UNLV is having its best football season in 13 years, but the Rebels don’t have much to show for it in All-Mountain West honors.
No Rebels were voted to the first team, which was released Tuesday, and Bobby Hauck was passed over for Coach of the Year despite turning around what has been one of the nation’s worst programs.
After three consecutive two-victory seasons, the Rebels are 7-5 this year and have earned a berth in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on Jan. 1 against North Texas. UNLV hasn’t won this many games since going 8-5 and winning the Las Vegas Bowl in 2000.
Utah State’s Matt Wells received top-coach honor after leading the Aggies to the Mountain West championship game despite losing star quarterback Chuckie Keeton to a knee injury during the season.
Three UNLV players made second team: senior running back Tim Cornett, junior wide receiver Devante Davis and junior offensive lineman Brett Boyko. No defensive players were selected to that team.
Cornett has rushed for 1,251 yards and 15 touchdowns. He is the first UNLV running back to make first- or second-team all-conference since Dominique Dorsey in 2004.
Davis has 77 receptions for 1,194 and a school-record 14 touchdowns. His TD total is fourth nationally.
Boyko, who started all 12 games, has allowed just one sack. He is the Rebels’ first offensive lineman to make first or second team since Joe Critchfield in 2004.
Making honorable mention from UNLV were junior offensive linemen Cameron Jefferson and Robert Waterman, senior defensive lineman Mark Garrick, senior linebacker Tani Maka, senior defensive back Frank Crawford, sophomore DB Peni Vea, and junior return specialist Marcus Sullivan.
Fresno State senior quarterback Derek Carr was named Offensive Player of the Year for the second season in a row. He joined Colorado State QB Bradlee Van Pelt in 2002 and 2003 and Texas Christian quarterback Andy Dalton in 2009 and 2010 as the only players to win in consecutive seasons. Carr leads the nation with 4,866 yards and 48 touchdowns passing.
Colorado State senior linebacker Shaquil Barrett was chosen the league’s top defensive player. He leads the conference with 20½ tackles for loss and 12 sacks, which is fourth and third nationally, respectively. Barrett also has blocked three field goals and forced three fumbles.
New Mexico sophomore Carlos Wiggins, who returned three kickoffs for touchdowns, was selected Special Teams Player of the Year. He averaged 29.6 yards per return, tops in the Mountain West and fifth in the country.
Freshman of the Year went to San Jose State wide receiver Tyler Winston. He caught 58 passes for 858 yards and five touchdowns. His 85.8 receiving yards per game leads all freshmen nationally.
Contact reporter Mark Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2914. Follow him on Twitter: @markanderson65.