UNLV was a bowl team a year ago, the first one since 2000, which was 13 long years and in seven of them the Rebels won no more than two games. But last season, that was supposed to be the breakthrough, a turning point. Coach Bobby Hauck, 6-32 in his first three seasons, was given a three-year contract extension in November with a $200,000 annual bump in pay, which somehow was not unanimously approved by the Nevada Board of Regents. There was talk about escalating salaries for coaches and all that, but the guy got UNLV to a b-o-w-l game.
But just one year later, UNLV is right back to being UNLV and unless there is a quick reversal of fortune, it could be headed for some history that it really wants no part in.
Already one of only two programs in Mountain West history that has had two seasons where it has been outscored by 20 or more points per game, the Rebels are headed toward making it three.
UNLV, which went to San Jose State last week and got beaten up 33-10 to fall to 1-5, has been outscored by 21.9 points per game and if their one victory against Northern Colorado, a championship subdivision program, is taken out of the equation that number jumps to 26.4.
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It might actually sound worse that they were outscored by 277 points in 2010 and by 278 in '11.
But either way, it's not the best company.
School, Year, PF, PA, Diff, Record
2011, 12.0, 41.7, -29.7, 1-11
2010, 15.8, 44.3, -28.5, 1-11
2011, 17.3, 40.4, -23.1, 2-10
2014, 16.8, 38.7, -21.9, TBD
2010, 18.4, 39.7, -21.3, 2-11
2000, 15.5, 35.7, -20.2, 1-10
The Rebels do have some pieces -- 14 returning starters and 50 returning lettermen from that bowl team but many are dinged up, making much of a turnaround a long shot.
Devante Davis, their best receiver, has missed the past two games with a wrist injury. Despite that, he still ranks second on the team with 17 receptions and is leading the Rebels with two touchdown catches.
Quarterback Blake Decker did not play in the second half at San Jose State after suffering an arm injury and his status going forward is not yet known.
"We aren't playing very well, obviously, not well and certainly not well enough to win," Hauck said after the loss to the Spartans, who were 1-3 and had lost three in a row. "We've got a lot of football left, but we've lost four in a row, we're 1-5, the first week of October is over and we have a lot of things we need to do better if we're going to have a chance to win games."
Since 1999, the first year of the Mountain West, 26 teams have started league play 3-0 -- including every one of the teams that won or tied for a conference championship.
That is 16 teams in all, from Utah in 1999 to Fresno State last season, with four 3-0 teams going on to finish second and three eventually finishing in third place.
The biggest loser was Air Force in 2006, going from 3-0 to 3-5 and a sixth-place finish.
And while Wyoming is 1-0 and Utah State and Hawaii have yet to play a conference game, Fresno State is the only team this week that is 2-0 and can get to 3-0 in league play.
The Bulldogs on Friday play at UNLV.
beat Navy 30-21, getting all of its touchdowns through the air. The Falcons' triple-option offense had a streak of 63 consecutive games with at least one rushing touchdown snapped, which was the longest active streak in the nation -- not that they're complaining having taken step one in securing the Commander in Chief's Trophy. If the Falcons can beat Army on Nov. 1, the trophy will be back in Colorado Springs for the first time since 2011.
has passed for seven touchdowns already - the Falcons had eight all of 2013 and nine in '12.
won 21-9 at Texas-San Antonio, coming back from a halftime deficit to win for the first time since 2010 when it beat Wyoming 34-31 after trailing 21-14 at the break. The Lobos on Saturday trailed 3-0 at halftime, and the 30,000-plus at the Alamodome had to sit through almost two full quarters to see the big numbers on the scoreboard change. The teams combined for only 244 total yards in the first half and the Roadrunners kicked their field goal with 36 seconds remaining.
• Four MW teams had more yards in the first half last week than the Lobos and Roadrunners had combined:Colorado State
•San Jose State
scored three touchdowns in its victory overUNLV
, equaling the number it had in its three previous games, losses at Auburn (58-13), at Minnesota (24-7) and to Nevada (21-10). The Spartans have scored only 12 touchdowns this season and six of them came in their opening game against North Dakota, a championship subdivision program.
was trailing 21-16 atNevada
when Wolf Pack quarterbackCody Fajardo
threw interceptions on three consecutive possessions, all of them leading to touchdowns including a 32-yard pick-6 by Tyler Gray. Boise State leads the Mountain West in turnovers gained with 16 and has turning eight of the past 10 of them into touchdowns, including all four that it had at Nevada where Fajardo was picked four times in the Wolf Pack's first seven possessions.
beatSan Diego State
despite generating only 315 yards of offense (172 rushing and 143 passing). That is the fewest total yards the Bulldogs have had in a victory since gaining 296 in a 28-14 victory against Cincinnati to open the 2010 season.
drilled Tulsa 42-17 to complete the nonconference portion of its schedule undefeated for the first time since 1994. The Rams have beaten Colorado, UC Davis, Boston College and Tulsa.
EIGHT DOWN, 16 TO GO
Colorado State sophomore Rashard Higgins caught four touchdown passes in that victory over Tulsa to tie a Mountain West record and has eight this season, the most in the conference by three.
Garrett Brown of the formerly ground-bound Air Force has five touchdown catches.
The eight TD receptions is more than eight of the 12 MW teams:
•1, Colorado State:
14, Higgins leads with eight.
•2, Fresno State:
11, Greg Watson leads with three.
•3, Boise State:
10, Matt Miller leads with three.
•4, Utah State:
9, Hunter Sharp leads with three.
7, Jarred Gipson leads with four.
•T-5, Air Force:
7, Brown leads with five.
•7, San Jose State:
6, Tyler Winston leads with three.
5, Devante Davis leads with two.
5, J.D. Krill leads with two.
•10, New Mexico:
4, four are tied with one.
•T-11, San Diego State:
3, three tied with one.
3, Scott Harding leads with two.
The Mountain West record for touchdown receptions in a season is 24 set last season by Fresno State wide out Davante Adams.