UNLV Football, Signs of Hope

A 7 point victory over a team that won only one game last year, and is ranked in the bottom ten by ESPN.com doesn’t look that good on paper. In fact, only covering the spread by half a point when the other team had 4 fumbles doesn’t sound that great either. Beating the Aggies, and then explaining that they don’t play in Texas, also not great. But for those of us watching UNLV like a spouse watching their significant other on life support, this was the equivalent to the lifeless body squeezing our hand. We have now a glimmer of hope.

An offensive sequence in the fourth quarter perfectly showed why this team is different than the past two. With a first down inside their own 40 UNLV Quarterback Travis Dixon caught star receiver Ryan Wolfe on a crossing pattern, which Wolfe turned upfield and outran the entire Utah State defense for a touchdown. Holding my joy I waited, and then I heard the radio announcer say what I was expecting, “But wait, there is a flag near the 28 yard line… UNLV called for a block in the back,” and I waited to hear more, “and the four wasn’t anywhere near the play.” Surprised? Not at all, this is UNLV football.

When plays like this have happened the last few years the offensive would have cowered, and ended up punting. But on the very next play Dixon connected with a receiver for a long pass putting us inside the Utah State 20. And on the very next play Dixon ran it in for a touchdown.

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But wait, there’s more.

With the score tied at 16 and less than five minutes to play the UNLV defense held the Aggies to a defensive 3 and out, and we got the ball back around mid-field. Normally, a UNLV team would try and pound the ball into field goal range while burning clock. This year, pass after pass, getting us to the 11 yard line with 1:02 on the clock. That was when UNLV brought in the tank, Frank Summers. On the handoff Summers flattened the first Aggie that came at him, cut outside, and even bowled over his own team mate to put the rock in the end zone.

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Final Score: UNLV 23, Nip High Football 16.

Now I don’t care that it was Utah State that we beat. I don’t care that we couldn’t find the end zone until the fourth quarter. I don’t care that next week Wisconsin will make us look like a JV team. For the first time in years I saw a UNLV football team that had heart, that showed character, that found a way to win.

Now remind me of this when we are 2-10.

Matt

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Now playing: Jars Of Clay – Dead Man (Carry Me)
via FoxyTunes .

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4 Responses

  1. I hope they make us look like a JV team. I was thinking Freshman B squad, but here’s to hoping…

  2. Must be tiring jumping on and off the bandwagon. Either your a UNLV fan or not….Give them a chance to build the program

  3. Bigart,

    Since when does having no hope for a team to do well not make you a fan? According to your logic the Boston Red Socks had zero fans until 2004, and the Cubs currently don’t have any as well. And since in this, and the previous article I referred to myself as a “spouse” to the team, I don’t think most people would consider that a person jumping on and off the bandwagon. Would you not accuse the University of an even bigger “bandwagon” sin by public wondering whether they should keep the football program last year?

    For the record, I am a huge UNLV fan, and I don’t think we are going to win more than 3 games this year. A pessimistic fan is still a fan.

    Now as far as building up the program: we’ve been hearing that BS for 20 years. Don’t give me that, “build up the program argument” when a coach is in his third year. Everybody who knows anything about college sports knows the third year is the judgment year for new coaches. They have had two years to bring in their recruits, get rid of old players that don’t fit there system, and implement their system. THE THIRD YEAR IS THE YEAR WHEN YOU DETERMINE IF THE REBUILD HAS BEEN WORKING. And when hopes are as bleak as they are for UNLV this third year of Sanford’s reign, you have very pessimistic fans.

    Rant off.

  4. I have hope.

    Especially after last night.

    Check the blog.

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