They have one number retired and it's Randall Cunningham. He was pretty f'n good. They also had Ickey Woods and Keenan McCardell. They had music mogul and Vanilla Ice Dangler Suge Knight play for them a bit. Kenny Mayne apparently was a quarterback there too, which gives us some insight into recruiting strategy. Check out super-sized Ickey doing the Ickey Shuffle below:
Current alumni that are in the NFL include: Isaako Aaitui, Joe Hawley, Frank Summers, Martin Tevaseu and Eric Wright. Never heard of them except for Wright.
|Sherry's lips do look a little purple here. Just sayin'|
Coach Bobby Hauck has set a team goal for UNLV to play in their first bowl game since the year 2000. Sophomore QB Nick Sherry is excited about the offense saying they'll be "fun to watch and fun to play." I have no information on how much purple drank each consumed prior to that statement. The team does return 19 starters from last year. Besides Sherry, the team relies on running back Tim Cornett to provide punch on offense. The senior is just 700 yards away from the all time school record of 3,149 yards. He ran for over 100 yards in eight games last season. Cornett also takes care of the ball; he has just one fumble in his career. Junior left tackle Brett Boyko returns after an injury riddled season last year where he played only 4 games. For the seven minutes of the game that I'm sober enough to pay attention, I'll watching how Boyko (6'7", 310) holds up against our defense.
On the defensive side for UNLV, end Sonny Sanitoa had 5 sacks and 28 tackles in 9 games as a redshirt freshman last year. He's Samoan, so you know he's good. Senior Tim Hasson (6'2", 215) is an undersized linebacker that is the leading returning tackler. His half brother Tahj is nearly as big as him (6'1", 195) and is one of the starting corners. Look for the Gopher offensive line to frequently get to the second level and mow over these dudes.
Here's a strange and interesting story I found on the Las Vegas Sun UNLV blog: Their starting right guard is a converted tight end named Nick Gstrein. That in and of itself isn't super odd, but he got there by speaking to Hauck in the spring and asking where he could get more play time. Hauck tried him at guard, center and HALFBACK, but eventually the 6'4", 285 Gstrein landed the starting job at right guard over last year's starter, Ron Scoggins. That's just...odd.
UNLV Roster All-Namers
#68 Tui Fakauho
#32 Mike Horsey
#57 Roscoe Kalilikane
#66 Bryson Mook
#63 J'Ondray Sanders
#42 Peni Vea
Some impressions from watching video of their fall scrimmage:
- Lots of multiple wide receiver shotgun sets shown.
- Nick Sherry is prone to a (more) horrible pass when he goes to a second receiver.
- No fans are in attendance. Hot sun watching crappy football or deliciously cool casino playing cards? That's no choice at all.
- When they did manage to complete a pass, the tackling was miserable. Now imagine the bowling ball Kirkwood is running at them.
- I found myself staring at the mountains in the background a lot.
- Jerry Rice Jr. is on the team I guess. Not a starter. The video I watched called a pass out flat to Rice by Herring that he broke two tackles on and turned it into 15 yards the "offensive play of the day".
If I felt completely comfortable with our passing game I would say this is a 50-10 type of game. While I like how Nelson has been throwing the ball in practice, I need to see it in a game before I jump in with both feet. That being said, I didn't think much of UNLV before watching some video and reading up on them and I actually came away thinking they were worse than I originally thought. The Gophers should be able to run at will and the defense shouldn't struggle too hard with Sherryball. That poor converted tight end might have to go up against Hageman for the few plays he's able before his chest is caved it. I'll say Gophers 34, UNLV 13.
What Others are Saying
UNLV #Rebels at Minnesota #GoldenGophers 8/29/13 - Free #CFBPicks & Odds http://t.co/QzBMOfgWssThese guys are saying it will be close and to take the +14 based on last year's game. They don't know about #YEAR3 I guess.
— ctsportspicks (@ctsportspicks) August 29, 2013
In exactly 24 hours, UNLV football takes the field. In a 'Now or Never' situation, these boys are choosing the 'NOW'! #winwinwin! #unlvfb
— Runnin Ramble (@RunninRamble) August 28, 2013
UNLV's only football tradition is losing. @PatrickReusse on the #Gophers first opponent: http://t.co/2EiKoPi0YJ #B1GOur guy Reusse keeping it classy.
— Star Tribune Sports (@StribSports) August 26, 2013
Our @ronkantowski sees a ray of hope for UNLV football. Does that make him an optimist or an idiot? http://t.co/RyNIne9ajbSo is he an idiot? Here's his picture, decide for yourselves:
— Review-Journal (@reviewjournal) August 29, 2013