UNLV would appear to have a nice scheduling breather tonight when it hosts Northern Arizona (0-1) at Sam Boyd Stadium at 7 p.m.
After all, the Thunderbirds are a Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division 1-AA) school that was picked to finish just ninth in the Big Sky Conference preseason poll. And NAU was steamrolled by Arizona State, 63-6, in its season-opener on Aug. 30, falling behind 42-0 at halftime.
But playing a FCS school brings back a very bad memory for Bobby Hauck and company.
UNLV (0-1) was embarrassed by another FCS school, Southern Utah, 41-16, last year at Sam Boyd Stadium, easily the lowest point of a 4-22 start to Hauck’s coaching career with the Rebels.
Hauck said he reminded his team of that painful loss as it began preparation for the Lumberjacks after a bitter 30-27 triple-overtime loss to Minnesota on Aug. 30.
“We brought it up Saturday,” Hauck said. “That will be the last time we bring it up. Everybody here is painfully aware of that lesson. We hope that we don’t have to re-visit that one (tonight).”
“It’s something I want to keep from repeating,” senior offensive guard Doug Zismann added.
If UNLV, which drew a disappointing crowd of just 16,013 for its home opener against a Big Ten team in the Golden Gophers, should find a way to lose its second straight against a FCS team, fan apathy could reach an all-time low and the heat will definitely be turned up on Hauck.
Junior linebacker Tim Hasson, a Cimmaron-Memorial High product who had seven tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery in the opener, says its up to the players get things turned around tonight.
“All of us know that we have a great coach and coaching staff,” Hasson said. “We just need to go out and show it.”
REBEL NOTES: Northern Arizona head coach Jerome Souers was instrumental in giving Hauck his first college coaching job as defensive backs coach at Montana in 1988-89. “Jerome is an old friend obviously and a good football coach,” Hauck said. “I was going to take a teaching job (after graduating at Montana) and coach some high school football and they (secondary coach Souers and Grizzlies head coach Don Read) asked if I would be interested in helping out there. It’s been a wild ride since.” … Hauck was an assistant at NAU in 1993-94 under Steve Axman, coaching outside linebackers and special teams while also serving as recruiting coordinator. … WR Marcus Sullivan, who left the Minnesota loss at halftime after catching five passes for a team-high 52 yards, is listed as probable with a left ankle sprain. … Fred Albrecht, former UNLV vice president for alumni and community relations, will be awarded the UNLV President’s Medal during halftime. The medal, first awarded to Governor Kenny Guinn in 1996, honors individuals and organizations for distinguished service to the university.
— MyLVsports.com staff report