In his general opening comments,
McCarney said that the health of his team was very solid after the first game.
In fact, McCarney said that everybody who played against
McCarney gave Bret Meyer and Todd Blythe game balls at the team meetings on Friday. No defensive player of the week was awarded while Caleb Berg was named the special team's captain for this Saturday night.
McCarney also noted that freshman strong safety James Smith is currently ahead of schedule in his recovery.
Getting Blythe the Rock
Nothing has dominated messages boards or call-in shows like the topic of getting Todd Blythe the ball more after he recorded three receptions in regulation last Thursday. McCarney agrees but he also said that you can't be stubborn about it.
"You can't be hard headed about it and stubborn. You can't say ‘well we're going to him' and they're over there saying ‘oh no you're not going to him.' Then the next thing, we're coming out with three or four or five turnovers. We don't want to do that either," McCarney said.
"The neat thing is that we've got real quality receivers all over the place. We don't go in thinking that we have to get it to Blythe or we won't win," McCarney said. "We'd love to get him involved as much as we can. He's got the eye of the tiger and the fire in his eye. He wants the ball and yet he can improve in his route running, he can improve in his blocking. When the game is on the line, what a phenomenal player he is."
Pressure is Key
One thing that the coach was adamant about on Tuesday was the fact that his young defense needs to put more pressure on the quarterback and it all has to start with the front four.
"We want to get more pressure first of all with our front four. That's just digging down in the trenches and doing a better job. You can't blitz all day. Modern day college football people start licking their chops when you're going to start bringing a lot of people. You've got to be better with your front four," McCarney said.
Like he said after the game on
Thursday, McCarney continued to comment on the mental errors that his defense
"Our mental errors have got to be eliminated and kept to a minimum. We had far too many of those," McCarney said. "Some good positive things but the mental error things are ones that I take very serious, I don't tolerate and I put a lot of responsibility right back on the coaches."
Though the mental errors were
"We only got two turnovers. We want more than that," McCarney said.
New Playmakers on Defense
"When you look at 35 tackles with those two inside linebackers, it's pretty obvious that those two have talent and can make plays. That's a tremendous job but they weren't clean throughout the game and they had some mental errors. That's why those guys weren't MVP's for the game," McCarney said.
Another bright spot on Thursday was the play of true freshman DE Rashawn Parker.
"Here comes a true freshman with two of the biggest plays of the game, sacks back to back. There's no doubt that he's got playmaking ability," McCarney said.
A Much Improved UNLV Squad
UNLV went 2-9 last year in the Mountain West Conference. That's not impressive, but the improvements that the Rebels have made in the off-season are.
"They're better for a lot of reasons, mostly because they are in their second year with their program. And because of transfers, and because of development, and because of recruiting. They look much better than they did on all the tape we watched of last year when they finished 2-9," McCarney said.
UNLV beat Div. 1 AA Idaho State by a score of 54-10 on Saturday night and they did it in every fashion of the game.
"They blocked a punt for a touchdown, they scored on defense, they scored every way imaginable on offense. They completely dominated the game, it was 30-3 at half and got worse in the second half," McCarney said.
One Tough QB
UNLV runs a spread shotgun offense
and they are led by their big-time quarterback and USC transfer, Rocky Hinds.
After sitting out last season, Saturday's game against
"I can't tell you how excited we were to see that tape because all we've seen is what we've read and what we've saw. We watched all of their games last year but we didn't get to see him play," McCarney said.
At 6'5, McCarney sees the quarterback's height as a huge advantage for him running the shotgun offense.
"It helps when you're 6'5 and you can see over all of those offensive and defensive linemen up front," McCarney said.
Here's what McCarney had to say in a bit of a ‘scouting report' on Hinds.
"I think that he distributes the
ball well. Nine different receivers caught balls last week in the game that they
played." "As a runner I think he looks a lot like Bret Meyer. He can hurt you
with his feet too. You can see why he was recruited by everybody in the country
coming out of high school. In everything that I have read, the
Saturday will mark Rocky's first ever game starting on the road.