UNLV coach Bobby Hauck won’t abandon the running game, even if it hasn’t met expectations as the season approaches the midway point.
Remaining committed to the ground game, Hauck said, eventually will pay off.
“In terms of mindset of being a physical football team, we need to do that,” Hauck said.
The Rebels (1-4), who play at West Virginia (3-1) at 12:30 p.m. PDT Saturday, have gone 16 games without a 100-yard runner and were held to 80 yards rushing in Saturday’s 44-26 loss to UNR.
They rank 98th nationally with an average of 107.6 yards rushing per game and are gaining just 3.0 per carry.
UNLV’s leading rusher, Channing Trotter, has gained 153 yards on 48 carries this season, averaging 3.2 yards per carry.
Although he averaged 4.7 yards last season in leading the Rebels with 541 yards rushing.
UNLV’s Bradley Randle (4.5 average on 24 carries) and Tim Cornett (6.7 on 16 rushes) have had some success in limited duty.
“We need to play better,” Hauck said. “It’s nothing really more than that. We need to come off the ball and get bodies on bodies and be consistent.”
UNLV has more concerns than just its ground game. Playing three ranked teams has taken a physical toll.
Hauck said the team’s weekly injury report will be extensive when it is released today.
West Virginia had the luxury of a bye last weekend to help its players heal.
The Mountaineers’ most notable injury is to running back Noel Devine, who suffered a bone bruise on his right big toe in a 20-14 loss at Louisiana State on Sept. 25.
Devine, who rushed for 1,465 yards and 13 touchdowns last season, received three treatments Monday.
West Virginia coach Bill Stewart said he should know more about Devine’s status today or Wednesday but didn’t sound overly concerned.
“I really anticipate him being able to play Saturday and play a lot,” Stewart said.
Contact reporter Mark Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2914.LOCAL PLAYERS ON THE NATIONAL SCENE
• DeMarco Murray, a 2006 Bishop Gorman graduate, rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns in Oklahoma’s 28-20 victory over Texas.
• Quinton Carter, a 2006 Cheyenne graduate, intercepted a pass for Oklahoma and returned it 34 yards.
• Brandon Marshall, a 2007 Cimarron-Memorial graduate, intercepted a pass and made 1 tackles for loss in UNR’s 44-26 victory over UNLV.
• Kerwynn Williams, a 2009 Valley graduate, had 159 all-purpose yards in Utah State’s 31-16 victory over Brigham Young.
• Mike Cosgrove, a 2007 Desert Pines graduate, had a sack in Idaho’s 33-13 victory over Western Michigan.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL