Jacobi Owens ran for 233 yards in his Air Force debut last week in a 44-16 victory over Nicholls State.
The question now becomes, how will that translate against FBS competition?
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“We’ll see. It takes a special, special cookie to be able to do it over the course of a season,” coach Troy Calhoun said. “We’ll just see how it goes.”
Owens says he has been clocked at 4.37 seconds in the 40-yard dash and his high school track résumé includes a 11.04 100 – so the speed is somewhere between elite and really, really fast.
The power is what impressed Owens’ coaches and teammates, with running backs coach Ben Miller observing that broken tackles helped Owens turn 2-yard runs into 4s and 5s into 10s.
“Out here in practice it’s hard to put your nail on what somebody’s going to be like,” quarterback Kale Pearson said. “But in the game he put his head down and he was not easy to take down by any means.”
This didn’t come as a complete surprise, as Owens had broken out in the spring game, running for 98 yards on eight carries, including touchdown runs of 37 and 25 yards. He also impressed in flashes during preseason camp scrimmages, but his ascension to a starting role seemed more a product of Devin Rushing’s ankle injury than anything else.
Now it seems Air Force may have a budding star in its backfield in the 5-foot-11, 190-pound sophomore.
“He’s a good, physical player,” offensive coordinator Mike Thiessen said. “I think when there’s yards to be gained he’s going to gain them, plus a few more. He did a good job breaking tackles. I think we’ll see that all year. Some teams will be better than others because some teams will tackle better and lanes won’t be as big. But we’re going to do what we do.”
Next game: at Wyoming, 8:15 p.m. MT Saturday, ESPNU
Notable: LB Joey Nichol left Saturday’s opener with a groin injury and did not return. It is unclear whether he will play this week. Jordan Pierce, who led Air Force in tackling in the final two games in 2013, will start if Nichol can’t play. Placekicker/punter Will Conant, one of the nation’s top kickers in 2014 after hitting 11 of 13 field goals, including 3 of 4 from 50 or more yards, made his debut as a punter and averaged 51.5 yards per punt. Air Force is seeking its 100th victory in the Mountain West with its game at Wyoming on Saturday. The Falcons are 99-86 in the conference.
— Brent Briggeman, The Gazette
In class, Boise State’s defense would have received a C for its performance in the season-opening, 35-13 loss to Ole Miss last week.
On the field, 75 percent equates to an L.
“Three quarters of decent football,” defensive coordinator Marcel Yates said Monday, “and one quarter of unacceptable football.”
The Broncos allowed 242 yards and seven points in the first three quarters of the opener.
They allowed 216 yards and 28 points in the fourth quarter.
“The first three quarters were great,” sophomore linebacker Tanner Vallejo said. “You could see our intensity, flying to the ball. The fourth quarter washed away the first three quarters because now everybody sees a blowout, and that’s what matters.”
The Broncos will need the first-three-quarters defense Saturday when they open Mountain West play against Colorado State.
Colorado State rushed for 266 yards and three touchdowns to beat Colorado 31-17 last week. The Rams also generated 626 yards against the Broncos last season — the most Boise State allowed all year.
Against Ole Miss, the Broncos’ tackling, technique and discipline crumbled in the fourth quarter as defenders pressed to try to make a game-changing play.
“I don’t know if mentally we thought we could play that well for four quarters,” said Yates, who is in his first year as a coordinator. “Now they believe that we can play four quarters and it’s up to me to get them to do that. I can’t wait to get them out there and see them play (this week). I do still think there’s another level we can go as a team.”
Next game: vs. Colorado State, 8:15 p.m. MT Saturday, ESPN2
Notable: DT Tyler Horn and CB Donte Deayon, both starters, left the Ole Miss game with apparent leg injuries. Horn’s looked serious (he was in a brace after the game), but coach Bryan Harsin didn’t provide updates on either. Defensive end Jabril Frazier, one of the top recruits in the Broncos’ 2014 class, enrolled in school this semester but is ineligible to practice or play until spring. TE Connor Peters missed the Ole Miss game because of an academic issue. He remains in limbo. Harsin, a former walk-on quarterback, has placed four walk-ons on scholarship this season. RB Jay Ajayi played 82 of 85 snaps against Ole Miss. He generated 179 of the team’s 399 yards and scored the only touchdown.
— Chadd Cripe, Idaho Statesman
Coach Jim McElwain saw a lot of good from his Colorado State football team in its season-opening win Friday over Colorado.
But Monday, the third-year coach repeatedly called out what he believes is a talented group of receivers for their poor play in the 31-17 win.
“I was very disappointed in the play of the wide receivers,” McElwain said at his weekly news conference. “OK, I called them out. We’ve got to get better at that position.”
Although quarterback Garrett Grayson shouldered the blame for the Rams’ struggles in the passing game, particularly in the first half when he completed just 5 of 12 passes for 38 yards, McElwain put much of the blame on the receivers not being quite where they were supposed to be when they were supposed to be there.
The Rams were better through the air in the second half, completing three passes on third-and-long plays to pick up critical first downs, and 8 of 11 overall to finish with 134 passing yards — roughly half of the 266.4 a game they averaged during an 8-6 season in 2013.
McElwain was pleased with the performance of his young offensive line and a pair of unproven running backs who both went well over 100 yards in Dee Hart and Treyous Jarrells. But he still believes the Rams have to be a good passing team to be successful this season.
Grayson threw for a school-record 3,696 yards and 23 touchdowns last fall, and five of last year’s top six receivers are back.
“I expect us to throw the ball better; we threw it horribly,” McElwain said. “ We’ve got to be better throwing the football with the weapons that we have on the outside.”
Next game: at Boise State, 8:15 p.m. MT Saturday, ESPN2
Notable: Tackle Ty Sambrailo, the lone returning starter on CSU’s offensive line, injured his right knee early in the first quarter of the opener and will be sidelined for two to four weeks. Hart and Jarrells, both juniors, became the first set of Rams to rush for more than 100 yards in the same game since 2002, when QB Bradlee Van Pelt ran for 128 yards and RB Cecil Sapp for 125. Hart ran for 139 yards against Colorado, while Jarrells ran for 121. McElwain received an apology Monday from Denver Mayor Michael Hancock for calling the CSU coach Mike MacIntyre, the second-year Colorado coach, during the postgame presentation of the Centennial Cup. McElwain grabbed the microphone from the mayor to correct him at the time and complained about the lack of recognition for he and his program in the state’s largest city that the mayor’s mistake represented.
— Kelly Lyell, Fort Collins Coloradoan
It's not unusual for a college football team to struggle in the first half of its season opener, nor to play much better in the second half.
The New Mexico Lobos' Hyde-and-Jekyll performance in their season opener last week against UTEP was a textbook example.
Points scored: seven in the first half, 17 in the second.
Points allowed: 24 first half, seven second.
Total offense: 182 yards first half, 295 second.
Total offense allowed: 326 first half, 120 second.
Third down defense: 7-of-10 first half, 0-of-4 second.
The only statistic negative in the second half, however, was a big one: 0-3 in turnovers, a stat that allowed the Miners to hang on for a 31-24 victory. All three turnovers — a fumble, a muffed punt, an interception — came in the final five minutes.
Regarding UNM's offensive struggles in the first half, coach Bob Davie cited seven poor pistol-formation snaps by center LaMar Bratton — a fifth-year senior and team captain regarded as the most trusted player on the roster.
Those snaps did not hit the ground, nor did they sail over the quarterback's head. But they were low enough and/or slow enough to disrupt the timing of a particular play.
"We're such a timing offense," Davie said.
On defense, Davie said, the game film revealed some 30 blown assignments and some 22 missed tackles in the first half.
"That's a deadly combination," he said.
Bratton was crisp and on target with his snaps in the second half, and UNM's predominantly young defense steeled itself.
With a precious win opportunity lost and with nationally ranked Arizona State coming to town this week, Davie must hope the New Mexico team he saw in the second half is the one he'll be seeing from now on.
Next game: vs. Arizona State, 5:05 p.m. MT Saturday, CBS Sports Network
Notable: Quarterback Cole Gautsche (hamstring), wide receiver/kick returner Carlos Wiggins (deep thigh bruise) and cornerback Cranston Jones (dislocated elbow) are expected to miss the Arizona State game. ... Gautsche rushed for 184 yards against UTEP, with touchdown runs from 68 and 51 yards, before pulling up lame at the end of a 33-yard run in the fourth quarter. Davie called the junior QB's performance the best of his career. Senior Clayton Mitchem will get the start at quarterback against ASU. ... UTEP running back Aaron Jones, who rushed for 237 yards against the Lobos, had extra motivation that night. When he was a prep star at El Paso Burges High, he told the El Paso Times, UNM coaches scheduled a home recruiting visit but never showed up. Davie said he knew nothing about such an incident but would look into it. "That's not how we do business," he said.
— Rick Wright, Albuquerque Journal
The Aggies are picking up the pieces this week after an embarrassing 38-7 loss at Tennessee.
The Aggies dropped to 1-17 against the SEC with a loss that coach Matt Wells called ‘humbling.’
The last time the Aggies were manhandled in such a way was in 2010 when they lost to Boise State 50-14, but at least the Broncos were the ninth-ranked team in the country at the time.“There was absolutely nothing good that came out of that game,” Wells said of the loss to the Vols.
However, the Aggies insist they won’t let their disappointment linger as they prepare for their home opener.
Utah State offensive lineman Kevin Whimpey said the Aggies had to have a short memory and show the resilience they showed last year.
“We have to be positive,” he said.
Wells is stressing that the loss has no bearing on the MW title race and downplayed how the defeat may affect the Aggies’ stature on a national scale.
“We have enough talent in there to go compete for the Mountain West and that’s exactly what we still intend to do,” Wells said. “That’s a bunch that will get the ship righted, trust me, and we’ll stick together.”
The Aggies’ biggest concern going forward is the offensive line. With just one returning starter in Whimpey, the Aggies knew it would be a work in progress. That proved to be true as quarterback Chuckie Keeton was often under pressure against the Vols and the run game never got going, finishing with 100 yards on 24 carries.
Next game: vs. Idaho State, 6 p.m. MT Saturday, Mountain West Network (online)
Notable: Keeton did get up hobbling a couple times late in the second half but then trotted off the field without any hitch in his steps. Asked if he was concerned about the quarterback’s health, Wells curtly replied Keeton was “100 percent.” Tennessee used 21 freshmen against the Aggies. USU didn’t cross midfield against the Vols until the third quarter.
— Lya Wodraska, The Salt Lake Tribune
It wasn't pretty and it took 6 hours, 11 minutes to complete, but the Craig Bohl era as Wyoming's coach got off to a good start with a 17-12 victory over Montana last Saturday.The game featured two delays for lightning that lasted a combined 57 minutes, but it also had some solid performances by the Cowboys.
Wyoming running backs Shaun Wick and D.J. May combined for 230 yards and both of the team's touchdowns. The defense held Montana to 42 yards rushing, Wyoming's lowest total since it allowed 17 against San Diego State in 2008.
But there were plenty of areas to improve on.
Senior quarterback Colby Kirkegaard was 13 of 21 for 92 yards in only his second-ever start — and first since 2012. Kirkegaard lost a fumble and threw an interception in the end zone, both of which occurred in the second quarter.
"We can't have those turnovers, and some of our negative plays were self-inflicted," Kirkegaard said. "There were a lot of factors in that. We have to smooth out those first-game jitters, I guess, and be more consistent with our positive plays."
Wyoming was 2 of 4 in red-zone scoring, Kirkegaard was sacked six times and the defense had chances to grab a couple of interceptions but couldn't hold on to the ball.
"We were pleased with the win. Our performance certainly can improve but the attitude was excellent," Bohl said.
How much Wyoming's defense, and in particular its run defense, has improved will be tested Saturday when it hosts Air Force (1-0) in the Mountain West opener for both teams. The Cowboys' coaching staff did some prep work for the Falcons in the summer, and the team spent part of fall camp preparing for Air Force's multiple but option-based offense.
Next game: vs. Air Force, 8:15 p.m. MT Saturday (ESPNU)
Notable: Wyoming has lost four straight home games to Air Force, three of which were by seven points or fewer. ... May and senior receiver/return specialist Jalen Claiborne didn't finish the Montana game due to injuries, but both are expected to play against Air Force. ... Sophomore nose tackle Uso Olive moved past sophomore Chase Appleby into the starting lineup this week, but both will play. ... The Cowboys blocked a Montana punt in the second quarter, its first block since 2010. ... Wyoming has had four weather delays in games since the beginning of last season. ... Saturday's game will be the second consecutive year Wyoming and Air Force will play a late-night game on ESPNU.
— Robert Gagliardi, Wyoming Tribune Eagle
Fresno State did not get much of an answer from its quarterbacks in a season-opening 52-13 loss at USC, neither starter Brian Burrell nor Brandon Connette doing much to win the job.
Burrell was 11 of 19 for 96 yards with one interception, Connette was 7 of 17 for 68 yards with three interceptions, and the Bulldogs exited with one of the worst efficiency ratings in the bowl subdivision at 65.11. That was 118th in the bowl subdivision through games played on Sunday.
The Bulldogs will play both again this week at Utah hoping one can gain some separation and win the job. The Bulldogs are not going to pick one, load him up with practice reps and see what happens. It will have to be won or lost on the field before conference play begins — Fresno State opens Sept. 26 at New Mexico.
"The mistakes they made weren't based on doing the wrong thing because they didn't get any reps," offensive coordinator Dave Schramm said. "It's the little things. It's the little things about knowing exactly where the coverage is going to be or how to hold the linebacker, playing the game type things.
"It's just playing the game and playing faster. There were times where they kind of looked like they weren't quite sure. That doesn't have anything to do with practice reps, it's just trusting that what we're doing, we have an answer for, and that will come I think with playing."
Burrell, who threw 12 passes last season as a backup to Derek Carr, completed five passes that resulted in a first down, but he was only 2 of 5 on third-down plays. Connette, who has much more experience having played in 39 games at Duke before transferring to Fresno State, had only three of his completions go for a first down and was 0 of 2 on third down.
"We were very inconsistent," Schramm said. "It was just a bad night. There were times, the two drives we had, we went right down the field and scored playing fast and playing our tempo and playing like we want to play. We were 2 out of 12 on third down, and a lot of those were self-inflicted third-and-long yardages. We beat ourselves with those plays and we can't do that either. We had dropped balls, stuff that can't happen if we're going to be a good football team."
Next game: at Utah, 1 p.m. MT Saturday, Pac-12 Networks
Notable: Fresno State will get Tyeler Davison more reps this week against Utah at nose guard, the position he played the past two seasons in earning all-conference honors (first team in 2012, second in '13). The Bulldogs had him start taking reps at right and left end in the spring to develop some options up front, but it might have worked against them in a season-opening blowout loss at USC. Davison played only 13 of 64 snaps at nose, and he was not credited with a tackle or an assist. ... Cornerback play and pass defense were huge issues last season and it appears they will be again, despite greater depth at those positions. USC had 16 pass plays of 10 or more yards and seven of 20 or more yards against the Bulldogs, leaving them in a tie for 113th in the bowl subdivision (through Sunday) in both categories. Fresno State, which was tied for sixth in the FBS last season with 40 sacks, did not have any in the loss at USC, which didn't help. ... The Bulldogs have lost five regular-season games under coach Tim DeRuyter and are 5-0 after those losses, winning by an average of 25.5 points. ... The four interceptions that Fresno State threw in its loss at USC (three by Connette, one Burrell) were the most it had in a game since a 24-14 loss at San Jose State to end the 2006 season when Tom Brandstater was picked off four times. ... The Bulldogs also did not have a touchdown pass in a game for the first time since a 57-7 loss to Boise State on Oct. 7, 2011.
— Robert Kuwada, Fresno Bee
In the aftermath of the season-opening, 17-16 loss to Washington, the Warriors are seeking to expand the playing rotation. Three offensive linemen played all 99 offensive snaps and another logged 98 snaps. Running back Joey Iosefa had 30 carries, tying for the national lead on opening weekend. Including his blocks, Iosefa hit or was hit 52 times.
"That's a little too much," coach Norm Chow said. "We wanted to keep the carries in the 20s, but he got 30."
Look for Steven Lakalaka, Diocemy Saint Juste and Dominique Small to get more reps at running back.
It will be a game-time decision where Kody Afusia will play. Afusia, who started at center, suffered an injury to his right (snapping) hand on UH's second drive against Washington. Afusia showed he can snap effectively with his left hand during a demonstration after the game. He also can be used at guard, where he started 12 games last year. Afusia is considered the vocal leader.
On defense, safeties Taz Stevenson and Trayvon Henderson played every defensive snap. Freshman safety Daniel Lewis is expected to work his way into the rotation this week against Oregon State.
Next game: vs Oregon State, 8:30 p.m. MT, CBS Sports Network
Notable: A little more than two weeks ago, Brenden Urban was back in Colorado, newly retired as a college offensive lineman because of financial difficulties, and seeking a job in Hawaii to pay for his UH tuition and living expenses. Urban returned to Hawaii on Saturday, Aug. 23, was placed on scholarship two days later, and participated in three practices before the Washington game. When Afusia suffered an injury, Urban was summoned to play center. He played in more than 70 snaps. Ben Clarke, UH's starting center the previous two years, did well in his debut at left tackle. He did not allow a sack. Once again, the Warriors are performing the haka, a Maori chant, at the end of pre-game warmups.
— Stephen Tsai, Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Senior Kendall Brock, who played as a true freshman at tailback in 2011, is at a new position for the fourth time.
The 5-foot-9, 195-pound Brock, from Clovis West High near Fresno, Calif., moved to wide receiver as a sophomore, then back to running back as a junior in coach Brian Polian’s first year.Now, with improved depth at running back and sketchy depth at receiver, Brock is back at receiver, listed as Richy Turner’s backup in the slot position.
“I’ve been handed a much smaller role on this team than what I’m used to, and the fact that I lose some sleep over being the team’s leading rusher (in 2013 and going) to essentially a spectator, it’s my job to come out every day and do what these coaches ask me to do and do it for my teammates,” said Brock, who is also a kick returner.
Polian said he’s been very pleased with how well Brock has taken a team-first attitude.
“My job as the head coach is to make the decisions that are best for the football team,” he said. “And while that might not be ideal for the young man – I understand it’s not going to be an easy conversation, what I’m asking him to do – but the reality of it is, it is what’s best for the football team.
“In his case in particular, I am sensitive to the fact that he is a team leader. He is somebody that I have the utmost respect for. I absolutely love the guy. His role will increase. Sometimes the game dictates what it is.”
Next game: vs. Washington State, 8:30 p.m. MT Friday, ESPN
Notable: Starting left tackle Austin Corbett, a redshirt freshman, suffered a mild ankle sprain and is listed as day-to-day. Quarterback Cody Fajardo had 371 yards of total offense in the 28-19 win over Southern Utah on Saturday and now has 9,968 total yards in his career. The only two players in Wolf Pack history to top 10,000 total yards of offense are Colin Kaepernick (14,210 from 2007-10) and David Neill (11,145 from 1998-2001). Offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich has moved from the booth to the sideline.
— Dan Hinxman, Reno Gazette-Journal
SAN DIEGO STATE
San Diego State’s 38-7 victory over FCS opponent Northern Arizona in its opener was far from the performance the Aztecs will require on Saturday to score an upset at North Carolina, a 56-29 winner over Liberty.
Quarterback Quinn Kaehler called his play “sub-par” and coach Rocky Long deemed the tackling to be “horrible.”
But it was still a far better way to start the season than a year ago, with a loss to Eastern Illinois that began an 0-3 slide. And there were certainly some flashes of how good the team could become.
Sophomore running back D.J. Pumphrey ran for 116 yards, scored two touchdowns and also turned a short pass into a 31-yard gain – proving what a multi-use weapon he is.
Receiver Lloyd Mills was so speedy on a 67-yard punt return for a TD that only a single Lumberjack was able to graze his shoulder.
And linebacker Calvin Munson made a momentum-shifting interception late in the third quarter, coming within a yard of his first defensive TD since high school.
Though the defense gave up some big chunks of yardage at times (312 overall), it allowed only one TD and blocked a field goal. The seven points are the fewest the Aztecs have allowed since limiting Army to seven in 2012.
“I think our players are all mature enough and want to be good enough that they realized we should win,” Long said. “And we went out there and played good enough to win convincingly. But they know there are better teams on the horizon, too.”
Though he couldn’t be certain how the Aztecs would play, Long said there is a sense among the current players that they wouldn’t take lightly what essentially is their one preseason game before heading to North Carolina and then Oregon State.
“I think this team went in with some humility,” Long said. “Last year’s team went into the first game with some arrogance. There’s a difference between being confident and being arrogant.”
Said safety Malik Smith: “I believe this team is more energized. This team is more hyped about stuff.”
With a strong blocking push early by a revamped offensive line, Pumphrey got good space to run and already had 13 carries by halftime. He ended up with 19 runs total, tying his career high, while averaging 5.8 yards per carry.
Chase Price, who has established himself as the No. 2 runner, had a 21-yard burst and finished with 45 yards and a touchdown.
Kaehler (18-29-205) found 10 different receivers. But the quarterback also came up short on some throws and overthrew his receiver for an interception in the third quarter, which led to the Lumberjacks’ score.
“I thought it was sub-par,” Kaehler said of his performance. “The guys around me did a lot of great things, so it might not have seemed that way. I didn’t play well enough. I threw an interception and I got sacked in the red zone. I missed a couple of reads and was a little bit inaccurate. Hopefully, we’ll fix it.”
Next game: at North Carolina, 6 p.m. MT Saturday (ESPNews)
Notable: The Aztecs might have finally found a kicker they can rely upon. Donny Hageman kicked a 48-yard field goal, though he also missed a 46-yarder. Long was most pleased on Saturday with the special teams units, including the 67-yard punt return by Mills. The punt return TD was the third for the Aztecs in their last four games – best in the nation over that span San Diego State’s injury woes at linebacker aren’t going away. Backup linebacker Tyler Morris, a redshirt freshman, has been lost for the season with a torn MCL in his knee he suffered during kickoff coverage. Redshirt freshman Billy Vaughn Jr. got significant playing time at both cornerback spots in spelling the starters. “I thought he played OK. Nothing bad happened to him,” Long said. Long on film of Kaehler’s performance: “Like we thought. He was very inconsistent. He was inaccurate with the football at times. He got better as the game went along. There were about three passes dropped on him, so that hurts too.” Kaehler passed for more than 200 yards for the 13th straight game – the longest streak by an Aztec since at least 1996.
— Tod Leonard, San Diego Union-Tribune
SAN JOSE STATE
San Jose State faces a juggernaut this week when it travels to play No. 6 Auburn, the defending SEC champion and national runner-up. It can be an intimidating test, but the Spartans will try not to view it that way.
“I think you have to simplify it down to the 1-on-1 battles,” coach Ron Caragher said. “It’s you against the man across the line of scrimmage. All the bells and the whistles, birds flying in the air and bands playing and the number of fans — whether there’s 200,000 fans in the stands — it doesn’t matter. It’s the game of football.
“It’s 53 1/3 yards wide, it’s 120 yards in length, it’s 11 men of ours vs. their 11 best. We’re battling, we’re competing and we’re getting after it.”
It’s likely this game will tell as little about the team as Thursday’s season-opening win against North Dakota did.
Even though the opening win against an FCS foe was expected, several things stood out that bode well for the Spartans. In particular, their red-zone offense was spectacular. SJSU scored touchdowns on all five of its trips inside the 20-yard line.
That’s a stark contract to last year when it took the Spartans seven games and 17 trips to score five red-zone touchdowns.
“It’s something we addressed and it was nice to see that done,” offensive coordinator Jimmie Dougherty said.
Tyler Winston accounted for two of those red-zone touchdowns on passes from quarterback Blake Jurich, who also threw one to fullback Shane Smith and ran one in himself. Freshman running back Brandon Monroe also scored on the ground.
“It’s very encouraging,” Jurich said. “It just gets the momentum going, the positivity, just gets everything going for the offense. Everybody’s doing their assignments, we’re clicking. Just stick to that and we’ll be successful.”
Next game: at Auburn, 5 p.m. MT Saturday, ESPN2
Notable: San Jose State will travel to Auburn on Thursday to have extra time to adjust and prepare for the Saturday night game. Senior wide receiver Jabari Carr missed the opener with lingering effects of a groin injury but is expected to play this week. Junior cornerback Jimmy Pruitt (knee bruise) also looks likely to return.
— Jimmy Durkin, San Jose Mercury News
If UNLV is to take any hope out of Friday's season-opening, 58-13 loss at Arizona, it's the fact the Rebels responded well after being in a similar situation last season.They lost early in the season by the same score to the same team, and then rolled off four victories in a row on the way to their first bowl in 13 years.
"Most of the guys in the locker room that are playing were a part of that last year," coach Bobby Hauck said. "One of the things we're trying to emphasize is odds are you're probably not going to go undefeated, but never do you want to lose two in a row. Also, each week is vitally important, and you have to win that week. After the corrections are made, we need to flush last weekend's game and get on to the next one and focus in on winning this week."
UNLV faces Northern Colorado, a Football Championship Subdivision team that has lost 11 games in a row, at home on Saturday.
The Rebels need to not only beat the Bears, but win convincingly to prove their high hopes entering the season were justified.
It would be an important statement to make to their fans, but more importantly to themselves.
The good news for the Rebels is nearly all their goals remain in front of them, and this is a down season for the Mountain West.
If they keep the Arizona loss in such perspective, the Rebels can make a run similar to last season.
"We still believe we have a good football team," cornerback Kenneth Penny said.
Next game: vs. Northern Colorado, 8 p.m. MT Saturday, Mountain West Network (online)
Notable: UNLV has played Northern Colorado just once. The Rebels rallied from 31-14 down in the 1979 meeting to win 35-31. ... Quarterback Blake Decker passed for 252 yards in his first career start. That was the fifth-highest total for a Rebels quarterback in a season opener. ... Devonte Boyd caught six passes for 102 yards, just the second time a UNLV freshman broke 100 yards in his first game. Ryan Wolfe had 160 yards against Idaho State in 2006. ... Hauck went 5-0 against Northern Colorado when he coached Montana from 2003 to 2009.
— Mark Anderson, Las Vegas Review-Journal