Monday, June 13, 2011

UNLV Rebels 2010 Review

UNLV Rebels
2010 Record: 2-11, (2-6), Tied 6th Mountain West
2010 Bowl Game: None

     Last season was actually progress. Take away the 11 losses in 13 games, and peel it back, and you could find some things to be ok about. Not happy, but ok. Bobby Hauck has a ton of work to do here, and the administration is committed to being patient with him. Hauck was wildly succesful at Montana, so the Las Vegas market should only be a matter of time, right?
     The offense was a mess. There are no two ways around that statement, as the Rebels only averaged 274.2 yards per game. UNLV only averaged 170.9 yards passing per game, and 103.3 yards rushing. That is not getting it done. The top of the heap of crap is the QB position, which needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. Omar Clayton was the default leader, but he never got it going, and he just seemed lost all season. Clayton passed for 1818 yards and 13 TDs with only 9 picks, but he just never seemed to be in sink. He only averaged 139.8 yards per game passing, which is just terrible. He also only completed 55.8% of his passes.
     The Rebels had virtually no rin game to speak of at all, as Tim Cornett, a freshman, led the team with only 546 yards rusing and 6 TDs. He only averaged 3.79 yards per carry, and averaged a mere 42 yards per game. That was stunning compared to the others, as nobody else averaged more than 18.15 yards per game.
     The Rebels also only had two receivers that caught at least 20 passes last fall. Phillip Payne posted 40-689-5, while Michael Johnson was the other after posting 51-571-5. Nobody else stepped up to the plate, and Hauck needs to find some productivity and depth here. The good news? Payne and Johnson both return and will give the Rebels some experience.
     The defense was an atroicity. UNLV gave up 450.5 yards per game, and they were equally bad against the pass (227.8) as they were against the run (222.7). Tacklers were few, as only three Rebels averaged more than 5 tackles per game last fall. Ronnie Paulo led the team with 85 tackles, Alex DeGiacomo finshed with 84, and Starr Fuimaono finshed with 81. Only Calvin Randleman (57) and BJ Bell (51) finished with more than 50 tackles to add onto the other group.
     The Rebels were terrible up front, as nobody had more than 5.5 TFLs on the season (Preston Brooks). UNLV only nailed 48 TFLs as a team, while the offense gave up 92. UNLV also only collected on 12 sacks all season long, with Brooks holding 3 of them. Pitiful.
     Looking for relief in the secondary? Don't bother. UNLV did not have any defenders that managed to defend at least 5 passes all last fall. DB Will Chandler did step up as a junior, however, and he led the team with 5 picks. He even took one to the house.
     Freshman Nolan Kohorst may be a star PK in the making. He had few opportunities last fall, but Kohorst nailed 8 of his 11 FG attempts, and only missed one PAT, hitting 29 of 30. That is a bright spot to build on with special teams. Brendon Lamers was horrible at punter as a senior last fall, having only averaged 37.79 yards per punt. Hard for me to say that he'll be missed. Marcus Sullivan got a ton of work in as a kick returner, and he was solid, averaging 28.12 yards per return. The good news? He was just a freshman and can get better. The punt return game was a virtual train wreck.
Final Notes
     There were some bright spots. Payn and Johnson are solid leaders in the receiving corps, and the Rebels will have a new young QB to work with in 2011. Special teams had some highs and lows, but youngsters like Kohorst and Sullivan leave room for optimism. Just look for progress. Look for the small things, for now.

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