The Herald of Everett, Washington
Customer service  |  Subscribe   |   Log in or sign up   |   Advertising information   |   Contact us
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up  Green editions icon Green editions

Cougars not taking struggling UNLV struggling lightly

SHARE: facebook Twitter icon Linkedin icon Google+ icon Email icon |  PRINTER-FRIENDLY  |  COMMENTS
By Christian Caple
The Spokesman-Review
LAS VEGAS -- Mike Leach has most certainly told his team that it doesn't matter anymore, but Washington State's opponent here today provided the opportunity for one of WSU's highest points of the otherwise forgettable 2011 season.
UNLV came to Pullman as a 14-point underdog a year ago and left a 59-7 loser, the victim of a beating by WSU that, coupled with the previous week's 64-21 win over Idaho State, gave the Cougars their most points in the first two games of a season since 1907.
So dominant was WSU that day in every phase of the game that Rebels coach Bobby Hauck remarked afterward: "Frankly, we're kind of where they were two years ago," referring to WSU's 1-11 season in 2009.
Not much has changed for the Rebels since, though they've at least been competitive in their two losses to begin 2012. The first was a triple-overtime setback at home against Minnesota. The second was harder to swallow, a 17-14 loss to Northern Arizona of the Big Sky, a game UNLV led 14-0 in the first quarter.
WSU coach Mike Leach doesn't focus on his opponent's struggles. He'll likely be starting a new quarterback this week, as Connor Halliday has taken all of the No. 1 reps in practice with Jeff Tuel sidelined by an apparent right knee injury.
"UNLV's a different team and is a much improved team (from last year)," Leach said. "They're disappointed with their results, but they've got some weapons out there that are getting ready to uncork and we do too."
One weapon the Rebels have uncorked is junior running back Tim Cornett. He's been the lone bright spot for UNLV so far, ranking 10th in the nation in yards per game with an average of 134 on 50 total carries.
He was also the lone bright spot in last year's game against WSU, returning a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown to account for the Rebels' only points.
WSU defensive coordinator Mike Breske described UNLV's offensive style as "very conservative. Big, physical offensive line, talented running back, quarterback that manages the game very well.
"They don't turn the ball over. They haven't scored a lot of points. (We) don't want that trend to start. Got to be very, very physical against this offensive line, make sure our run fits are great and watch out for the play-action pass."
UNLV starts a redshirt freshman, Nick Sherry, at quarterback. He's 32-for-64 for 355 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. The Rebels have rushed the ball 84 times this season.
"They've got some speed in certain spots, kind of big, thick people," Leach said. "They're playing together a lot better than they have in the past."
Story tags » Cougars Football

More Sports Headlines


Sports headlines

Top sports stories delivered daily


Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus