Week 1 College Football Good for Local Stars

As I looked over the Utah State Media Guide, I noticed that crowds in the early 1990's with games held at UNLV drawing 8-9,000 ppl for a series of years. Looking at the crowd on Saturday, I was beginning to think if UNLV was headed down that same road with a very late arriving crowd. In the end of the first Saturday, UNLV and Nevada did well. So did a handful of former prep stars from Nevada.

Lets first talk about UNLV. They took on Utah State, a team ranked as the worst in all D1 by Sports Illustrated. For UNLV fans, this was a game that Mike Sanford needed to get. But, he needed to get it by a margin. Letting in a late touchdown certainly soured plenty who thought that UNLV would cover a 12 point spread. UNLV did enough against a one dimensional team who either could throw the ball with one QB or another QB who could not run out of the pocket fast enough. Easy to defend those types of athletes. But, when you see a 10 point win in the paper on Sunday morning, you have to wonder what UNLV does against better competition coming up in Utah and Arizona State. Give props to former Western star Phillip Payne who did not look like a Freshman on Saturday night. Payne did a great job using his frame against smaller DB and UNLV used those matchups well. Not much from Geno Odong of Valley and Utah State. UNLV still does not know how to finish while holding a lead using this spread offense. At the same time, UNLV play calling late throwing the football left time on the clock for the late TD for the Aggies. Ben Jaekel of Bonanza looks to be the long field goal and kick off specialist. Liked what we saw from Ronnie Puolo of Western at LB as he was active all night. Game one, UNLV gets a win, but with so many coming back and noting the small crowd, UNLV needed a statement to get the attention of the local football fans. They just did not get it against a team as poor as Utah State on Saturday. With a revenge minded Utah squad waiting for the Rebels after holding on at Michigan, UNLV needs to play with more speed than what they showed and their DBs need to be more active in press coverage than what we saw on Saturday. Otherwise, expect a long night for the Rebels in Salt Lake.

Oklahoma took on a JV squad in Tennessee Chattanooga and easily disposed of them. Demarco Murray of Gorman had a fine night with 124 yards and 2 touchdowns. Ryan Reynolds also looked stout at LB. Lets see what they do this week against a much better challenge in Cincinnatti.

Fresno State on Monday, great performances from Jon Monga of Foothill, Bobby Lepori of Manogue and Ben Jacobs of Silverado. Defensive struggle for the first half as the Bulldog defense bent but did not break against the Knights who struggled inside the 20 yard line.

Waiting for the UNLV - Arizona State game. Not only for the fact that a night game in Tempe is one of the most electric environments to watch a game in the country, but we get to see Nevada talent at work. With Dan Knapp and Wes Evans of Reno and last year's monster DL in Nevada Lawrence Guy of Western, Dennis Erickson is once again invading Nevada and picking up top talent that he used to score while he was at Oregon State. Guy is in the defensive line rotation and to see him play against sluggish OL play should be really interesting.

I know that nationally this is getting alot of press, but the fact that Andrew Hatch is starting at LSU really is a special story. We all have heard the story that he was in line to go to BYU, but then former Head Coach Gary Crowton was let go. It says alot that Hatch knew enough to stay in touch with Coach Crowton following his departure from Cimarron. He managed a smart game against App State this past weekend and showed good wheels when he got out of the pocket. Like we have always said, all Nevada prep fans need to root for the Hatch's of the world to do well. It only helps out those who follow in the footsteps in the future.

Nice to see Rashan Greer of Mojave lining up starting at WR for the Colorado State Rams. CSU looked really competitive in their in state battle against Colorado. With so many local kids being recruited by the Buffs this was a nice start to showcase the potential of the program.

Mike Smith of Palo switched over to the offense in the off season and now starts at LT for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Plenty of money to be made in the future if you can get this job done in the Big 12.

Tyson Poots of Coronado had a good game with Southern Utah taking on Air Force leading them with 9 grabs for 73 yards. Spencer Armstrong of Silverado had one grab for the Falcons in the blowout.

Another pure Freshman with a touchdown in his first game is Gorman's Keola Antolin who scored in Arizona's blowout over Idaho. Criner from Canyon Springs did not grab a catch in the game. Corey White of Las Vegas did get into the game for Idaho along with Michael Cosgrove and Charles Smith.

Utah had a big win for the Mountain West this weekend. Sylvester Stephenson of Valley did well once again from his LB job. Devonte Christopher of Canyon Springs is being protected with star QB Bryan Johnson holding down the job in an attempt to protect his red shirt year. Eddie Wide of Cimarron did not get the ball in the Michigan game either.

One team to follow is Southern Utah with all of their Southern and Northern Nevada players. Cody Heinrich, Daniel Tuilasi, Zach McCoy,Jeremy Vilardo, Colin Petrow, DJ Senser, DJ Luchessi, Akeem Anifowoshe,Frankie Reeves, Austin Hill, Lavar Porter, Brandon Godfrey, Mike Leesar,Archie Kovich and Tyson Poots.

Northern Arizona has Jimmy Mitchell and Stephen Nwosbe. Boise State has Billy Winn (Las Vegas), Dallas Dobbs (Chap) one of the leaders of the defense and Sean Bingham of Reno.

Pac 10 wise at Cal - Brett Johnson of Green Valley and DJ Campbell of Cheyenne. Brian Williams of DP is seeing time at Washington State.

Dont forget Chris Mark of Gorman starting at New Mexico as their TE. Quinton Carter of Cheyenne is trying to see more time at Oklahoma.

BYU is suprisingly light on Nevada players with only one Nevada player on their roster in Chris Warner of McQueen. Hawaii is gaining ground on the local recruiting front with a former Silverado staffer helping them re connect with local athletes. Only the Rice brothers of Coronado are on the Hawaii roster. A Warrior team that is in desperate need of tacklers after their horrible performance at Florida this weekend

Other players to watch: Aaron Bagsby (GV) UCONN, Austin Sylvester (Reno) at Washington, Josh Lagrone (McQueen) at Oregon State, Alex Toney (Shadow Ridge) at Wyoming, Deangelo Wilkinson (Gorman) at Colorado State, Martrell Fantroy (Gorman) and Neil Spencer (CM) at SDSU. Looking at the PAC 10 - Oregon, Stanford and UCLA are not carrying anyone from Nevada this year on their roster.


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