GAME BLOG: (24) Utah 35, UNLV 15

GAME BLOG: (24) Utah 35, UNLV 15

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Score: (24) Utah 35, UNLV 15
LAS VEGAS -- Utah (5-1, 2-0 MWC) jumped out to a 28-6 halftime lead and held on to defeat UNLV (2-5, 0-3 MWC) 35-15.

Terrance Cain lead the Utes, completing 17 of 24 for 174 yards and 2 touchdowns. Eddie Wide was the leading rusher, 111 yards on 17 carries.

UNLV played well in portions of the game, but just couldn't keep up with the Utes.

Game Stats for Utah

  • Rushing Yards: 153
  • Passing Yards: 174
  • Terrance Cain, 17/24 passing for 174 yards, 2 touchdowns; rushing touchdown

Game Stats for UNLV

  • Rushing Yards: 91
  • Passing Yards: 236
  • Omar Clayton 23/44 passing for 223 yards and 2 interceptions

Key stat of the game:
Time of possession: UNLV 34:44, Utah 25:16

Next up for the Utes: vs. Air Force
Next up for the Rebels: at New Mexico

Time Remaining: 1:45 Fourth Quarter
Score: (24) Utah 35, UNLV 15

The Utes force a UNLV three and out, and Utah, after completing a playaction pass to Ben Handy, can now run out the clock. "Shak" is now in the game to help run the clock out.

Time Remaining: 4:21 Fourth Quarter
Score: (24) Utah 35, UNLV 15

UNLV had a chance to score again with 4th and goal on the Utah 2 yard line, but the Utah defense came up big as Lamar Chapman deflects Omar Clayton's pass. Utah will take over on their own 2 yard line.

Utah is able to take 4 minutes off the clock and move the ball to midfield, where they are forced to punt. UNLV will have a little over 4 minutes to make up the 20 point deficit. They will start on their own 10 yard line.

Time Remaining: 12:55 Fourth Quarter
Score: (24) Utah 35, UNLV 15

Through 3 quarters, UNLV leads the time of possession 29:49 to only 15:11 for Utah. Utah has to put together a solid drive here to give their defense some rest. The Utes are able to do just that, as Eddie Wide breaks a 37 yard run on the right side for a touchdown to push the Utah lead to 20, 35-15. The drive featured three nice passes from Terrance Cain, with two of them going to Jereme Brooks and the other to David Reed.

Time Remaining: 0:10 Third Quarter
Score: (24) Utah 28, UNLV 15

Utah has only run 6 offensive plays here in the third quarter. We have still yet to see "Shak" or Shaky run the football for the Utes. The Utes dodge a bullet as Jereme Brooks recovers a David Reed fumble, but the very next play Eddie Wide fumbles the ball, and this time it is recovered by UNLV. The Rebels have all the momentum and have the ball on the Utah 34 yard line. Wow.

After a free 15 yards on a horse-collar tackle, UNLV appears to line up for a 30 yard field goal attempt, but the holder jumps up and throws a pass towards the end zone. The play fails and the Utes takeover on downs. If you are UNLV, why not take the 3 points and make it a 10 point game?

Time Remaining: 4:33 Third Quarter
Score: (24) Utah 28, UNLV 15

Utah's offense again goes three and out. The offense really is making the Ute defense stay on the field, which may become a factor as fatigue sets in later in the game.

Omar Clayton again is able to outrun the Utah defense, scrambling for a 6 yard gain on 3rd and 6 to set the Rebels up with a first and ten inside Utah territory. A 15 yard personal foul penalty now gives UNLV the ball at the Utah 31 yard line. The Utes are finally able to stop UNLV on third down, forcing the Rebels to settle for a 37 yard field goal by Kyle Watson.

Time Remaining: 9:07 Third Quarter
Score: (24) Utah 28, UNLV 12

Utah starts the third quarter on offense, but the team's mindset must have still been in the locker room as they are forced into a quick three and out. Sean Sellwood's punt is short and nearly blocked, and the Rebels will start on the Utah 37 yard line.

Omar Clayton scrambles for 13 yards on a big 4th and 8, setting the Rebels up with a first and ten. Backup quarterback Mike Clausen completes a 2 yard touchdown pass to Phillip Payne to cut the Utah lead to 12, but the 2 point conversion fails.

Score: (24) Utah 28, UNLV 6

LAS VEGAS -- Utah fumbled its first offensive play, setting up a 21 yard field goal for UNLV to give them a 3-0 early lead. Terrance Cain came alive for the Utes on their 3rd possession, leading the Utes down the field and completing a 7 yard TD pass to Aiona Key to put the Utes on top 7-3. The Utes haven't looked back, and lead 28-6 at the half.

Robert Johnson leads the Utah defense with a fumble return for a touchdown and an interception that put the Utes inside the Rebel 10 yard line.

Halftime Stats for Utah

  • Rushing Yards: 70
  • Passing Yards: 69
  • Terrance Cain, 8/12 passing for 69 yards, 2 touchdowns; 5 carries for 31 yards and a touchdown

Halftime Stats for UNLV

  • Rushing Yards: 37
  • Passing Yards: 149
  • Omar Clayton 13/25 passing for 149 yards and 2 interceptions

Key stat of the half:
Turnovers: UNLV 2, Utah 1

Time Remaining: 1:11 Second Quarter
Score: (24) Utah 28, UNLV 6

Facing third and long, UNLV QB Omar Clayton tries to take a shot downfield when Robert Johnson intercepts the pass and returns it down to the UNLV 8 yard line. Two plays later, Terrance Cain runs it in for the touchdown, putting the Utes up 21-6. That makes 4 interceptions in the last two games for Johnson, and 5 total for the season.

Things are really starting to get bad for the Rebels. After moving into Utah territory, Defensive Lineman Christian Cox intercepts Omar Clayton's pass, and as he is being tackled, the ball pops out and into the hands of Robert Johnson, who runs it in from 70 yards out for the score to put the Utes up 28-6. What a great interception by Cox and an incredible heads up play by Robert Johnson.

Time Remaining: 7:29 Second Quarter
Score: (24) Utah 14, UNLV 6

Utah's defense comes up big with a great stand, forcing an Omar Clayton fumble and another tackle for loss, setting up 4th and 17 for the Rebels. Utah will take over at their own 49 yard line. Great field position for the Utes.

The Utes are putting a solid drive together, put together by great runs by Eddie Wide and Terrance Cain. In the red zone, Cain hooks up with Senior tight end Ben Hendy on the playaction pass to put the Utes up 14-6. UNLV is playing very aggressive on defense, setting up the misdirection run by Wide and a scramble to the left by Cain to set up the score.

Time Remaining: 12:36 Second Quarter
Score: (24) Utah 7, UNLV 6

Omar Clayton sets the Rebels up with a great chance to take the lead with a 44 yard completion to Michael Johnson, but the Utes are able to hold the Rebels to a 26 yard field goal by Kyle Watson, making the score 7-6.

DeVonte Christopher sets the Utes up with great field position on a 47 yard kickoff return, but the Utes offense is unable to move the ball and the Utes are forced to punt. Both DeVonte Christopher and running back Eddie Wide were Gatorade players of the year for the state of Nevada.

Time Remaining: 1:58 First Quarter
Score: (24) Utah 7, UNLV 3

Utah goes three and out on their next possession. UNLV is setting the tone early by recovering the fumble and really playing aggressive on defense. Here is a great chance for UNLV to gain momentum and build an early lead. Their next drive will start on their own 33 yard line.

Utah's defense comes up with the stop, forcing another Rebel punt. Utah will start their 3rd possession from their own 23 yard line. They have only run 4 offensive plays so far.

Luke Matthews, normally a wide receiver, lines up in the Asiata package and takes the direct snap 7 yards. Interesting to see him line up in the backfield instead of Shaky Smithson. The Utes put a great drive together, capped off with a 7 yard touchdown pass from Cain to Aiona Key. Cain had 2 other key completions on the drive, both on 3rd down. Great composure by Cain to give the Utes a 7-3 lead.

Time Remaining: 9:15 First Quarter
Score: UNLV 3, (24) Utah 0

UNLV will start the game from their own 24 yard line following the opening kickoff. Omar Clayton and the Rebels utilize a spread offense similar to the one the Utes use. The Rebels pick up a first down with a nice 8 yard run by Channing Trotter, but the Utah defense holds on the next set of plays and forces a UNLV punt. Utah will take over on their own 20 following the punt.

Utah starts in a 5 wide receiver set. Cain completes the pass to John Peel, who then fumbles and the Rebels take over deep in Utah territory. A 15 yard personal foul penalty tacked on to the end of the play gives the Rebels the ball on the Utah 16 yard line.

UNLV capitalizes on the turnover with a 21 yard field goal by Kyle Watson to put them up 3-0.

![](![](**Week 7 Game Notes** Utah (4-1, 1-0 MWC) at UNLV (2-4, 0-2 MWC) **Date:** Saturday, Oct. 17 **Time:** 8:00 pm MT (7 pm PT) **Site:** Las Vegas, Nev. (Sam Boyd Stadium/36,800) **TV:** The Mtn. **Radio:** KALL 700 Sports Radio **Series Record:** Utah leads 12-2 **Last Meeting:** 2008 (Utah 42, UNLV 21) **Kickoff Weather:** Clear, Temps: mid 80s
![](**Keys to the Game for Utah**

  • Establish the run - the Utes will be facing a defense that allows 217 yards per game on the ground. Expect to see Eddie Wide, Sausan Shakerin and Shaky Smithson all get opportunities to carry the football today.
  • Contain Wolfe and Payne - Utah's secondary will be tested against two great receivers in Ryan Wolfe and Phillip Payne.

Keys to the Game for UNLV

  • 0 Turnovers - UNLV has had 12 turnovers in six games so far, including eight in the last 3 games. The Rebels only had 13 turnovers for the entire 2008 season. Ball control will be key for the Rebels to have a chance to win.
  • Put the 'D' back in Vegas - The Rebels have given up an average of 61 points and 692 yards in total offense in two consecutive losses (Nevada, BYU). The Rebels will have star junior LB Starr Fuimaono back for this game which should help shore up the defense.

Key Match-up
UNLV's passing offense (#19 NCAA, 274.3 YPG) vs Utah's pass defense (#18 NCAA, 164.6 YPG).

My Prediction
A lot has changed for the Utes since their 2007 27-0 loss at UNLV. Utah has gone on to win 25 of their last 27 games, including last week's come-from-behind 24-17 win over Colorado State. The Utah offense came alive for their last four drives, gaining 217 yards and scoring three touchdowns.

UNLV has given up an average of 61 points over their last two games (Nevada and BYU), but will have their star linebacker back, junior Starr Fuimaono. He should have an impact on the game today, but one player can't do everything.

Utah will use Eddie Wide, Shaky Smithson and Sausan Shakerin to run the ball a lot in this game. If the Rebels put an extra defender in the box to stop the run, the Utes could have a big game through the air.

MY PREDICTION: Utah 44, UNLV 17. Let me know what you think. Post your predictions/questions in the comment board.

Utah Miscellaneous Stats

  • Utah has returned to the Associated Press top 25 rankings at No. 24. The 4-1 Utes dropped out of the rankings on Sept. 20 after a 31-24 loss to Oregon. The Ducks are currently No. 13 in the A.P poll and No. 16 in the USA Today Coaches poll.
  • Utah needs one victory to reach 600 wins all-time. In 116 years of football, Utah's record is 599-418-31.
  • Utah is 12-2 against UNLV. The most recent loss in 2007 served as a springboard for the Utes, who would bounce back to win seven straight games and 25 of their next 27 games.
  • Utah's 27-0 loss to UNLV in 2007 was the first time a Utah team had been shut out in 14 years.
  • UNLV head coach Mike Sanford was Utah's offensive coordinator from 2003-04, during which time current Ute head coach Kyle Whittingham was the team's defensive coordinator. Whittingham has a 3-1 advantage over his former colleague.
  • Utah has averaged 40 points a game in its 14-game history with the Rebels.
  • Utah is on the road for the fourth time in five games. Following this Saturday's contest at UNLV, the Utes will play three straight home games and will leave the state just one more time during the regular season (TCU on Nov. 14).
  • With last Saturday's win, Whittingham improved to 5-0 coming off bye weeks, beating Wyoming (2005, 2007), Colorado State (2006, 2008) and New Mexico (2008).
  • Robert Johnson became Utah's first Mountain West Conference Player of the Week this season after spearheading a second-half comeback win over Colorado State. Johnson had interceptions on three consecutive series--two which led to Utah touchdowns and the other that allowed the Utes to run out the game clock. The senior free safety also had five tackles and a pass breakup in Utah's 24-17 win in Ft. Collins
  • Utah has four Las Vegas natives on its roster, including starting linebacker Stevenson Sylvester (Valley HS) and starting running back Eddie Wide (Cimarron Memorial HS). Others are DeVonte Christopher (Canyon Springs HS) and freshman Jeremiah Tofaeono (Cheyenne HS). All four were first-team all-state selections while in high school and Christopher and Wide were both Nevada Gatorade Players of the Year: Wide in 2006 and Christopher in 2007 (as a quarterback).

UtahUNLV Edge
Passing Offense
\#47 NCAA 232.4 YPG
\#19 NCAA 274.3 YPG
Rushing Offense
\#19 NCAA 205.2 YPG
\#103 NCAA 109.8 YPG
Total Offense
\#21 NCAA 437.6 YPG
\#57 NCAA 384.2 YPG
Scoring Offense
\#61 NCAA 27.4 PPG
\#57 NCAA 28.2 YPG
Rush Defense
\#66 NCAA 138 YPG
\#113 NCAA 216.7 YPG
Pass Defense
\#18 NCAA 164.6 YPG
\#106 NCAA 259.3 YPG
Total Defense
\#29 NCAA 302.6 YPG
\#116 NCAA 476 YPG
Scoring Defense
\#31 NCAA 18.6 PPG
\#112 NCAA 35.2 PPG
Special Teams
Strength- - - - - -

Punting (Sean Sellwood)
#21 NCAA

Strength- - - - - -

Net Punting
#14 NCAA


UNLV Miscellaneous Stats

  • Today's game vs. Utah is Homecoming at UNLV. The Rebels are 21-20 all-time in Homecoming games and have not won the annual event since 2001
  • UNLV All-America candidate Ryan Wolfe is the nation's leading active career receiver with 253 grabs and also is No. 1 in the FBS with 3,224 all-time receiving yards
  • Ryan Wolfe needs 10 more receptions to pass SDSU's J.R. Tolver (1999-2002) as the conference's career leader ... Wolfe also needs just 32 yards to move past BYU's Austin Collie in fourth place in career receiving yards (3,255 from 2004, ‘07-08) in league history.
  • UNLV is 5-24 all-time vs. ranked opponents, including just 1-13 at home

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