Dalton Sneed has held his own in the UNLV quarterback competition through the first half of the spring practice schedule, but the redshirt freshman infuriated offensive coordinator Barney Cotton on Friday morning when he called an ill-advised audible during a scrimmage at Rebel Park.
“That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard a quarterback say,” Cotton shouted at Sneed on the sideline. “You’re turning a slant into a streak?”
Sneed chalked up the exchange to experience.
“I just made a bonehead check and that’s part of what happens. I’ll learn from that,” he said. “That’s why I love (Cotton). If he’s not getting on you, something’s wrong. He doesn’t believe in you. So I love it when he rips me.”
Sneed redeemed himself on the final play of practice, when he found walk-on wide receiver Allan Cui in the back of the end zone for a 30-yard touchdown pass.
The play capped a physical practice that featured a 30-minute scrimmage and a goal-line scrimmage and sent the Rebels into spring break on a high note.
“It was intense. There was a lot of banging but now they get the full week off, which is good for the guys because they’ll come back fresh and ready to go,” UNLV coach Tony Sanchez said. “There’s some areas we definitely need to improve on but I like where we’re at and we’re definitely progressing in the right direction. It’s a good group.”
Here’s a quick recap of Friday’s practice, the seventh of 14 leading up to the team’s April 9th spring game.
* Darren Woods Jr., a redshirt freshman wide receiver, continued his strong spring by reeling in a 25-yard fingertip catch on the sideline from Sneed.
* Sophomore running backs Lexington Thomas and Xzaviar Campbell each broke free for a 25-yard run during the team scrimmage.
* Sophomore defensive back Tim Hough intercepted a pass by Johnny Stanton during the scrimmage and senior defensive back Kenny Keys picked off Stanton in a 7-on-7 drill as the junior college transfer quarterback had a rough day.
* Senior defensive end Jeremiah Valoaga batted a pass into the air and senior defensive lineman Dominic Baldwin caught it for an interception.
* Redshirt freshman linebacker Gabe McCoy stuffed Campbell for a 2-yard loss during the goal-line scrimmage.
* Sanchez ripped offensive lineman Michael Chevalier for his lack of effort during a drill, yelling at the junior college transfer to “compete.”
* Sanchez ended his post-practice talk with the team by announcing that junior linebacker Roscoe Kalilikane, a walk-on, would be awarded a scholarship. The players then broke into a loud “Ros-coe” chant and hoisted the Hawaiian on their shoulders.
* Sanchez’s assessment of the squad midway through spring practice: “We threw a lot of offense and defense at the guys. We were really heavy on the install and the guys picked it up, which is good. We’re a lot further ahead, probably 50 percent ahead of where we were last year, so there’s not a lot of install left to do these last two weeks. Now we can refine things, get our football IQs a little higher and focus on down-and-distance, situational stuff we have to defend and attack. Overall, it was a quality two weeks.”