REBELS SET TO FACE FIFTH, MAYBE SIXTH, BACKUP QB
UNLV has faced a remarkably high number of backup quarterbacks this season, and the Rebels have gone 0-4 against those QBs.
Now the Rebels (1-8, 1-3 Mountain West Conference) could face two New Mexico reserve quarterbacks when the Lobos (4-5, 1-3) visit Sam Boyd Stadium at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Lobos coach Bob Davie said Tuesday he expected No. 2 quarterback Cole Gautsche to play. The freshman hurt his neck in Saturday's 49-32 loss to Fresno State.
Sophomore Quinton McCown also could take the field.
"We at least have two scholarship quarterbacks," Davie said. "We finished the last two weeks with one scholarship quarterback."
UNLV is preparing for all circumstances, even for wide receiver Lamaar Thomas and running back Kasey Carrier to run the wildcat.
"You have to have two kinda different game plans," Rebels coach Bobby Hauck said.
One thing for certain is the starter, senior B.R. Holbrook, will not play. He is out with a separated shoulder.
TALK OF THE LEAGUE
Not long ago, the idea of a one-loss team from outside the six elite conferences making a Bowl Championship Series game would have been as unthinkable as Dodgers fans celebrating the Giants' World Series title.
Times apparently have changed - though maybe not with the Dodgers and Giants - as Boise State has the opportunity to become the first team to pull off that feat.
The Broncos, whose only loss was at Michigan State, are 19th in the BCS standings. They need to rise to 12th to guarantee access but probably will make it by finishing in the top 16.
If Boise State makes the top 16 and is ranked ahead of a champion from one of the big six leagues, which is possible, the Broncos are in.
Coach Chris Petersen predictably downplayed any BCS expectations.
"I'm not even sure what we're ranked," he said. "It just really doesn't matter at this time. I don't get caught up in that. We don't have any discussions about that as a staff, and we don't talk to our kids about it. We just talk about playing hard and getting better."
If Boise State makes a BCS game, that would be bad news for the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas, which could use a marquee team on the Mountain West side. If the Broncos aren't available, Fresno State appears to be the top target against a wide-open field of Pac-12 opponents.
AROUND THE MWC
San Diego State coach Rocky Long, who doesn't have any problem expressing his thoughts, said last year Boise State had an unfair advantage when it wore all-blue uniforms on its blue turf. Long wasn't alone in that assessment, and the Broncos aren't allowed to wear all blue when playing home conference games. But Long, after taking his team to a high school to practice on a blue field, changed his mind. "After we practiced on it a bit, I don't think it makes a darn bit of difference either way," he said. ... Wyoming coach Dave Christensen is back at work after serving a weeklong suspension for berating Air Force coach Troy Calhoun after a game. The Cowboys are preparing to playing archrival Colorado State. Christensen said his players are "fully supportive. We're moving forward, and there's a lot of excitement around the program for this week's game." ... Fresno State rallied from a 21-0 deficit to beat New Mexico. "We've got a bunch of kids who didn't point fingers," Bulldogs coach Tim DeRuyter said.
UNLV INJURY REPORT
POS., PLAYER AREA STATUS
DL Alvin Amilcar Undisclosed Out
OL Patrick Carroll Back Out
DL David Green Undisclosed Out
OL Jason Koontz Back Out
OL Alex Novosel Back Out
DB John Therrell Arm Out
DB Peni Vea Arm Out
DL James Boyd Leg Doubtful
OL Brett Boyko Leg Doubtful
OL Doug Zismann Undisclosed Doubtful
TE Taylor Barnhill Arm Questionable
OL Yusef Rodgers Leg Questionable
WR Marcus Sullivan Leg Questionable
DB David Greene Arm Probable
DB Sidney Hodge Leg Probable
DL Parker Holloway Arm Probable
OL Cameron Jefferson Leg Probable
LB John Lotulelei Leg Probable
RB Bradley Randle Leg Probable
DB Fred Wilson Arm Probable