Passing Fancy At Spring Game
April 18, 2008
LAS VEGAS - With all of the scoring coming in the first half, the Rebels (No. 1 offense and defense) defeated UNLV (No. 2 offense and defense) 21-3 in the annual spring game before a crowd of nearly 500 fans on a beautiful Friday night at Sam Boyd Stadium.
Both sophomore quarterbacks who will go into fall camp battling for the starting job looked sharp through the air. Omar Clayton (Normal, IL/Normal HS) was the most impressive, hitting 9 of 11 pass attempts for 108 yards, no interceptions and two scores. Travis Dixon (Chandler, AZ/Hamilton HS) hit on half of his six attempts but one was a pretty throw and catch to Casey Flair (Anchorage, AK/East HS) that went for an 89-yard touchdown.
"There were a lot of good things out there tonight," said UNLV head coach Mike Sanford. "The No. 1 offense moved the ball early and scored three touchdowns while the No. 1 defense only allowed a field goal, which is what you want to see."
While UNLV QBs Mike Clausen (Riverside, CA/North HS) and Dack Ishii (Huntington Beach, CA/Knoxville Catholic HS) also shined at times, the only score for their side was a 36-yard field goal by Kyle Watson (Rancho Cucamonga, CA/Alta Loma HS). With incumbent starter Frank "The Tank" Summers (Oakland, CA/Skyline HS) taking most of the night off, Channing Trotter (Mesa, AZ/Red Mountain HS) was the game's leading rusher with just 12 net yards on two carries.
Ryan Tillman (Rialto, CA/Rialto HS) led all tacklers with five takedowns while Wiselet Rouzard (Immokalee, FL/Immokalee HS) had the night's only interception to go with another pass breakup and three total tackles.
The game was the final of 15 spring sessions over six weeks in what is Sanford's fourth year leading the program.
"Both quarterbacks did some good things and we know we have two guys coming back who can play and have played," said Sanford. "We'll wait 7-9 days into (August) camp and pick a starter. We won't play two.
"Defensively, I think we'll be a different team next season with the attacking, aggressive style of new coordinator Dennis Therrell. Also, the addition of (assistant coach) Andre Patterson has been huge as the D-line had an outstanding spring."
UNLV opens the 2008 season on Aug. 30 when it hosts Utah State.
Scoring Plays 1st Quarter - (Rebels) Clayton 18-yard pass to Saint Preux (Watson PAT) 1st Quarter - (Rebels) Dixon 89-yard pass to Flair (Jaekle PAT) 2nd Quarter - (UNLV) 36-yard field goal by Watson 2nd Quarter - (UNLV) Clayton 16-yard pass to Robinson (Jaekle PAT)