CAMPING WITH THE REBELS IN ELY: GOING LIVE
ELY — Being able to finally hit the quarterback got UNLV's defenders salivating, but Omar Clayton showed laying on a hand on him wouldn't be so easy.
He got free for a 40-yard touchdown run down the left sideline on his first run in that drill during Wednesday morning's practice.
"It's always fun the first time you get to go live," Clayton said. "I think the defensive guys like it more than anybody because they get to tired of hearing, 'The quarterback is not live in this drill.' So when they hear (the QB is live), they definitely get fired up. But we need contact before that first game."
Clayton ran just once more, gaining 4 yards before receiving a nice hit from linebacker Rusty Worthen, a Palo Verde High School graduate. Those were Clayton's only two runs while being "live." Backup Mike Clausen didn't run at all, but coach Mike Sanford said that wasn't by design.
Because Clausen didn't get a chance to run with the ball in such a situation, Sanford said the Rebels might make him "live" again.
"The purpose of it is just so they get hit live so they have to protect the football," Sanford said.
RUNNING FOR DAYLIGHT
The No. 2 tailback to starter Frank Summers hasn't been decided, but Channing Trotter probably made a strong case for himself. He showed amazing patience waiting for the blocking to clear a path for him, and then broke outside and had a clear path to a 38-yard touchdown run down the right sideline.
Trotter said the entire line set up the play, but remembers seeing guards Joe Hawley and Sifa Moala downfield. The blockers did such a good job, Trotter couldn't believe the opening he had to the end zone.
"I was actually shocked," Trotter said. "I thought I was out of bounds at first. I looked down the sideline, and I just took off to make sure I wouldn't go out of bounds."
Trotter wasn't the only one who shined. Linebacker Starr Fuimaono hit tailback C.J. Cox, forcing the ball to pop up and into the hands of cornerback Will Chandler for an interception. Later, Fuimaono nailed Cox again, tackling him for a 3-yard loss back to the 5.
Summers responded to a lost fumble with back-to-back 11-yard gains. Defensive tackle Martin Tevaseu forced and recovered the fumble.
Wide receiver Ryan Wolfe was the offensive recipient of the black jersey, and defensive tackle Jacob Hales won it for the defense. The black signifies they were their respective units' top practice players from the previous day. This was the first time this preseason camp Hales, a Las Vegas High grad, won the black, but he led the team in the spring by wearing it three times.