Rebel woes continue

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – After back-to-back blowouts losses to Hawaii and Nevada, the UNLV Rebels weren't half-bad in their Mountain West Conference opener here against Colorado State. Mike Sanford's Rebels went into halftime tied, 7-7. But the second half proved to be an entirely different story.

The Rams (4-1, 1-0) exploded for three touchdown in a 12 ½-minute span including a 64-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Caleb Hanie to wide receiver Damon Morton and an 14-yard interception return by linebacker Jeff Horinek of a Rocky Hinds pass as UNLV dropped its 12th straight road game dating back to 2004.

Hanie's 9-yard touchdown run to cap a 12-play, 80-yard drive gave the Rams a 14-7 lead midway through the third quarter.

Hinds then completed three straight passes for 36 yards in driving UNLV (1-4, 0-1) to the Rams 35-yard line. But Hinds underthrew fullback Ryan Worthen in the flat on 3rd-and-1 and running back David Peeples was stuffed for a one-yard loss on fourth down to end the threat.

On the very next play, Hanie (23 of 28, 257 yards, 1 TD) connected with Morton, who got behind cornerback John Guice, on a streak up the left sideline for a 64-yard touchdown to make it 21-7.

Horinek's interception return with 8:46 left sealed the win for CSU.

"I think we played hard the whole game, but I think we didn't do the things you've got to to win a game like that," UNLV coach Mike Sanford said. "This thing is a journey, and we've got to keep getting better and keep improving."

Hinds finished with 19 completions in 34 attempts for 198 yards, no touchdowns and one very big interception. Senior backup Shane Steichen also saw action for two series in the second quarter but failed to complete a pass in four attempts.

"I fell we're improving," Hinds said. "The first half we played great. Now the whole thing is we just have to finish in the second half."

Mountain West tackles leader Beau Bell had a game-high 13 tackles and nose guard Howie Fuimaono, who came into the game with just one career quarterback sack, had 2.5 sacks to lead the Rebel defense.

UNLV hosts New Mexico on Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Sam Boyd Stadium.

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