2012 MW Football Preview Show with Head Coach Bobby Hauck
2012 MW Football Preview Show with John Lotulelei (Sr., LB) and Doug Zismann (Sr., OL)
Players to Watch
DE James Boyd
DL Parker Holloway
WR Michael Thomas
WR Anthony Williams
WR Phillip Payne
WR Michael Johnson
TE Anthony Vidal
DL B.J. Bell
DL James Dunlap
DB Will Chandler
RB Tim Cornett
RB Dionza Bradford
RB Bradley Randle
WR Marcus Sullivan
QB Caleb Herring
QB Nick Sherry
OL Brett Boyko
LB John Lotuleilei
CB Sidney Hodge
Keys to Success
UNLV is set to rely on youth this season, as the Rebels have just two senior returning starters and a total of 13 scholarship seniors. Only eight of the 44 spots on the team's post-spring two-deep are filled by seniors who have seen game action for the Rebels. Still, UNLV has an impressive rushing attack coming back, led by six-game starter Tim Cornett, who collected a team-best 671 rushing yards and seven TDs at tailback last year, including an 80-yard rush vs. Hawai‘i and a 95-yard kickoff return at Washington State. The running back position looks to be the deepest on the team with everyone back in 2012, as sophomore Dionza Bradford returned to the program in time for fall camp and will look to re-earn his spot in the team's running rotation. Bradford tallied 615 rushing yards and three TDs as a freshman.
The offensive line is the most veteran group for the Rebels, as the front five all return a year after blocking the way for a run game that produced six 100-yard individual efforts and the best per-game average (164.1) since 2004. All four of last year's quarterbacks are also back on the roster in 2012,
though Nick Sherry enters the season as a redshirt
rookie and Taylor Barnhill heads to the defensive side of the ball to take on the linebacker position after making two starts under center a year ago. Veteran Caleb Herring has 18 career appearances under his belt
but only two victories from eight starts to his credit. He paced the squad with 1,004 yards passing last season, which was the lowest total to lead the team since 1998. Former JC transfer Sean Reilly will add depth after appearing in seven games in 2011, including two starts.
UNLV's leading returning tackler could also be its most talented in 2012 as former JC transfer John Lotulelei looks for a big senior season after taking over a starting spot late in the year and finishing with 60 total tackles and 3 TFL. Junior Tani Maka, who tied
for the team lead with two interceptions, is the leader at the middle position, while the strong side features a battle between junior Tim Hasson, who took over as a starter halfway through his sophomore season, and senior Princeton Jackson, who is a former first team JC
All-American out of Blinn College. There is just one returning starter in the Rebel secondary this season, but the cornerbacks are headlined by junior Sidney
Hodge, who tied for fourth in the nation a year ago with four fumble recoveries.
By the Numbers
1 - Former Rebel Deante' Purvis departed as the MW's all-time leading kick returner, amassing league records of 2,626 yards and 112 kick returns from 2008 to 2011. Purvis also holds the top two spots on the league's all-time single-season list for kick return yardage (1,165 in 2009 and 1,000 in 2011).
2 - UNLV returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in 2011. The Rebels were one of three MW squads, and 16 nationally, to record multiple kick return TDs last season.
4 - UNLV's 13-game schedule, which will be played without a bye week, will see the Rebels open with four straight home dates for the first time since 1973 when they were a Division II school.
16 - After just 24 games played, running back Tim Cornett already has 16 career touchdowns (13 rushing, 2 receiving and 1 kickoff return). He is also the first Rebel to have scored on the ground, through the air and on a return during his career since Henry
Bailey, who played from 1991-94 and finished with 29 total scores (not including four that came in a bowl game) coming four different ways: 24 receiving, 3 rushing, 1 KOR and 1 PR.
24 - Junior kicker Nolan Kohorst connected on 24 extra points last season. Kohorst was only kicker in MW not to miss a PAT.
All dates and times are local to site and are subject to change.
The broadcast outlets for those games listed as TBD are still being determined.
As part of its College Colors Day Celebration, the Mountain West is giving away copies of the Lindy's 2012 Preview to its Facebook fans! Click HERE to "like" the College Colors logo of your favorite MW institution for your chance to win! Winners will be selected at random until 5 p.m. MT on Friday, August 31. Get your friends involved and don't forget to wear your favorite MW gear on Friday, August 31!