DEKALB, Ill.– This is what winners state: That moral success are for the birds. That while it might be something you can improve– going on the roadway as a three-touchdown underdog and driving in a one-score game with under 3 minutes remaining– you cannot in any way allow such a conclusion.
Tony Sanchez has actually won forever.
He’s not about to let UNLV football embrace any sort of status.
The Rebels opened the Sanchez Era on Saturday night by pushing heavily favored Northern Illinois to the end, eventually falling 38-30 before 15,455 fans at Huskie Arena.
After his first game as a college head coach because making the jump from Bishop Gorman High, Sanchez looked a bit like one might when a fist will fulfill a wall.
And that viewpoint, more than anything, simply may be the catalyst for him turning around UNLV’s program.
Individuals around the Rebels have settled for losing far too long.
He apparently won’t, at least not without a battle.
“We do not desire our children ravaged or hanging their heads in the sand for the next week as we prepare for UCLA,” Sanchez said of his team’s house opener on Sept. 12. “But at the very same time, we want them to understand we had a chance to win here and we have to repair some things and get better. Part of the reason I thought we had a puncher’s possibility– I truthfully believed we had a much better chance than that– was due to the fact that I took a look at the personnel and I took a look at our guys. I liked their dedication. I like their strength. I believe we have some skill. We’re establishing. We’re not a bad football group.”
However it is a very thin and kid in spots, which is why UNLV could not keep a 17-10 halftime lead and eventually acquiesced an excellent however not terrific Northern Illinois side.
The Rebels played nine real freshmen. That’s an advantage when you consider a lot of first-year players acquired the experience of contending in a road environment against a challenger that had actually won 57 video games the previous 5 seasons. It’s a bad thing for the exact same factor.
If the Rebels are playing this numerous freshmen in a season-opener 3 years from now, Sanchez hasn’t built the type of successful program he is ensured can exist at UNLV. However this is the truth these days, and the Rebels still handled to contend well into the fourth quarter before their fate was sealed.
I’m uncertain when a UNLV defense was as physical versus the run as this one showed over the first 30 minutes, limiting the Huskies to 66 lawns on the ground. Last season, Northern Illinois hurried for 331 versus the Rebels.
UNLV really had consecutive fourth-and-short drops in the first half.
That needs to be a school record.
It simply has to be.
But the humid night would crawl forward and the Rebels would put on down, allowing 554 overall yards, with 185 coming on the ground.
Fact: They were strong in the starting defensively and got gashed in the end.
They had Northern Illinois yanking on their trousers in the very first half, and were the ones pulling in the 2nd.
“Coach Sanchez had his individuals playing exceptionally difficult and well,” Northern Illinois coach Rod Carey stated. “They had us on the ropes. Listen, if you come out of that thing with a win, we’ll take it every time. I don’t care about their record from last year or whatever, that’s a great football group. They play set and have some brand-new schemes with brand-new coaches.”
UNLV was good enough offensively to total 493 lawns– including 319 through the air from senior quarterback Blake Decker– but not constant enough at a loss zone to preserve its lead. It could not get adequate pressure from its protective front to hold up on the back end, and was burned for 360 passing backyards for it.
They are fixable things and they aren’t, a minimum of in the present. A few of it will certainly include easy tweaks to the plan and better execution from those running plays; other things will involve recruiting much better players.
But what the UNLV effort said– and it was strong and evident from the opening kickoff to the final play– is that there might be video games across a difficult schedule that are suddenly more in play than numerous believed a few days back. Particularly, some Mountain West video games.
The play-calling from offensive organizer Barney Cotton was innovative and aggressive and timely. The defense under Kent Baer had sufficient moments to make you believe it will certainly more than contend versus equivalent skill.
The Rebels played hard enough to win.
They just didn’t, is all.
They were good enough to have fun with the Huskies, just not good enough to complete them off.
“This one stings,” Decker stated. “Truthfully, we seemed like we had a great chance. … There are some positives to remove, but there is a winner and a loser in college football when you’re not on the winning end of it, it’s certainly frustrating.”
No moral victories.
It’s as much a part of the structure procedure as anything.
Ed Graney can be reached at [email protected]!.?.! or 702-383-4618. He can be a heard on”Seat and Ed “on Fox Sports 1340 from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Twitter: @edgraney.