Saturday’s scrimmage at Sam Boyd Stadium won’t be remembered for long and certainly will be forgotten by the time UNLV kicks off Aug. 31 against Southern Utah.
“I thought it was a little sloppy,” coach Tony Sanchez said. “I thought the defense had a little bit of the upper hand, but we talked about wrinkling out some of the details. We put more balls on the ground than we have in all of our practices combined. We threw some picks we haven’t been throwing. I thought the flow and some of the situational stuff was bad.”
Junior quarterback Armani Rogers struggled to find a rhythm, and Sanchez said Rogers fell back into a technical throwing issue from last year’s training camp that otherwise hasn’t been a problem.
“We’ve got to make sure, too, we give him easy throws early on,” Sanchez said. “Tonight, a lot of those throws were further down the field than they have been, so I think we’ve got to settle him in.
“He’s done a good job (in camp), so I’m not overly worried about it because I look at the body of work. But I definitely want to see improvement.”
Like his coach, Rogers wasn’t about to panic.
“That comes with being a vet now,” he said. “You know what to expect. You know when you watch film what you did wrong. Now it’s time to correct it and not make the same mistakes.”
Rogers flashed his dynamic running ability on a 70-yard touchdown run.
“When you talk about his running ability, he might be a top one or two guy in the nation,” Sanchez said. “He can start at any (Southeastern Conference) school and lead them to victory with the way he plays and runs the ball.”
Nate Neal, Jr., 6-2, 230
OR Nick Dehdashtian, Jr., 6-1, 280
Kolo Uasike, So., 6-0, 305
Montrice Johns, Sr., 6-3, 340
Tavis Malakius, Jr., 6-2, 295
Dominion Ezinwa, Jr., 6-4, 300
Gabe McCoy, Sr., 6-2, 220
Jacoby Windmon, Fr., 6-2, 210
— Junior kickers Daniel Gutierrez and Nathan De Jager combined to miss two field goals and have another blocked. Gutierrez is the likely starter.
“Gutierrez has the ability, but sometimes he lives in the clouds,” Sanchez said. “I think the last time he started a game, he was the Mountain West special teams player of the week. He’s struggled since then. We definitely have to see some improvement there.”
— Redshirt freshman linebacker Malcolm Johnson didn’t practice because of a shoulder injury, but Sanchez said he didn’t expect him out long. Sophomore wide receiver Tyleek Collins (concussion) went through a partial practice and is close to being ready for a full workout.
— Scouts from the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots attended the scrimmage.