UNLV Bowls Over Hogs, 31-14

The UNLV Rebels sped past Arkansas in the second half to win the Las Vegas Bowl in decisive fashion, 31-14. UNLV fans tore down the goal posts as Arkansas players and coaches left the field. The Razorbacks finish the 2000 season at 6-6.

Arkansas was the slower team tonight. They didn't tackle well in the second half, after a nice start as far as making plays up front in the first half. But, in the second half, the Hogs couldn't make any plays on defense. Part of it was a knee strain that Quinton Caver suffered. He wasn't the same in the second half.
 
But, it didn't help that our secondary couldn't make a play. They were in position to do that on several of the long passes, but didn't break on the ball. And, Robby Hampton, by his own admission, didn't play well tonight. "I would like to have some of those passes back tonight," Hampton said.
 
"I had Richard Smith and didn't get him the ball on about three passes. "There was one in the first half, that I think the adrenaline just took over and I put too much on it. It really sailed and I should have just put some soft touch on it for a touchdown. "And, I had Richard in the second half, and just threw it too low and he had to wait on it. That's two I'd like to have back to Richard, and there was probably one more that Richard was open for a touchdown and I missed him. I'd scrambled a little and I think he slowed down and when he saw the ball, it was too late."
 
Arkansas' players thought Mississippi State was the most vulgar team they had played this year ... the kind of the trash talkers. But that was before the Hogs played UNLV's Rebels. "Hey, these guys were much better than Mississippi State ... at trash talking," said Kenny Sandlin.
 
"Their quarterback spit on me. I'd never had that happen in a game before tonight. "They said everything in the book. I learned some new words tonight. They were talking trash and doing it in vulgar terms the entire game. "They beat us and deserved to win. All I can say is that we get them again and we'll be ready for them. I'll remember the way they talked, what they said. It was pure trash. They had no class at all."
 
Houston Nutt congratulated UNLV for winning the game, stating several times that the Rebels deserved to win the Las Vegas Bowl. But, he was miffed about "four or five calls" that may have given UNLV the edge when the game was even in the second and third quarter. "I didn't understand the officiating," Nutt said. "I'd say four or five calls were really bad. The officiating just wasn't very good."
 
Was he concerned that the Hogs had to play UNLV in the Las Vegas Bowl with a Pacific-10 crew ... a crew all-too familiar to UNLV coach John Robinson? Nutt didn't answer, but nodded his head to that statement.
 
The UNLV bowl was a unique experience for this writer. Arkansas fans were taunted by drunken UNLV fans throughout the game. Yes, beer was sold at Sam Boyd Stadium from start to finish. That's the first college football game this writer has seen where beer was sold. I hope it's the last time I experience that.
 
The loss capped a disappointing campaign for Arkansas (6-6), one of nine Southeastern Conference teams that earned bowl bids. The Razorbacks endured a four-game losing streak before winning their final two contests to become bowl eligible.
 
UNLV fans stormed the field and tore down the goal posts in celebration as fireworks exploded over field. Happy fans danced as Arkansas players filed silently off the field.

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