ELY — UNLV coach Bobby Hauck clearly wasn’t happy with Saturday’s scrimmage, but this morning was different.
He liked that the players were more physical, even though it was a tired football team.
"We need to be more physical," Hauck said. "It’s been a two-year process."
UNLV returns to Las Vegas today. The Rebels open their season at 5 p.m. PDT Thursday at No. 11 Wisconsin.
The scrimmage largely focused on the run. Sophomore Caleb Herring and junior Sean Reilly combined to throw only 10 passes.
Freshman Dionza Bradford led all running backs with 42 yards on six carries, making a strong bid to claim the open spot for the three-man rotation. Hauck said no decision has been made whether Bradford or sophomore Imari Thompson would get the spot. Bradford, however, worked with the second team and Thompson with the third stringers.
"I felt I did a good job," Bradford said.
Sophomores Tim Cornett and Bradley Randle hold two of the places in the rotation. Cornett rushed for 33 yards on four carries, including an 11-yard run on fourth-and-1 followed by an 18-yard touchdown.
Randle had 15 yards on seven rushes.
Even though Hauck downplays who starts at running back because the players share time, Cornett said he was motivated to win the job.
"I think everybody on the field wants that starting position," Cornett said. "I want to be out there Sept. 1 going out there first with the offense. I think I can keep working hard to get that since they haven’t called a starter yet."
Other highlights included:
• Sophomore linebacker Reggie Umuolo returned an interception 63 yards for a touchdown.
• Freshman quarterback Nick Sherry completed a 40-yard scoring pass to freshman wide receiver Marquis Thompson, who leaped over redshirt freshman cornerback Mike Horsey to make the catch.
• Sophomore kicker Nolan Kohorst made 32- and 48-yard field goals, and junior Chase Lansford made 20- and 36-yarder attempts.
• Sophomore defensive tackle Alex Klorman, redshirt freshman linebacker Perry Cooper, senior linebacker Nate Carter and sophomore linebacker Tim Hasson each recorded a sack.