The Falcons are on a bye this week.
Next game: vs. Boise State, Sept. 27
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Boise State ranks second in the nation in rushing defense (49.0 yards per game), second in interceptions (seven), third in tackles for loss (10.3 per game), fifth in takeaways (nine) and eighth in sacks (4.0 per game).
But the Broncos also are 80th in total defense (403.3 ypg) and 76th in scoring defense (26.7 points per game).
They recorded eight sacks at Connecticut — the most for the program in 10 years.
“The sacks were great,” defensive coordinator Marcel Yates said. “Still, I think the main thing for our football team in the big picture is to be disciplined. Still some guys are not doing what they’re supposed to do — in the right gap, the right coverage, that’s being called. As a staff, we’re putting guys in the right positions and they’re not doing it at all times. If you want to be dominant or you want to be a good defense or a good offense — a good team — you need to do what you’re being taught.”
The best sign for the Broncos in the UConn game was their performance in the fourth quarter. After two ugly performances in the final quarter against Ole Miss (allowed 28 points) and Colorado State (allowed 14 points), the defense rebounded with maybe its best quarter of the season with the game on the line against the Huskies.
The Huskies got the ball twice down by three points. The first drive ended with a three-and-out and the second with an interception by sophomore cornerback Jonathan Moxey to set up a touchdown.
The Huskies got the ball twice down by 10 points. The first drive ended with a three-and-out and the second with a pick six by junior cornerback Donte Deayon.
The Broncos won the fourth quarter 14-0 to close out the 38-21 victory.
“We talked about winning on the road, which we accomplished, and we talked about winning the fourth quarter,” coach Bryan Harsin said. “Those were the two main things we hit on with our players. Everything else in between that stuff, we’ve got to go back and work on. As far as I’m concerned, we made the improvements we needed to make.”
Next game: vs. Louisiana, 8:30 p.m. MT Saturday, CBS Sports Network
Notable: LT Rees Odhiambo and CB/KR Bryan Douglas could return after missing last week’s game. CB Kevin Person, a late addition to the 2014 recruiting class, is no longer with the program because of an issue with his test scores. WR Matt Miller has three touchdown catches and a TD pass in the past two games. Boise State had 38 points and 292 yards against UConn. The Broncos had 37 points and 676 yards against Colorado State.
— Chadd Cripe, Idaho Statesman
Colorado State couldn’t have asked for a better performance going into a bye week.
The Rams (2-1, 0-1 Mountain West) fired on all cylinders Saturday in a 49-21 win over UC Davis and feel pretty good about what they might be able to accomplish for the remainder of the season.
CSU doesn’t play again until Sept. 27 at Boston College (2-1).
Quarterback Garrett Grayson threw for three touchdowns in the first quarter and finished with 425 passing yards and four touchdowns while completing 22 of 31 passes. Backup Nick Stevens, a redshirt freshman, saw his first action in the fourth quarter, going 3 for 3 for 27 yards as the Rams set a school record with 452 passing yards in the game.
“It’s huge for us to come out and execute the way we did,” Grayson said. “ It’s a good thing to go into a bye week with a win. Our heads are up high.”
The Rams added another 224 yards on the ground while giving all three of their top running backs chances to show what they can do. Junior college transfer Treyous Jarrells ran for 84 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries, converted safety Jasen Oden added 68 yards and two touchdowns on six carries and Alabama transfer Dee Hart picked up 38 yards on eight carries and also caught three passes out of the backfield for another 34 yards.
The Rams finished with 676 yards of total offense — the second-highest total in school history behind only a 693-yard effort in 1996 against Tennessee-Chattanooga.
The defense, which had given up 676 yards a week earlier in a 37-24 loss at Boise State, was solid, too, limiting UC Davis to 74 rushing yards in the first three quarters. Two late touchdown drives against CSU reserves allowed the Aggies to get to 347 total yards.
“The way we won, that’ll be a good feeling going into a bye week,” coach Jim McElwain said.
McElwain planned to hold just three practices this week to help players recover from injuries and rest up for the remainder of the season. The Rams, he said, would work mostly against themselves this week and begin preparations for the Boston College game next Monday.
Next game: at Boston College, Sept. 27
Notable: McElwain underwent a minor medical procedure Monday to relieve hip pain that has been bothering him since the start of fall camp. Tackle Ty Sambrailo, who injured a knee in the season opener, will start practicing again some this week, offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin said, and could be back in the lineup at Boston College. The Rams also hope to get injured TE Kivon Cartwright (ankle) and LB Kevin Davis (shoulder) back for that game. This is the first of two bye weeks this season for CSU, which has another between home games Nov. 8 against Hawaii and Nov. 22 against New Mexico.
— Kelly Lyell, Fort Collins Coloradoan
It has been only three years since the New Mexico Lobos last lost to downstate rival New Mexico State.
Yet, turnover, attrition, etc., within the UNM program has been so extreme that only six current Lobos played in that game — a 42-28 NMSU victory in Albuquerque.
Coach Bob Davie wasn't around at the time. But, almost from the day he arrived on UNM's South Campus to take over a drowning program, he has made beating the Aggies a priority. So far, he's 2-0 in the series.
"A rivalry game is those people sitting in those offices (around the state) that are pretty much divided at the workplace," Davie said. "Those teachers in the faculty room at lunch ... pretty much divided, where it's New Mexico-New Mexico State, and I think that's what makes this so intriguing."
Adding to the intrigue for the Lobos is their thirst for a victory of any kind, against anyone. New Mexico is 0-2 this season, riding a five-game losing streak dating to last season, and has dropped eight of its last nine.
New Mexico State is an unaccustomed 2-1, though the Aggies' victories have come against suspect opposition in the form of FCS school Cal Poly and FBS newbie Georgia State.Davie has taken pains to indoctrinate his mostly out-of-state roster on the importance of the annual game against NMSU.
"I feel like (the Aggies) are our little brothers," said senior defensive end Brett Bowers, who hails from California. "You don't want to get beat by your little brother. They kind of look at us the same way."
Coming off a bye week, the Lobos are rested and relatively healthy.
"Hopefully, it's a new start for us," Davie said.
Next game: at New Mexico State, 6 p.m. Saturday, ESPN3
Notable: The UNM-NMSU game will not be telecast locally on AggieVision, as was previously announced, and will be available only via digital streaming on ESPN3. ... Davie would not commit to the return of starting quarterback Cole Gautsche, who missed the Arizona State game with a strained hamstring, but said Gautsche is making progress. Slot receiver Carlos Wiggins (deep thigh bruise), cornerback Cranston Jones (dislocated elbow) and linebacker Kimmie Carson (blow to the head) are expected to play.
— Rick Wright, Albuquerque Journal
The Utah State Aggies are Darell Garretson’s team again, at least for a week anyway.
Garretson, the sophomore quarterback who became the starter last season when Chuckie Keeton suffered a season-ending knee injury, will start Saturday when the Aggies play at Arkansas State.
Keeton’s left knee is banged up to the point he can’t play, but he isn’t out for the season, Utah State coach Matt Wells said.
“We’ll re-evaluate him before the BYU week,” Wells said.
The Aggies are off next week and play at BYU on Oct. 3.
Against Wake Forest on Saturday, Keeton was 20 of 27 for 166 yards passing and a touchdown in the first half with one interception that was returned for a touchdown.
As he has in recent games, Keeton got up from several plays favoring his left leg.
Keeton finished the half then came out of the locker room at halftime out of uniform and on crutches.
In his place, Garretson finished 11 of 16 for 121 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Keeton’s injury is bad enough that Wells said there was no debate whether to try to use him this week.
“He can’t go,” he said.
The good news is the Aggies have a proven backup in Garretson, who went 6-1 as a starter last season after Keeton suffered his season-ending knee injury against BYU on Oct. 4.He finished 126 of 209 for 1,446 yards and 10 touchdowns with seven interceptions.
Wells said using Garretson this season is different than last because the Aggies know what he can do and he is more confident. That familiarity can let the Aggies do some different things with him than they did a year ago.
“He has more confidence in himself, the players have more confidence in him and I know how to game plan for him better,” Wells said. “He was a bit of a wild card last year.”
The Aggies were hoping to redshirt Garretson this season but were giving him time with the starters just in case he had to reprise his role of a year ago.
Next game: at Arkansas St., 5 p.m. MT Saturday, ESPN3
Notable: The Aggies expect to use receiver JoJo Natson more in the run game after it has proven a successful tactic. He leads the team in rushing with 11 carries for 125 yards. The Aggies last played Arkansas State in 2004, a 16-7 Arkansas State win. Utah State’s defense has forced seven turnovers in the last two games. Wake Forest was held to minus-25 yards rushing on 24 carries Saturday, the Aggies’ fourth-best rushing defensive performance in school history.
— Lya Wodraska, Salt Lake Tribune
First-year coach Craig Bohl said there were some things his team did well in its 48-14 loss at No. 2 Oregon last Saturday.
Wyoming went on an 11-play, 98-yard drive, capped by an 18-yard touchdown pass that gave it a 7-0 lead after the first quarter.
Junior running back Shaun Wick had 122 yards, and sophomore D.J. May added 42 on eight carries. Senior quarterback Colby Kirkegaard was 19 of 33 for a career-high 284 yards and two touchdowns.
The Cowboys had a season-high 439 yards of total offense.
However, Kirkegaard threw two interceptions and lost a fumble.
And, aside from a fourth-down stop on Oregon's first possession of the game at the Wyoming 2-yard line, the Cowboys didn't stop the Ducks. Oregon scored touchdowns on six straight possessions between the second and third quarters. Wyoming forced just one punt, generated zero turnovers and allowed 556 yards of total offense.
“We've got a 2-1 football team grinding like heck to become 3-1,” Bohl said.
To get to 3-1, Wyoming must defeat Florida Atlantic (1-2) at home Saturday, and the Cowboys may have to do that without their top two players at right guard. Junior Jake Jones underwent appendicitis surgery last Thursday and didn't make the trip to Oregon. Sophomore Sam Hardy sprained an ankle early against Oregon and didn't return. Both are day to day.
Wyoming had no answer for Oregon junior quarterback Marcus Mariota, who threw for 221 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 71 yards and two scores. It faces another dual-threat quarterback this week in Florida Atlantic junior quarterback Jaquez Johnson, who threw for 318 yards and three touchdowns in three quarters in the Owls' 50-21 home-opening win over Tulsa last Saturday.
"He's a dual threat, and I think he throws the ball deep very well," Bohl said.
Next game: vs. Florida Atlantic, 2 p.m. MT Saturday, MW Network (online)
Notable: The Oregon loss snapped a 26-game winning streak for Bohl going back to 2012 loss at North Dakota State. ... Saturday's game concludes a home-and-home series between the two schools. Wyoming won at Florida Atlantic 30-28 in 2009. ... This will be the Cowboys' third home game, and last until Oct. 18. ... Senior wide receiver Dominic Rufran has caught at least one pass in 40 consecutive games, which is the second-longest active streak in the country behind Boise State's Matt Miller (42). ... The Cowboys had a season-high five penalties for 58 yards against Oregon, but are tied for third nationally for the fewest penalties per game (2.67) and fifth in fewest penalty yards per contest (22.33).
— Robert Gagliardi, Wyoming Tribune Eagle
Fresno State gave up another 500-plus yards and 50-plus points in a loss to Nebraska, falling to 0-3, and the way the Bulldogs did it looked very similar to last season when beset by the big play. But after rough losses at USC and at Utah that might actually hint at some progress.
Against Nebraska, the Bulldogs won some one-on-one matchups and made some plays, and a big chunk of the 527 yards that Fresno State allowed were the result of busted coverages and assignment mistakes.
Nebraska had eight explosive plays of 20 or more yards, racking up 325 yards and five of its six offensive touchdowns on those plays. On their other 58 plays, the Cornhuskers gained 202 yards or 3.5 per play.
On almost 90% of the plays it defended, the Bulldogs played strong defense.
It's just that defensive coordinator Nick Toth is more than ready to move on from that subject.
"Here's the thing, I'm tired of talking about 90 percent. I'm angry at ourselves for having that still being the issue," he said. "Whether it's me making a better call or guys doing what we're supposed to do, it's time to quit talking about it. It's time to do it. I think we've got the guys where we need to have them personnel-wise, we've taken those three preseason games or big games and we've worked our butts off to see what we need to get better at and we know. Now we have to do it.
"There's no more talk. Our players know it. We have to show that we're going to do it. We did a little better job doing it Monday through Friday last week and we played a little better. We have to do it again and know that nobody is going to hand us anything. But I'm tired of talking about it. We're tired of talking about it. There comes a time when reasons become excuses and I'm tired of taking about the reasons. I don't want it to be an excuse anymore. I want to do it."
Last season, 48 percent of the total offense that the Bulldogs allowed came on just 75 of the 992 plays from scrimmage that they defended. The rest of their plays, they were much better.That wasn't necessarily the case in the losses at USC and Utah, but it was against Nebraska. The Bulldogs had only three tackles for loss, but on 28 of the 42 rushing plays (66.7 percent) they held the Cornhuskers to three yards or less and on 15 of those plays (35.7 percent) they held them to two yards or less.
"We had some things that were plusses, we really did, but we have to win the game," Toth said. "Having plusses and making progress isn't what this is about. It's about playing good defense and I'm tired of talking about being poor. It's not a group that should be poor. We should be better than that."
Next game: vs. Southern Utah, 8 p.m. MT Saturday, MW Network (online)
Notable: The Bulldogs took another hit at running back, losing senior Malique Micenheimer in the Nebraska game to a shoulder injury. He is expected to miss at least one month, and Fresno State could apply for a medical hardship waiver to get the year back. Micenheimer has not redshirted. The Bulldogs already were down redshirt freshman Dontel James (lower leg) for four to six weeks and freshman Kurt Scoby (concussion) indefinitely. ... The 0-3 start is the first for Fresno State since 1998. ... The Bulldogs still are hoping to have a starting quarterback by the time they open conference play on Sept. 26 at New Mexico, but are running out of time. Brandon Connette, the graduate-transfer from Duke, was held out of the loss to Nebraska because a right hand injury prevented him from getting enough team reps during the week. Junior Brian Burrell started a third game in a row, completing 30 of 59 passes for 241 yards and one touchdown. He also ran 66 yards for a score. Both are expected in practice this week and to play on Saturday against Southern Utah. ... The Thunderbirds will be the 10th championship subdivision team Fresno State has played since 2000. The Bulldogs have won the nine previous games by an average of 25 points. ... With the loss to Nebraska, Fresno State has now allowed 10 or more points in eight consecutive quarters and 11 of 12 this season. The Cornhuskers put up 14, 13, 14 and 14.
— Robert Kuwada, The Fresno Bee
The Rainbow Warriors wasted little time celebrating their 27-24 victory over Northern Iowa, their first triumph after opening the season with one-possession losses to Washington and Oregon State.
The Warriors continue their Pac-12 schedule with this week's road game against Colorado. In all, the Warriors will have played five non-conference opponents in six weeks before the MWC opener against Wyoming on Oct. 11.
Against UNI, the Warriors played without these starters: Running back Joey Iosefa (ankle), tight end Jordan Pu‘u-Robinson (ankle), center Kody Afusia (hand), defensive tackle Marcus Malepeai (leg), linebacker Jerrol Garcia-Williams (knee), nickel-corner Nick Nelson (leg) and safety Trayvon Henderson (leg). Steven Lakalaka, a sophomore, filled in for Iosefa, rushing 32 times for 124 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown.
In the third quarter, Ikaika Woolsey, who started the first three games, was pulled after misfiring on some throws. Jeremy Higgins, a fifth-year senior, made his 2014 debut, completing 3 of 6 passes for 37 yards. Head coach Norm Chow said there is no quarterback controversy. Woolsey will start against Colorado.
The Warriors also might experiment with the depth at running back. One of the considerations is moving slotback/returner Keelan Ewaliko to running back. Backups Diocemy Saint Juste and Dominique Small have been "chipped up," according to Chow.
Next game: vs. Colorado, noon MT Saturday, Pac-12 Networks
Notable: Scott Harding, who was named Mountain West player of the week for special teams, punted 11 times against UNI. Seven of the punts were placed inside the 20. Three were returned, with one resulting in a lost fumble, the second turnover caused by a Harding punt this season. Harding was used as a punt returner (seven for 76 yards), slotback (a 52-yard catch), and hands-team member (he recovered an onside kick). With inside linebacker Tevita Lataimua's status uncertain, freshman Malachi Mageo moves into the rotation. Saturday's game will start at 8 a.m. Hawaii time. The Warriors’ practices usually start at 7 a.m.
— Stephen Tsai, Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Wolf Pack coach Brian Polian spent a good part of his weekly luncheon Monday playing a one-man version of good cop, bad cop.
He told a crowd of about 75 how much mistakes hurt his team in a 35-28 loss at Arizona on Saturday night, pointing out the 15 missed gap assignments by the defense and the eight penalties, three of which led to Arizona first downs. Two other penalties put the Nevada offense in big holes.
“We were not critically efficient, and that, ladies and gentlemen, is the next step in the process,” he said. “We’ve become more accountable. We’ve gotten bigger and stronger physically. We’ve got guys making plays. We’ve recruited better. All those things have gotten better. But we are not critically efficient right now. We are not making plays when we need to make them in the game. We are not yet focused on every little detail, and the little details are what enable a Mountain West school like Nevada to go beat an Arizona. We cannot be right 75 percent of the time. We’ve got to be right all the time.”
Polian said he was proud of how his team fought and said there was no issue with effort.
“The little details are what got us in this game,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, they’ve got really good players. In my opinion, though, we didn’t make them earn it. ...
“The encouraging thing is, if we will compete and fight through adversity and throw ourselves around physically the way we did Saturday night, then we’ll win a lot of games. I’m convinced of that. We just need to tighten down on the details.”
Next game: at San Jose State, Sept. 27
Notable: The Wolf Pack played without four starters Saturday. Guard Jeremy Macauley was lost for the season with a knee injury during practice last week. Safety Duran Workman (knee) was not ready to return. Cornerback Evan Favors was excused because of a death in the family. And defensive tackle Rykeem Yates was suspended for violating a team rule. Polian said he’s not ready to say Yates will be back for the SJSU game. QB Cody Fajardo was named the MW Offensive Player of the Week, his third such honor (two with the MW). It was Nevada’s first POW honor this season.
— Dan Hinxman, Reno Gazette-Journal
SAN DIEGO STATE
In September of last year, San Diego State quarterback Quinn Kaehler made his first start for the Aztecs and had a chance to guide a home win over Oregon State, but threw two interceptions late in a 34-30 loss.
In some ways, it was a performance similar to that of Kaehler’s effort on Sept. 6 at then-No. 17 North Carolina, where the Aztecs’ upset bid was dashed when the quarterback threw his third interception of the game at the Tar Heels’ goal line in the waning seconds for a 31-27 defeat.
Coming off a bye and facing Oregon State (2-0) this week, this time in Corvallis, can Kaehler overcome his struggles, as he did a year ago, when he recovered to lead SDSU to seven wins in its last nine games?
“It’s really hard, and I wish we would have won (at North Carolina),” Kaehler said. “But I’m going to take what I can from this and become a better player for the rest of the season.”
On the long flight home from North Carolina, while most of his teammates slept, Kaehler studied every offensive play, the good and bad. He threw for 341 yards and a touchdown, the offense rolled to 509 yards and the Aztecs dominated the time of possession, holding the ball for more than 37 minutes.
They likely would hope to do the same against the Beavers and their star quarterback, Sean Mannion, who threw 37 touchdowns last year and has four in two games this season.In last year’s meeting, the Aztecs’ 3-3-5 defense kept Mannion in check for much of the game until he rallied the Beavers, who scored 20 points in the fourth quarter to win 34-30.
Next game: at Oregon State, 6:30 p.m. MT Saturday, Fox Sports 1
Notable: Senior Sam Meredith has been promoted to starting defensive tackle. Meredith has had to overcome the loss of his father, who died during the Aztecs’ fall camp after undergoing a heart procedure. USC transfer defensive tackle Christian Heyward has been cleared to begin playing and will serve as a backup. Heyward has been rehabbing a knee injury he suffered while playing pickup basketball over the summer. The lone Aztecs injury of note in the first two games was the broken collarbone suffered by senior Ezell Ruffin. Larry Clark will be Ruffin’s replacement. “He’s talented and athletic, but he’s a long way from replacing Ezell,” Aztecs coach Rocky Long said. San Diego State and Oregon State are meeting for the fifth time with the series tied at two wins apiece. The Aztecs are visiting Corvallis for the first time since 2000 (a 35-3 defeat). The Aztecs are 5-2 in their last seven road or neutral games dating back to last season.
— Tod Leonard, San Diego Union-Tribune
SAN JOSE STATE
San Jose State should have its full compliment of offensive weapons for the first time all season when it faces Minnesota on Saturday.
The Spartans played their first two games without 2013 leading rusher Jarrod Lawson after he was suspended for a violation of team rules.
“We’re really encouraged and excited to have Jarrod Lawson back joining the team,” San Jose State coach Ron Caragher said. “He’s had a good couple days of practice.”Two different backs started in Lawson’s place while he was out.
Thomas Tucker, who was expected to be a co-starter alongside Lawson this season, started the opener against North Dakota, but he suffered an ankle injury while making a catch along the sidelines. He missed the Sept. 6 game at Auburn.
That led to redshirt freshman Brandon Monroe’s first career start and he shared time against Auburn with true freshman Limihai Hifo.
The running game has generated little so far, averaging just 2.5 yards per carry. The struggles were understandable against Auburn, but the Spartans gained just 65 yards on 45 carries. Those numbers were bogged down by four sacks that lost 36 yards, a bad shotgun snap to lose seven and a dropped snap by punter Michael Carrizosa that cost them 17 yards.
Lawson should help boost that. The Spartans averaged 4.0 yards per carry in the eight games after he became the team’s primary rusher last year, compared to 3.1 in the four games prior.
Also back at full strength is wide receiver Jabari Carr, who made his season debut late in the Auburn game. He missed the opener with a groin injury and was relegated to late-game mop-up duty against Auburn, but proved he’s ready to contribute.
A former starter on the 2012 team, he’s just 39 catches away from moving into third on SJSU’s career receptions list.
“It’s very good any time we can get a veteran back,” Caragher said. “To get a veteran receiver whose made some big plays in his career at San Jose State, (I’m) really encouraged because he did have a challenging fall camp. I think Jabari’s back. He’s fully healthy.”
Next game: at Minnesota, 2 p.m. MT Saturday, Big Ten Network
Notable: Quarterback Blake Jurich’s bruised forearm that he suffered against Auburn is a non-issue and he fully participated in all practices during the bye week and should be 100 percent against Minnesota. The Spartans are looking for their first win over a Big Ten team since 2002 when Nick Gilliam kicked a 37-yard field goal as time expired to beat then-defending conference champion Illinois in 2002. That Fighting Illini team was coached by former SJSU coach Ron Turner.
— Jimmy Durkin, San Jose Mercury News
UNLV heads to Houston this Saturday, and one of the Rebels' prized recruits could have been playing for the other side if circumstances had been different.
Senior Devante Davis, the Mountain West's best wide receiver, wanted to play for his hometown Cougars, but they weren't interested in him.
Houston wasn't alone because other football teams also weren't hot on the recruiting trail for him. Davis was a big-time track athlete who at one point committed to Texas A&M, but he wanted to play football, and UNLV was his best opportunity.
"I've always got a chip on my shoulder no matter who we're playing," Davis said. "So against Houston, I guess it does build a little bit because I really tried to get into there, and they didn't have anything for me or they couldn't do it. But I'm very happy where I'm at, so that doesn't play a big role for me."
He comes off a big game, having caught six passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's 48-34 loss to Northern Illinois.
But Davis wasn't happy about a tipped pass late in the game that turned into an interception as the Rebels were trying to tie the game.
"I'm probably one of the biggest critics on myself, so I didn't feel I played that well just watching the tape," Davis said. "It felt good doing something to help the team come back into the game and try to win it, but ultimately I still think about the interception in the corner of the end zone. I felt I should've made that play to win the game."
Maybe he will make such a play at Houston.
He visited home during the offseason and spent time with his best friend and Houston linebacker Derrick Mathews. They went to campus to see the new TDECU Stadium, which was still under construction, and hung out with some other Houston players as well.
Now Davis wants to beat those players, and he will have plenty of support in the crowd.
"It will definitely be a home game," Davis said. "It'll be screaming for both sides. It won't be one-sided in the stands because about 50 people are asking for tickets. I couldn't get more than that, but more people will be there. I'm excited to go play in front of my family and friends."
Next game: at Houston, 6 p.m. MT Saturday, ESPN3
Notable: Blake Decker passed for 397 yards against Northern Illinois, the highest total for a UNLV quarterback since 1997 when Jon Dentonhad 401 against San Jose State. ... UNLV recorded a safety on a chop block in the end zone against the Huskies. It was the first safety for the Rebels since 2003 against Wyoming. ... Two players who hadn't seen action this season made it onto the field against Northern Illinois. Shaquille Murray-Lawrence started at running back and rushed for 60 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. Guard Ron Scoggins, a starter the past two seasons, came in as a reserve when Eric Noone got hurt. Scoggins hadn't played because he didn't go through summer conditioning and was behind his teammates. ... Playing at Houston is the first of three consecutive road games. The last time UNLV played three consecutive road games in a season was in 2005, and the Rebels lost all three. The last time they played at least three away games ina row was at the end of the 2010 season and beginning of 2011. UNLV went 0-4 in that stretch. ... Ten Rebels went to Texas high schools, including four in the Houston area. ... The Rebels are 0-7 against schools currently in the American Athletic Conference.— Mark Anderson, Las Vegas Review-Journal