A look at UNLV

UNLV coach Bobby Hauck calls a play to his team during the second half a win over San Diego State on Nov. 30in Las Vegas. UNT will take on the Rebels in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on New Year’s Day. (Associated Press/David Becker)

UNT will face UNLV in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on New Year’s Day.

So, what’s the story with the Rebels.

I thought we would address that question as we wait for the Heart of Dallas Bowl press conference later tonight.

UNLV is best known for its basketball program and will be breaking a long bowl drought in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, just like UNT. The Mean Green made its last bowl appearance in 2004, while UNLV last played in the postseason in 2000.

The Rebels turnaround can be attributed largely to Bobby Hauck, who built Montana into a national power in the Football Championship Subdivision ranks, taking the Grizzlies to three national title games.

Hauck is in his fourth season at UNLV and has the Rebels rolling in football.

The interesting aspect about UNLV’s team is that it is led by a pair of Galena Park North Shore standouts. Running back Tim Cornett has rushed for 1,251 yards and 15 touchdowns, while wide receiver Devante Davis has 77 catches for 1,194 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Quarterback Caleb Herring is also a good player, who has thrown for 2,522 yards.

One area where UNLV really jumps out in terms of its performance this season is in pass defense. The Rebels lead the Mountain West in passing defense with an average of 214.5 yards allowed a game, more than 10 yards less allowed a game than any other team in the league. The Rebels’ opponents are completing just 51.7 percent of their passes.

UNLV is also plus-6 in turnover margin and also ranks second in the Mountain West in penalty yards at 386 on the season.

Kenneth Penny, a junior from Lancaster, ranks second in the Mountain West in passes defended with an average of 1.33 per game.

In a lot of ways, UNLV sounds a lot like UNT.

And the Rebels are loaded with Texas players.

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