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Tag:MAACO Bowl Las Vegas
Posted on: January 27, 2011 3:40 pm
 

Report: UNLV to get domed stadium

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

There aren't many FBS programs more downtrodden than UNLV, who haven't had a winning season or played in a bowl game since 2000 and have won more than two games only twice in the past seven seasons. Clearly, the Runnin' Rebels are in need of something big to turn the program around.

Fortunately, it looks like that something may be on its way. The Las Vegas Sun has reported that plans will be unveiled next week to build a "multipurpose sports and entertainment complex near campus," one that will include a domed stadium and be funded by Los Angeles billionaire Ed Roski as part of a "public-private partnership."

No timetable for the completion of the project (or its groundbreaking ,for that matter) appears to be set at this time.

The stadium will replace the off-campus Sam Boyd Stadium as UNLV's home football venue and -- one would have to assume, though the report doesn't raise the issue -- could take over as the host for the annual MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. It could prove to be a huge boon to the Rebels on several fronts; not only will the new facilities no doubt be a huge help for recruiting purposes, but a lively crowd and better atmosphere in a stadium much, much closer to campus could tip a few close home games in the Rebels' direction that tipped elsewhere at Sam Boyd.

Then again, the current edition of the Rebels -- 2-11 in Bobby Hauck's first year, with the only wins coming at home over fellow MWC sad-sacks Wyoming and New Mexico -- wouldn't be able to win if Jerry Jones had built his Dallas football space palace on their doorstep. It's going to take a lot more to revive UNLV football than a shiny new building.

But there's also no doubt that Hauck will take whatever help he can get, and certainly a state-of-the-art facility like the one Roski is proposing would be an awful lot of help indeed.
Posted on: December 23, 2010 1:53 am
 

Bowl Grades: MAACO Bowl Las Vegas

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Boise State overcame a sluggish first half to shut down the Utah Utes, 26-3.

Boise State

Offense: The Broncos committed an uncharacteristic four turnovers tonight, and that doesn't count the blocked field goal or the dropped pass on a fake punt. And yet, Kellen Moore still threw for well over 300 yards and got over 200 yards on the ground from his running backs. Moore and Austin Pettis combined for 11 completions, 145 yards, and a score -- all of which were bigger numbers than the Utah passing game accomplished altogether (Pettis also threw a two-yard completion to himself, which was as silly as it sounds). And while Boise didn't convert 10 of its 18 3rd downs, only one resulted in a punt, and that was a masterful 47-yard directional punt out of bounds. Still, the low point total could have been disastrous. Grade: B-

Defense: Utah quarterback Terrence Cain struggled all day long against the Boise defense. While some of those struggles were exacerbated by mental mistakes by his receivers -- more on that in a bit -- he also faced constant pressure from the Broncos' front four, often forcing sacks or quick and errant throws. Utah would only manage eight first downs on the entire day, and even the Utes' short-field drives (five of which started past the Utah 40) were by and large fruitless. Grade: A

Coaching: At times, Chris Peterson was a little too cute with his playcalling, and it led to potential problems for the Broncos. Most notably, we're talking about Peterson's fake punt reverse pass that ended up being thrown to punter/placekicker/scapegoat Kyle Brotzman , who was open on the play but displayed zero receiving acumen as he tried to catch the pass with his stomach. There's a reason not to throw these guys the ball, y'know. But even after that dropped pass and all the groaning by people reminiscing about Brotzman's awful night against Nevada last month, Peterson never hesitated calling his kicker's number, and that's commendable. Grade: B+

Utah

Offense: It's hard not to fall into the familiar "A's for winners, F's for losers" model of game grading, especially when dealing with a starting quarterback who's seen limited action this year like Terrence Cain. Cain started in place of injured Jordan Wynn and underwhelmed, as his final numbers bear out: 10/24, 93 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT; 14 rushes, 19 yards, 0 TD, one fumble lost. And yet, Cain had several good throws come up empty; the announcers estimated that six of Utah's 14 incompletions were on dropped passes (some of which were unconscionable), a pass to inside the 5-yard-line was called back on a dubious illegal downfield receiver, and a touchdown pass was waved off after an easy holding call. Cain could have done better; his supporting cast didn't give him much help, though, and that's clearly a problem when facing a defense like Boise's. Grade: D+

Defense: Give the Utah D some credit; by and large, it held the Boise rushing attack in check. If it weren't for that 84-yard run by Doug Martin to open up the Broncos' scoring, Utah would have given up just 118 yard on 36 carries, a 3.3-yard average. That's ordinarily very good! It's just, Martin's run did happen, and it changed the momentum of the game. Boise State's 26-second touchdown drive to cap the first half didn't help Utah much either. But other than those two quick strikes, the Utes largely held the Broncos in check. Boise's 26 points, in fact, were the least it had scored in any game this year. Not a bad performance, and that doesn't include the turnovers forced. Grade: B-

Coaching: It's tough to hang too much of the blame for Utah's struggles on Kyle Whittingham tonight; after all, he wasn't the one out there committing penalties or dropping passes. Still, though, his playcalling left a little to be desired; too often, Cain would drop back on first down, something the Boise State pass rush and linebackers were routinely ready for. Matt Asiata , Eddie Wide III , and Shaky Smithson each had a rush for over 20 yards on the day, yet the three players combined for only the same amount of carries (14) as Cain had on the day. That's not putting the offense in position to make plays. Grade: C

Final Grade

This could have been a good game, but Utah spent so, so much time blowing opportunities in new and exciting ways (fumbling in Boise territory, committing backbreaking penalties, making Cain face over 10 yars on all but a couple of his third downs, etc.) that once Boise State was up 16-3, the game just felt over. That's a departure from Boise State's usual bowl play, which routinely features 60-minute, one-possession contests, but c'mon; the Broncos even tried handing the Utes a big lead in the first half and Utah couldn't capitalize. It's too bad such a high-profile game turned into such a snoozer (I have literally fallen asleep three times since starting this article), but Boise State is a very good team, and this is what very good teams do to sloppy teams. Grade: C-


Posted on: December 21, 2010 3:39 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2010 3:44 pm
 

Ute WR tweets smack at 'Girlse State'

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Thanks to the Las Vegas Bowl's offer (or, to be sponsorifically accurate, the offer from MAACO Bowl Las Vegas) of a "professional massage," Utah and Boise State were able to deliver their Sunday pre-game trash-talking, threats, and dish-smashing shoves in person.

But with the teams separated -- after Sunday's incident, probably for good, at least until kickoff -- Ute wide receiver DeVonte Christopher had to resort to the fans' standard medium of smack talk, the Internet. And via Twitter, he certainly made the most of it (emphasis added):
Christopher, a Canyon Springs High School graduate, posted on Twitter: "I can't wait to get out here wit these Boise State or should I say Girlse State they a bunch of cheerleaders...lol."
While Christopher is no doubt not the first person to come up with the "Girlse State" monkier, he is the first person to bring it this blogger's attention, and he is awarded full marks for both the attempt and for singlehandedly forcing his coach to create a Twitter policy .

That said, don't expect the tweet to actually do anything to ratchet up the acrimony between two teams that already sound like they don't care a whole for the other:

"If we ate dinner with other teams, I think the same thing would happen," Utah defensive end Christian Cox said. "We've both been in similar situations in terms of BCS notoriety. They're probably very frustrated that they're in Vegas when they could've been in the BCS or arguably the national championship.

"I love it. I think it's great. If you want to talk, show it on the field" ...

"A little more tension in the air, but I think guys are ready to play anyway," Boise State nickel back Winston Venable said.

If anything ... untowards happens during the game, we might worry about the reactions from Utah's and Boise's new conference homes at the Pac-12 and Mountain West, respectively, on their incoming members' conduct reputations. Then again, you know what they say: what happens in MAACO Bowl Las Vegas stays in MAACO Bowl Las Vegas.

 






 
 
 
 
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