Rebels' Week Ends With Scrimmage
April 4, 2008
LAS VEGAS - UNLV football wrapped up the third week of spring practice with a 12-period practice followed by a team scrimmage that was open to the public.
With dozens of fans and high school coaches on hand at a windy Rebel Park, all four quarterbacks currently on the depth chart took their time running the UNLV offense while being live to contact.
Sophomore Travis Dixon (Chandler, AZ/Hamilton HS), who started nine of 12 games in 2007, led the first-team offense on a 10-play scoring drive that was capped by Dixon's nifty 22-yard run up the middle for a touchdown.
Another long scoring drive came while redshirt freshman Mike Clausen (Riverside, CA/North HS) was at the controls. Clausen hit sophomore wide receiver Tate Knutson (Anchorage, AK/East HS) for a 49-yard gain. Sophomore running back Channing Trotter (Mesa, AZ/Red Mountain HS) then took it in one yard for the score.
"They all did some good things and they're all getting good reps," said head coach Mike Sanford of his QB crew. "Some highlights were the No. 1 offense scoring in 10 plays and the No. 2 offense scoring in nine plays. The defense, for their part, did create a big turnover in the red zone, which is a big thing. Some of the bad things were the penalties. We have to eliminate those. Some of the people who stood out were receivers such as Tate Knutson, Justin Marvel (San Bernardino, CA/Arroyo Valley HS) and Gerold Rodriguez (Los Angelese, CA/Venice HS), who had the catch of the day. It was nice to see some of our non-starting receivers make some big plays."
Only one player suffered an injury that did not allow them to return to action. DL Justin McCrory (Las Vegas, NV/Las Vegas HS) seemed to be hit hard by another defender and has a possible concussion.
COACHES ON HAND About 60 high school coaches were on hand for the program's annual Coaches Clinic, which runs all day.
"We had a great showing today," said Sanford. "We had a very hands-on approach and got the players involved in some demonstration."
THE BLACK JERSEY
Donning THE BLACK JERSEY on Friday was sophomore defensive lineman Malo Taumua (Honolulu, HI/Aiea HS). Other candidates for the jersey were three D-linemen: Isaako Aaitui (Pago Pago, American Samoa/Faga'itua HS), two-time winner Jacob Hales (Las Vegas/Las Vegas HS) and Thor Pili (Orem, UT/Snow College) along with another former winner, DB Quinton Pointer (Cape Coral, FL/Mariner HS).
"You can tell that defensive line is playing at a high level right now" Sanford said. "Malo has been nominated before for the jersey and has just been turning in a tremendous effort. He's hard to block right now."
THE BLACK JERSEY is worn by the previous practice's top performer and the coaching staff votes on the winner.
UNLV's next practice will be Monday (April 7) at Rebel Park and is scheduled to last from approximately 4:00-6:00 p.m. All practices this spring are free and open to the public but visitors must stay in the designated viewing areas on the grass practice field.
Fans are also invited to attend the FREE Scarlet vs. Gray spring game on April 18 at Sam Boyd Stadium from approximately 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
April 7 Monday Practice 10 Pads 4:00-6:00 pm April 9 Wednesday Practice 11 Pads 4:00-6:00 pm April 11 Friday Practice 12 Scrimmage 6:00-8:00 pm (Alumni Night Event 5:00) April 14 Monday Practice 13 Pads 4:00-6:00 pm April 16 Wednesday Practice 14 Pads 4:00-6:00 pm April 18 Friday Practice 15 SPRING GAME 6:00 pm at Sam Boyd (Team BBQ at 7:30 pm at Sam Boyd)