrific offensive line that somehow managed to steer clear of the injury bug. All five players up front started every single game last season, and only Will Kreitler, the center, exhausted his eligibility.

    UNLV ran the ball with terrific efficiency, either with their stable of quarterbacks — all three who started averaged at least 5.7 yards per carry — or with running backs Charles Williams and Lexington Thomas. The latter tied with David Greene for the team lead with eight rushing touchdowns. Seven different players rushed for more than 215 yards, led by Williams, who tallied 763 at 5.4 yards per carry.

    Sanchez and Cotton pieced together the Mountain West's fourth-best rushing attack, even though defenses knew the odds the Rebels were going to throw the ball were minuscule. For perspective on how inept the passing game was: UNLV had games where its quarterbacks completed eight, two, seven and nine passes last season. It won one of those, 45-20 against Fresno State, who went 1-11.

    Entire article:
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  2. Jaxbuck

    Jaxbuck I hate tsun

  3. RugbyBuck

    RugbyBuck Our church has no bells.

    Fired up! I think Mrs. RugbyBuck and I will becoming up for this weekend. Our birthday is that Friday and we haven't been to Columbus since 2011.
    JCOSU86 and colobuck79 like this.
  4. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

    Three takeaways from UNLV football’s first practice in pads


    UNLV capped off the opening week of training camp by putting on full pads for the first time and practicing under the lights at Sam Boyd Stadium on Sunday night. Three key takeaways from the Rebels’ first full-speed session:


    One of Tony Sanchez’s top priorities when he assumed the head coaching job two years ago was to make the Rebels a more physical team. It hasn’t happened overnight — UNLV was pushed around by opponents too often in 2015 and 2016, especially up front on defense — but the team is improving in that area.

    On Sunday, Sanchez put his players through a tough session that tested their strength and especially their stamina, and afterward he was pleased with the way they responded.

    Sanchez took the opportunity to reflect a bit on the way UNLV has been able to develop its current core group.

    “To be honest with you, part of me was naïve in coming in a couple years ago just thinking you’re going to wave a magic wand,” Sanchez said. “It takes a lot of years of doing the right thing, recruiting the right way, lifting weights, just getting that whole thing right. And now you’re starting to see a bunch of guys that a couple years ago were young and a little wet behind the ears are a big physical group now.”

    Entire article:
  5. Dryden

    Dryden Sober as Sarkisian Staff Member Tech Admin

    UNLV just lost to Howard 43-40. 45.5 point dogs.

    That's officially the biggest upset in college football history.
    brodybuck21 and Jake like this.
  6. Jaxbuck

    Jaxbuck I hate tsun

    Biggest upset by point spread

    There is only one biggest upset in college football history
  7. ORD_Buckeye

    ORD_Buckeye Wrong glass, Sir.

    After Okie and Army back-to-back, UNLV appears to be just the remedy to rest up before the Big Ten season starts: an easy 45-7 win with anyone banged up getting a week off and the starters sitting the second half.
  8. Steve19

    Steve19 Watching. Always watching. Staff Member

    My sentiments exactly, ORD.
  9. Dryden

    Dryden Sober as Sarkisian Staff Member Tech Admin

  10. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

  11. TDunk

    TDunk The Dunk Abides

    Should be interesting if Martell has any info about the rebel team. Sanchez was the HC at Bishop Gorman before his stint at UNLV.
  12. ShowMeBuck

    ShowMeBuck You know what? Chicken butt.

    We better see an ass beating. I want 70.
    bukIpower likes this.
  13. AKAK

    AKAK Pistol packing, monkey drinking, no money bum. Staff Member Bookie

    Tate, what do you think?

    "They suck"

    Just making sure, thanks.
  14. ORD_Buckeye

    ORD_Buckeye Wrong glass, Sir.

    I'd like to see 45 in the first half so that Burrows and Haskins each get several series with the first team offense in the 3rd.
  15. bukIpower

    bukIpower Senior

    Honestly that's the only thing I'm looking for. I'd be disappointed if JT is still in by mid 3rd quarter but sadly I wouldn't be shocked to see him out there early 4th quarter. Not because we won't be applying a plunger (because we will) but for reasons I won't quite get.

    I'll just say it once this week instead of bitching all week. Few things I'm looking forward to

    1. Get the backup QB's a big share of PT. We need to have the ability to go to the bullpen against PSU if it starts to unfold just like Clemson/OU.

    2. Continue to focus on that RPO game and continue to work in plays to build off of it like the TD pass to Terry that faked the screen.

    3. Pass defense. This team is not good and if we can come out and keep this team under 200 that's a huge step for our young guys.

    4. Work in Weber more. We need to get that 1-2 punch established even though I believe JK is heads and shoulders better then Mike.
    JCOSU86, brodybuck21 and ORD_Buckeye like this.

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