UNLV shows ineptitude in loss at Colorado State

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — UNLV has had its share of low moments in its win-starved history, days when it’s easy to wonder if the Rebels ever will be relevant in football.

Saturday was one of those days.

They weren’t just beaten at Colorado State, they were embarrassed, humiliated and just about every other negative adjective someone can find to describe the 43-10 thrashing at Hughes Stadium.

"Whether we’re playing seniors or freshmen or walk-ons or scholarship guys, it’s one guy’s job to get them to play better than that, and that’s mine," UNLV coach Bobby Hauck said. "I’ve got to get us playing better than we did today."

UNLV quarterback Omar Clayton, however, said there was only so much responsibility the coach should shoulder.

"In the media, he takes full responsibility," Clayton said. "As players, we don’t really buy into that. We understand Coach Hauck is our leader, but at the same time we’ve got to be accountable. People can’t come out and make silly mistakes and get penalties.

"We have to collectively come together and get our things together."

The Rebels enter their bye week 1-6, including 1-2 in the Mountain West Conference, and it’s difficult to find a victory left on their schedule.

Facing Colorado State (2-5, 1-2) was supposed to present an opportunity after a brutal early slate of games for UNLV to show where it truly stands and maybe even pull off a victory.

Considering the Rebels were blown out, this game might say they are in even worse trouble than believed.

"From where we are," Hauck said, "I don’t know how far back one can go."

Colorado State dominated throughout, taking advantage of a fumbled exchange between Clayton and running back Deante Purvis to set up a touchdown less than six minutes into the game.

The Rams kept striking, going into halftime ahead, 34-10.

"I’m at a loss for words, to be honest," UNLV safety Alex De Giacomo said. "They just came out and took it to us."

Colorado State exploited UNLV’s pass defense, with quarterback Pete Thomas completing 10 of 14 passes for 233 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Lou Greenwood blew past Rebels cornerback Will Chandler for a 55-yard reception to set up a touchdown, and also on a 73-yard scoring catch.

UNLV’s run defense got punished for 259 yards, with Leonard Mason rushing for 121 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries, and Chris Nwoke gaining 75 yards on eight attempts.

The Rebels actually had their second-best offensive rushing effort of the season, gaining 149 yards. Their best output was 185 against New Mexico.

Purvis rushed for 85 yards on 14 carries, and Tim Cornett gained 74 yards and a touchdown on 17 rushes.

But just about any surge was negated by a penalty or a Colorado State defensive play. The Rams sacked Clayton six times, limiting him to 114 yards passing.

In the end, it added up to another lopsided defeat for the Rebels, who have been beaten by at least 18 points in all six losses.

"It’s very disappointing," Cornett said. "We came into practice and worked hard and did everything that we had to do. And then for the outcome to be like this after all of that hard work early in the week, I’m kind of mad about it."

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

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