NCF Nation: Nevada-Las Vegas

Links: Optimism abounds at Army

April, 2, 2010
Army coach Rich Ellerson thinks his team made progress this spring and is eager to see if it can carry through to the fall.

BYU running back Harvey Unga is working toward sharpening his blocking skills.

UNLV coach Bobby Hauck still remembers the lessons he learned while visiting troops in Iraq.

Former BYU quarterback Max Hall disputes claims that Tim Tebow never offered a prayer before the Wonderlic test at the NFL Combine.

UTEP’s new linebackers coach Robert Rodriguez helps the new defensive scheme take shape.

Finding a replacement for four-year center Jake Seitz has not been an easy task for UAB.

The Sporting News did a nice Q&A with Houston quarterback Case Keenum.

Receiver Tyler Mason tries to make a name for himself at Middle Tennessee.
Middle Tennessee is riding a wave of momentum after its 10-win season.

Four-star prospect Glen Stanley was supposed to enroll at UCF in January, but has switched his pledge to Tennessee.

Texas prep quarterback Taylor Barnhill might not have the flashy stats, but his high school coach says he’s underrated.

ECU coach Ruffin McNeil has spent little time in his office. He’s been on the road recruiting since he took the job.

Florida Atlantic is trying to shore up its defense through recruiting.

Florida International is stockpiling speedy defensive backs in this class.

Links: USF considers non-AQ coaches

January, 12, 2010
Several candidates for the South Florida job opening are from the nonautomatic qualifying schools, including East Carolina coach Skip Holtz, who appears to be the front-runner.

The first week of recruiting for new UNLV coach Bobby Hauk has been a success.

New Louisiana-Monroe coach Todd Berry has built his staff from connections he has made throughout his career.

San Diego State scored a recruiting coup by gaining a verbal commitment from a player who was previously committed to Arizona.

Speculation about whether DeWayne Walker will leave New Mexico State to become the Seattle Seahawks' defensive coordinator continues to swirl.
Salt Lake Tribune columnist Gordon Munson thinks now is the time for the Mountain West to add Boise State.

New UNLV football coach Bobby Hauck already has five oral commitments from local players.

The Mountain West quietly wrapped up the Bowl Challenge Cup for the second time in the past three years.

Hawaii football is poised to rebound after disappointing 2009 campaign.

The Toledo Blade conducted a Q&A with Bowling Green athletic director Greg Christopher.

Now that Boise State is on top of the non-AQ mountain, it needs to find new motivation to say there.

Navy has reason to celebrate after achieving nearly every goal it set this season.

The Huntington Herald-Dispatch did a Q&A with new Marshall head coach Doc Holliday.

Boise State is proud of its trick plays and has no plans to stop using them.
A new week, a new set of losses and some new coaches either deciding it’s time to hang up the whistle or whistle being taken from them.

UNLV’s Mike Sanford and San Jose State’s Dick Tomey will not return next year, bringing the total coaches not returning to four. And it’s still early in the day.

Here’s the updated coaches chart. A couple names have been added and a one has been saved with a big win this week.


David Elson, Western Kentucky (0-10, 0-6 Sun Belt)

Tommy West, Memphis (2-8, 1-5 C-USA)

Mike Sanford, UNLV (4-7, 2-5 MWC)

Dick Tomey, San Jose State (1-8, 0-5)


J.D. Brookhart, Akron (2-8, 1-5 MAC): Another week, another loss for Brookhart. This week, his team looked uncompetitive against Temple, the MAC East leader. The schedule doesn’t get much easier with Bowling Green needing a win for bowl eligibility. However, the Zips could notch a win at the end of the year against a winless Eastern Michigan team.

Todd Dodge, North Texas (2-8, 1-6 Sun Belt): The Mean Green are playing for Dodge -- just not in the second half. UNT had a 28-14 lead over Florida International, but the Golden Panthers scored 21 consecutive points for the win. Dodge is on his way to another two-win season, which won’t go over well especially since the school is trying to promote a new stadium project.


Mike Price, UTEP (3-7, 2-4 C-USA): For some reason, Price has trained his team to get up for the best opponents in C-USA West. Although the Miners couldn’t pull off the big upset against SMU, they have been competitive, which might keep Price his job. However, outside of wins against Houston and Tulsa, the Miners haven’t done much this year.

Mike Locksley, New Mexico (0-10, 0-6 MWC): The Lobos were so close to getting their first win of the season and what a win it would have been. However, they struggled on the final possession of the game and allowed BYU to preserve the victory. New Mexico has shown flashes of being competitive, but they don’t have the talent on cohesion to turn it into wins. They could win this weekend against a struggling Colorado State team.

Steve Roberts, Arkansas State (2-7, 1-4 Sun Belt): What happened to this Arkansas State team? It returned almost every player from a year ago and appeared poised to challenge for the Sun Belt title. But it hasn’t been able to string wins together and this is yet another disappointing season. The Red Wolves can still make it respectable if they win out, but that’s not going to be easy.

Mark Snyder, Marshall (5-5, 3-3): The Thundering Herd are all but out of the C-USA East race, which is disappointing considering they looked like they’d be the team to challenge East Carolina for the title. Marshall hasn’t played poorly this season, it just hasn’t come up big in big games. The Thundering Herd might still become bowl eligible, but I’m not sure they’ll earn a bowl berth.


Greg McMackin, Hawaii (4-6, 2-5 WAC): Hawaii’s not good. It defeated a lowly New Mexico State team this week to get its second conference win and still has a chance to become bowl eligible, but it’s not good. However, the fact that the Warriors have been riddled with injuries (more this past weekend) is what’s going to save McMackin’s job. While the fans are clamoring for change, that’s not likely to happen after this season.


George O’Leary, UCF (6-4, 4-2 C-USA): The Knights earned a huge win over Houston this weekend to get bowl eligible and stay in the race for the C-USA East title. Something has clicked in UCF the past few weeks and it’s made it quite the fighter. It's an uphill battle to win the conference, but a postseason appearance is very much a reality.
Posted by’s Graham Watson

UNLV faces its stiffest remaining challenge in its quest for a bowl game this week against Air Force. The Rebels have to win out to get to 6-6.

The Conference USA East race is one of the tightest divisional races in the country with five teams all in play for the conference title.

Greg Peterson, who was stripped of his role as offensive coordinator and receivers coach last week, still believes in what the Rams are doing.

Hawaii tickets sales are down this year and this weekend the school is offering tickets at 50 percent off for the game against New Mexico State.

Western Michigan has incentive to win its last two games and become bowl eligible.

Dick Tomey might not return as San Jose State’s head coach next season.

Utah is motivated by underdog role against TCU.

Posted by’s Graham Watson

UNLV senior receiver Ryan Wolfe became the nation’s leading active receiver last weekend after grabbing eight catches for 96 yards and a touchdown at Wyoming.

He now has 240 career receptions, which is one more than Central Michigan senior Bryan Anderson, and 3,119 yards, which is just ahead of the 3,038 by Buffalo senior receiver Naaman Roosevelt.

Wolfe needs just 23 more catches to break J.R. Toliver’s (San Diego State) all-time Mountain West record of 262, which he set after playing from 1999 to 2002. Wolfe needs 516 more receiving yards to break David Anderson’s (Colorado State) league mark of 3,634 yards set from 2002 to 2005.

Through four games this fall, Wolfe has 31 receptions for 384 yards.
Posted by's Graham Watson

• I didn't get to put up links Thursday, but I wanted to make sure I linked a story in the Reno Gazette-Journal about new Nevada transfer Corbin Louks.

• Army's offensive line is undersized, but determined to be better than past years.

• UNLV is working on balance, depth and consistency.

• Western Michigan kicker John Potter is making a name for himself with the Broncos.

• Rice and Texas have moved their 2010 season opener to Reliant Stadium.

• San Diego State quarterback Ryan Lindley is showing promise in coach Brady Hoke's new offense.

• New Toledo head coach Tim Beckman is ready to change the culture around Rockets' football.

Posted by's Graham Watson

Johnson's legacy: Ian Johnson is hoping to leave some sort of mark on the Boise State program when Saturday's game against No. 17 Oregon is all said and done. Johnson said he wants Boise State to be known for more than its 13-0 campaign and Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma in 2006. The Broncos have never beaten a BCS team in a true road game, and Johnson, a senior, said he doesn't want to leave Boise with thoughts of what he could have done.

East Carolina better than Alabama?: Tulane coach Bob Toledo didn't hesitate to call East Carolina a better team than Alabama, the Green Wave's season opening opponent. Toledo justified his assertion by saying that East Carolina is a more seasoned team that Alabama, which is playing with a lot of younger players.

"In my mind they're better than Alabama," Toledo said. "These guys are an experienced football team. They're very physical and they're very athletic... There's such a fine line between a major team and a mid-major team. I just think there's much more parity in college football and I see it on the film."

UNLV moves forward: UNLV running back Frank Summers said that after Monday he was done talking about the Rebels' upset win over No. 15 Arizona State even though he admitted that the thought of the win was something he's having a hard time getting over. He said he had 25 voice mails and text messages following the game and he saved all of them to commemorate the moment. But after Tuesday, Summers said, the messages would be gone and he's be focused on beating Iowa State, a team that's never won a road game under head coach Gene Chizik.

Ball State not there yet: Despite the 3-0 record, Ball State quarterback Nate Davis isn't ready to give his team the Mid-American Conference crown. He said his team didn't play well against Akron and still has a long way to go if it wants to compete against the likes of Central and Western Michigan. The Cardinals are 3-0 for the first time since 1988, but that season Ball State started strong and went on to lose two of its last three.

Navy in reverse: Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo will spend this week trying to figure out how his high-power rushing offense came to a screeching halt in the second half against Duke last Saturday. The Midshipmen had 130 total yards and three first downs in the second half and the bulk of that came on a 68-yard touchdown pass. Niumatalolo said this weekend's game against Rutgers will be a must win for both programs.

"It's going to be a circle-the-wagons game for them. Just like it for us," he said. "We're both the same. Our backs are against the wall. We're in a very similar situation. It's going to be a dogfight."

Posted by's Graham Watson

I found today's morning coffee in my email inbox. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel had a story about how teams need to capitalize on revenue opportunities while they're hot. The story mentions how Notre Dame locked in revenue sources while it was hot -- a move that has helped sustain the program during this cold time.

The story links marketing with branding and tradition, exposure and whether or not people think the team is cool. It's an interesting article.

Other links for your morning...

• The Salt Lake City Tribune says depth is a major concern for BYU because it has so many starters returning.

• For those fans of teams who face Michigan this season, is reporting that Michigan running back Carlos brown has been taking snaps at quarterback. Coach Rich Rodriguez just can't get away from a running quarterback, can he?

• Kunte Rockne's last surviving son, Jack, died Monday morning from complications from cancer. He was 82.

• The defense dominated Nevada's first scrimmage.

• The odds of UNLV winning the national championship would make you a millionaire.