UNLV quarterback Blake Decker based on the sideline from the start of the 2nd quarter up until the ruthless end with no helmet covering his shoulder-length locks.
It was a sight Rebels football fans had hoped they wouldn’t see this season.
Now the concern is whether it’s a sight they will certainly see all period.
There was no instant word on Decker’s injury, suffered on the final play of the very first quarter of the Rebels’ 37-3 loss to No. 13 UCLA on Saturday night at Sam Boyd Arena, however the truth he stood watching rather than in the fitness instructors’ living room was an encouraging indication.
UNLV (0-2) will certainly need Decker for any kind of hope, particularly with a trip to Michigan on Saturday.
That was painfully noticeable as UNLV’s offense seldom threatened UCLA’s end zone. The Rebels finished with 237 yards and 11 very first downs.
UNLV backup quarterback Kurt Palandech completed 4 of 15 passes for 4 yards, and he tossed an interception and lost a fumble.
Astonishing UCLA freshman quarterback Josh Rosen was strong, but not as sharp as his debut the week before when he has actually passed for 351 yards and three goals versus Virginia. Against UNLV, he finished 22 of 42 passes for 223 yards and two TDs, with one interception.
Paul Perkins led the Bruins with 151 lawns hurrying and 2 touchdowns on 18 brings.
That all amounted to a convincing victory by UCLA (2-0) in Rebels coach Tony Sanchez’s house debut. He has billed this as the “new era,” however there was so much of the old Rebels that was evident in front of the crowd of 31,262, the biggest considering that UNLV hosted UNR on Sept. 27, 2008.
UNLV coaches required a phony basket that was a throwback to the Bobby Hauck era, one that was ill-timed and ill-executed. The Rebels had actually lastly mounted a promising drive after opening with 3 successive three-and-outs, and three points would have given them something favorable when the series stalled.
Instead, holder Troy Hawthorne aimed to toss a pass, and he was forced and forced to get rid of the ball.
Then later on in the first half with UNLV appearing set to enter into the locker space down just 10-0 thanks to a staunch effort by its defense, Palandech tossed a worried pass under pressure directly into the arms of UCLA linebacker Kenny Young, who had 23 yards of open turf in front of him.
Just like that, it was a 17-0 deficit.
Whatever slim hope continued to be quickly vanished.
And in the fourth quarter, the Rebels nearly broke up the shutout, with security Kenny Keys intercepting a pass and returning it to UCLA’s 11. But nickelback Darius Mouton was called for a personal nasty on the return, a spot penalty that moved the ball back to the 41. UNLV ended up turning over the ball on downs.
Another long interception return, 61 yards by linebacker Trent Langham, lastly allowed UNLV to get on the scoreboard. Nicolai Bornand made a 32-yard field goal with 3:04 left.
By then, the result was long from doubt.
UCLA blew open the game in the 3rd quarter, scoring 17 points to take a 34-0 lead. Perkins scored on runs of 7 and 56 backyards, and Ka’imi Fairbairn made a 34-yard basket.
The only concern that remained had to do with Decker’s health.
He was standing tall on the sideline. It was about the only hope UNLV fans had all night.
Contact Mark Anderson at [email protected]!.?.! or 702-387-2914. Follow him on Twitter: @markanderson65.