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Dangerous duo awaits UNLV

Weather in Laramie, Wyo., is a concern this time of year, but instead of snow, UNLV expects plenty of thunder and lightning Saturday.

That’s what Wyoming calls its dangerous duo — tailbacks Wynel Seldon (thunder) and Devin Moore (lightning).

They have combined for 1,105 yards and eight touchdowns and will go against a UNLV defense that hasn’t stopped anyone on the ground lately.

"We can’t get struck by lightning, and we don’t want to hear the thunder," UNLV linebacker Beau Bell said.

Even so, UNLV expects the Cowboys to run, run, run.

"Why wouldn’t they?" Rebels co-defensive coordinator Kurt Barber asked.

Wyoming’s switch in quarterbacks bolsters that thinking. Ian Hetrick will make his first career start.

Cowboys coaches also have watched enough videotape to know UNLV is having problems defending the run. Moore said he expects the Rebels to try to stop the run. But the Cowboys are devising ways to counter such a defense.

"We’re not taking them lightly," said Moore, who averages 100.7 yards rushing per game. "I’m not looking forward to seeing eight or nine in the box like we see from team to team."

UNLV coach Mike Sanford cautioned against loading up too much against the run, noting it becomes easier to give up big pass plays.

Ever since UNR ran seven times in a row for 35 yards in the fourth quarter of a critical drive on Sept. 29, other teams have followed that lead. In consecutive games, Air Force rushed for 309 yards, Brigham Young for 227 and Colorado State for 279.

"Because of what we’ve done the past four weeks, the opponent is going to believe at some point in time they’re going to break one," Barber said. "We’ve got to show the opponent not only can we stop the run for a half, we can stop it for four quarters. … We’ve got to be up for the challenge."

But Barber, who also oversees the defensive line, said hope is not lost. This is a defense that was adept at shutting down the run early in the season. Utah State and Hawaii were to held under 100 yards and Utah to 105.

Barber said opponents didn’t suddenly find weaknesses to attack but that the Rebels began to hurt themselves.

"I think because the kids have such high expectations and they look at games early in the season when we played well, they know that they can play well," Barber said. "So when (a bad play) happens, kids get upset. Sometimes kids do more than they’re supposed to do. Rather than having 11 guys on the same page, you’ve got some guys who aren’t on the same page.

"From Air Force to BYU, Colorado State, even Reno, guys have always been in place to make plays,” Barber said. ”It’s one thing if we’re doing something scheme-wise and they did something to us and a guy is not there. We’ve got guys there. Now we’ve got to step up with those guys and make those plays."

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com or (702) 387-2914.

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