Mountain West Report: Rebels ride momentum into bye week

rebels ride momentum into bye week

UNLV doesn’t need time off, but the Rebels have it forced upon them.

They have a bye this week after beating New Mexico 56-42 on Saturday, the Rebels’ first three-game winning streak in a decade. That victory also was UNLV’s first on the road after 23 successive losses.

Coach Bobby Hauck is trying not to concern himself with what appears to be an ill-placed bye, saying the team will use the time to improve fundamentally, get healthier and work on academics.

“You can’t worry about (the timing) so much just because you don’t have control over it,” Hauck said Tuesday. “The schedule comes out, and it is what it is. You make the most of it, and that’s what we’ll do.”

The Rebels also will spend extra time practicing for Hawaii, which visits Sam Boyd Stadium on Oct. 12.

Hawaii is 0-4, 0-2 in the Mountain West, but the Rainbow Warriors nearly pulled off the largest comeback in college football history. They scored 34 points in a row to rally from a 42-3 deficit with 6:15 left in the third quarter before falling 42-37 to Fresno State.

Hauck noted the Warriors present concerns, and UNLV knows too well from experience what it faces after losing 48-10 in Honolulu last season.

“They whipped our tail to finish last season,” Hauck said. “I think they’ll have our attention. We’re watching the film. We’re not looking at the record because (Hawaii played) at Oregon State, USC, Fresno and at Reno. That’s a tough start, and they’re much better than their record.”

AROUND THE LEAGUE

Air Force’s game at Navy on Saturday might be postponed or canceled because of the federal government shutdown. A decision is expected by Thursday on whether to play the game, which is sold out and is scheduled to be televised by CBS. … Boise State has scored at least 60 points twice, the first time the Broncos have accomplished that in a season since 2004. … Colorado State linebacker Shaquil Barrett was named the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week, which is presented by the Football Writers Association of America. He made 13 tackles, including four for loss, forced two fumbles, broke up a pass and had a quarterback hurry in a 59-42 victory over Texas-El Paso. Barrett also had a sack that resulted in a fumble and a safety. … Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr had a string of 180 passes without an interception end in the third quarter against Hawaii. … New Mexico is third nationally with 324.5 yards rushing per game. … San Diego State linebacker Jake Fely, a preseason all-conference selection, could be out for the season after breaking his right foot against New Mexico State. … Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith ranks in the top 10 nationally in six categories.

POWER RANKINGS

1. No. 23 Fresno State (4-0, 2-0 MW). Last game: Defeated Hawaii 42-37. Next game: At Idaho, Saturday. Last meeting: Won 48-24 in 2011.

2. Boise State (3-2, 1-1). Last game: Defeated Southern Mississippi 60-7. Next game: At Utah State, Oct. 12. Won 50-14 in 2010.

3. Utah State (3-2, 2-0). Last game: Defeated San Jose State 40-12. Next game: Vs. Brigham Young, Friday. Last meeting: Lost 6-3 in 2012.

4. UNR (3-2, 2-0). Last game: Defeated Air Force 45-42. Next game: At San Diego State, Friday. Last meeting: Lost 39-38 in overtime in 2012.

5. Wyoming (3-2, 1-0). Last game: Lost to Texas State 42-21. Next game: Vs. New Mexico, Oct. 12. Last meeting: Won 28-23 in 2012.

6. San Jose State (1-3, 0-1). Last game: Lost to Utah State 40-12. Next game: At Hawaii, Saturday. Last meeting: Won 28-27 in 2011.

7. UNLV (3-2, 1-0). Last game: Defeated New Mexico 56-42. Next game: Vs. Hawaii, Oct. 12. Last meeting: Lost 48-10 in 2012.

8. Colorado State (2-3, 0-0). Last game: Defeated Texas-El Paso 59-42. Next game: Vs. San Jose State, Oct. 12. Last meeting: Lost 40-20 in 2012.

9. San Diego State (1-3, 0-0). Last game: Defeated New Mexico State 26-16. Next game: Vs. UNR, Friday. Last meeting: Won 39-38 in overtime in 2012.

10. Air Force (1-4, 0-4). Last game: Lost to UNR 45-42. Next game: At Navy, Saturday (pending possible postponement or cancellation). Last meeting: Lost 28-27 in overtime in 2012.

11. New Mexico (1-3, 0-1). Last game: Lost to UNLV 56-42. Next game: Vs. New Mexico State, Saturday. Last meeting: Won 27-14 in 2012.

12. Hawaii (0-4, 0-2). Last game: Lost to Fresno State 42-37. Next game: Vs. San Jose State, Saturday. Last meeting: Lost 28-27 in 2011.

GAME OF THE WEEK

Brigham Young (2-2) at Utah State (3-2). BYU is largely irrelevant these days without much to play for in the world of independence, but this rivalry means something. Fans should hope, however, it’s not the 6-3 snoozefest that was last season’s BYU victory.

MARK ANDERSON/LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

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