ELY — UNLV practiced for the final time here, and coach Mike Sanford said the focus now will turn to Utah State. The Rebels open against the Aggies on Aug. 30 at Sam Boyd Stadium.
"We come out of here a better football team, and now the key is what we do from now to game time," Sanford said. "When we get back, our preparation from here on out is very much Utah State oriented. This has been up to now (preparing for the) overall season."
Sophomore starting linebacker Ronnie Paulo, a Western High School graduate, did not practice because of an upper respiratory infection. His return to the field is uncertain. Rusty Worthen, a senior from Palo Verde High, took Paulo’s place.
Also, after resting Monday, senior tailback Frank Summers returned to practice.
The black jersey winners were junior wide receiver Rodelin Anthony on offense and senior cornerback Geoffery Howard on defense. They were selected by coaches as the best players on Monday on their respective sides of the ball.
Tough to tell how plays truly end up in a no-tackling drill, but sophomore quarterback Omar Clayton ran for what could have been an 80-yard touchdown, and redshirt freshman QB Mike Clausen completed a potential 80-yard TD to sophomore wide receiver Tate Knutson.
Also, Anthony made a nice catch while falling on his back, and freshman wide receiver Michael Johnson caught a pass by twice knocking the ball up with his left hand so that he could grab it. Redshirt freshman cornerback Will Chandler broke up a pass, though it should have been intercepted.
UNLV returns to Rebel Park for a night practice today. It will be the start of closed practices, which Sanford has done each year. Many, if not most, coaches close practices nationwide.