Injured QB Clausen carted off in practice

ELY — Major injuries hadn’t been an issue for UNLV’s football team in training camp, but that might have changed when junior quarterback Mike Clausen went down late in Friday’s practice.

Clausen was stepped on during a full-team drill and suffered an apparent injury to his left ankle. He was examined for about 15 minutes and then carted off the field.

Coach Bobby Hauck said he didn’t know the severity of the injury.

Even before Clausen was hurt, senior quarterback Omar Clayton had been taking the bulk of the snaps in practice.

Hauck said he’s trying to even out the repetitions among Clayton, Clausen and redshirt freshman Caleb Herring in camp before deciding which quarterback will start the Sept. 4 season opener against Wisconsin at Sam Boyd Stadium.

“When Coach makes a decision, I think everybody will know,” Clayton said. “The biggest thing everybody needs to do, the whole team as well as myself, is come out, learn and get better every day. We can’t take steps back.”

Clayton had his difficulties Friday despite receiving most of the work.

Senior linebacker Ronnie Paulo and junior cornerback Will Chandler intercepted Clayton passes. Paulo returned his pick for a touchdown.

Clayton did have a nifty pass fake that he turned into a 15-yard run, receiving a congratulatory slap on the helmet from offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Rob Phenicie.

■ SITTING OUT — While senior Channing Trotter and redshirt freshman Bradley Randle split first-team reps at tailback, junior C.J. Cox stood on the sideline and watched.

Hauck said Cox, listed No. 1 on the depth chart after spring practice, was held out to rest from the rigors of camp.

Coaches used the same tactic at quarterback. Until Clausen’s injury, Herring stood on the sideline as a spectator.

Randle made the most of his first-team opportunities. His best play was a run that he broke to the outside around left end for a 10-yard touchdown.

■ MAKING AN IMPRESSION — Freshman defensive end Ian Bobak, a Bishop Gorman High School product, showed promise working with the second team.

He batted down a pass from Clausen and then combined with junior end Jameel Medlock to sack Clausen.

“I think he’s doing a good job,” Hauck said. “He at times looks really good, and at times he looks like a freshman.”

Hauck said he’ll decide within a week which freshmen to play and which to redshirt.

Bobak said he’s encouraged by the progress he’s made but noted, “It’s a lot different than high school.”

■ MISSED TIME — Sophomore wide receiver Mark Barefield re-injured his left knee and sat out about the final half of practice.

Barefield, who was penciled in as a starter, has practiced little in camp because of the injury.

“I know Mark’s fighting to go back,” Hauck said. “He wasn’t able to finish it (Friday), but I expect him to go (today). For each individual that’s missing time, that’s got potential to cost them opportunity to play in games.”

■ NFL INTEREST — A Denver Broncos scout attended practice, and one from the Houston Texans is expected today.

■ LOOKING AHEAD — The Rebels have another double-practice session today, at 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

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

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