ELY – With just 11 days remaining before their 2013 season-opener at Minnesota, the UNLV Rebels held their final major scrimmage of fall camp here on Saturday afternoon in front of about 50 people at Broadbent Park.
Head coach Bobby Hauck, obviously concerned with avoiding key injuries, limited star running back Tim Cornett to only one carry and had just one scrimmage series featuring his first team offense against the first team defense.
“It was good,” Hauck said. “We didn’t give our veteran players a whole bunch of plays. We gave our young players the vast majority of the snaps and it’s good for them to see them play. I thought it was good.”
You can see some scrimmage highlights, including the opening series featuring the No. 1 offense vs. the No. 1 defense, in the video below.
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Hauck said that the Rebels will begin implementing their game-plan for the Aug. 29 opener against the Golden Gophers today. The team will have one more minor scrimmage featuring mainly backups on early Wednesday morning before making the four-hour bus ride home to Las Vegas.
“Our team is really tired,” Hauck added. “They’re fatigued, and they should be at this point. We’ve gone (through) a lot of practices over the past 12 or 13 days. I like what has gone on and I’m enthused with where we are.”
Hear more what Hauck had to say afterward in the video below:
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Some observations from Saturday’s scrimmage:
* The defense got the best of it, especially at the start when Hauck had the No. 1 offense face the No. 1 defense. That series started at the 50 and ended with a short Nolan Kohorst field goal. However, the No. 1 offense got a do-over at the 40 after QB Nick Sherry started 0-for-4, including three short tosses over the middle.
* Sherry finished 5-of-14 for 38 yards for the day after playing another series against the No. 2 defense. Give credit to the Rebel pass defense for covering some of the throws well but it also wasn’t Sherry’s best day. He also had two passes batted down at the line of scrimmage. Makes you kind of wonder what will happen when he goes up against a potential first round NFL defensive end like Minnesota’s Ra’Shede Hageman.
* Senior Caleb Herring finished 6-of-11 for 48 yards and was the best quarterback on the field for the scrimmage. However, he and Sherry were often running for their lives from a strong pass rush.
* UCLA transfer Jerry Rice Jr., who joined the team just before it left for Ely, had arguably the offensive play of the day (see top video above) when he broke a pair of tackles after taking a quick swing pass from Herring along the right sideline. Rice also had a nice kickoff return.
* Another wide receiver that recently joined the team, Kendal Keys, younger brother of sophomore safety Kenny Keys, had two receptions for 16 yards including a 11-yard touchdown. The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder also passes the look test. “He looks (physically) like an NFL receiver,” I said to a Rebel assistant who immediately replied, “He might be.” Keys, who originally signed with Boise State, still has not been cleared to play this season with the Rebels according to Hauck.
* Hauck to backup tight end Andrew Price after he dropped a routine pass in the flat: “You’ve got to catch that or you’re going be putting on a 70 (offensive line number). Price, who rebounded to catch two passes for 15 yards, also had two more drops.
* I thought sophomore David Greene, who evidently has had an up-and-down camp, looked pretty good at safety. And two freshman linebackers, Trent Langham and Iggy Porchia, also have bright futures. Langham finished with three tackles, deflected a pass and also had a fumble recovery.
* When asked to name one offensive and defensive player whose stock has risen thanks to a good fall camp, Hauck named sophomore right tackle Andrew Oberg, currently running with the first team offense, and junior safety Mike Horsey.