Another victory over the Pac-10


Utah struggled with Oregon State for most of Thursday night's meeting, but the Utes kicked a field goal as time expired to escape with a 31-28 victory.

It was yet another win over a Bowl Championship Series-conference opponent for the Mountain West Conference.
That makes the score Mountain West 6, Pacific-10 1.

In seven meetings this season, the MWC has pulled off six victories over the only Pacific time zone conference to receive an automatic bid to the Bowl Championship Series.

Just something to think about.

Could this be the one?

UNLV's past struggles have been well documented.

This season's early success has brought an end to several long-standing runs of futility, but a few still remain in the Rebels' path.
Perhaps the most important is the fact that UNLV has not won a conference road game since beating Brigham Young in Provo in 2004. The streak spans 16 games.

However, UNLV is just a 2-point underdog in Saturday's game at Colorado State and appears to have a legitmate chance to win.
The Rams have won five in a row in the series and 11 of the past 12, but the Rebels are 4-5 in Fort Collins. All of UNLV's wins in the series against Colorado State have come on the road.

While the Rams have dominated the series in recent meetings, the games have mostly been close. Five of the last nine contests have been decided by four points or fewer.

Red-Hot

One significant improvement in the UNLV football team this season has been the success the team has enjoyed in the red zone.
The Rebels have come away with points all 15 times they have crossed the opponent's 20-yard line this season.

UNLV has scored touchdowns on 12 of those possessions, settling for just three field goals.

Last year, UNLV failed to score any points on 11 of 37 trips inside the red zone. Only 15 of those possessions resulted in touchdowns.


Quick Starters

UNLV has been very good early in games this season.

The Rebels have outscored opponents 45-10 in the first quarter. It doesn't take opponents very long to turn things around, however.
UNLV has been outscored in each of the other three quarters, including a miserable 52-21 tally in the third quarter.

Third-quarter performance is traditionally viewed as a fairly good indicator of a coach's aptitude, and if that's the case, it doesn't say much for the performance of Mike Sanford's staff.

Obviously, things are different if teams have huge leads at the break and let up in the third quarter, but that's not the case here.