UNLV’s Sanchez evaluates Colorado State, gives thanks to military

UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez hit on a wide range of topics in his Tuesday news conference previewing Saturday’s 4 p.m. PST game at Colorado State.

He addressed preparations for the Rams, his strong feelings toward the military with Veterans Day on Wednesday, and the controversy at Missouri, where the football team’s boycott led to the resignation of the school’s chancellor and university system’s president.

Root Sports will televise the game between UNLV (3-6, 2-3 Mountain West) and Colorado State (4-5, 2-3). The Rams are 7½-point favorites.

Here are the highlights from Sanchez’s news conference:

On Colorado State’s passing attack:

“They really scaled back what they did in the passing game. If you listen to Coach (Mike) Bobo’s comments after the game (at Wyoming on Saturday), he’s identifying who his team is a little bit more, and he’s being a little more conservative with the way he’s running the football. So we fully expect them to do that same type of thing and come out and try to run the football and establish that. We need to take that away and force them to throw the ball. They’ve had quite a few turnovers. That’s something we’ve been good at creating, and we need to continue to do that.”

On preparing for the expected cold weather:

“The good thing is the good Lord helped us out today. We had a nice cold morning practice. The wind was blowing about 20 mph, and it was pretty darn chilly out there. It was probably similar to what it could be out there. We’re expecting anywhere from 50 to 30 degrees. I’ve always kind of minimized those things. If you’re tough, you’re tough. If you’re not, you’re not. If you’re not tough, you don’t win.”

On Veterans Day and what the military means to him:

“How often do I talk about the military? It’s a daily basis of what we do. Our men and women who have served and continue to serve, they’re my heroes. I think they’re the most important people that walk the Earth. We live in one of the greatest nations in the history of the world, one of the only nations that have fought one another for equality. We’re not perfect, but darn it, we fight to be every single day. We have that right, and we have those opportunities because of the men and women who put on those uniforms and defend us on foreign lands.”

On his brother, Joey, who is in the U.S. Army Reserve:

“He’s done two tours, so we know what it’s like for him to be gone almost two years and be in the Middle East. It’s kind of a nerve-racking thing. Really proud of him, really proud of him.”

On the situation at Missouri:

“We live in a great nation, a nation that needs to listen. Our young men and women have voices, and we need to be sensitive to that and hear those things out. You wish that it didn’t get to that point. You wish that there was more conversation and more dialogue and discussion going on in that campus. It didn’t have to come to a head like that.”

On the role football had in forcing change at Missouri:

“It’s a powerful entity. Those guys banded together, and obviously they had sincere beliefs in what was going on there, and they stuck together. We all saw the final results, so, yeah, it was a pretty powerful message.”

* NOTES — Offensive coordinator Barney Cotton underwent surgery Monday for torn tendons in his kneecap. He returned to work Tuesday. … Defensive end Jeremiah Valoaga is day to day with a sprained knee. … Defensive tackle Senituli Fakauho (foot) and linebacker Bailey Laolagi (knee) are back. Fakauho, who has started six games, missed the past two weeks. Laolagi sat out one game.

Contact Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2914. Follow him on Twitter: @markanderson65

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