This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The Cougars turned in one of the most dominating wins in the Bronco Mendenhall era today at LaVell Edwards Stadium, blasting UNLV 55-7 in front of more than 61,000 fans. The Cougars have won by bigger margins the past six years, but the way they dominated statistically is what set this one apart. They had 516 yards to UNLV's 144, and 70 of the Rebels' yards came on the final possession against BYU's second and third teamers. James Lark and most of the offense's second unit played the entire fourth quarter. Mendenhall's opening statement in the postgame news conference: "I think we played probably our most complete game today, from an offensive perspective. I think there was more balance than what we have had, in terms of being able to run the football and throw it. I think we certainly caught the ball more cleanly, and at more critical moments than we had before. I think overall it was just a solid team performance on both sides. I think the team is eager, I think they are anxious to improve, I think they they are anxious to finish the season strong, and I think they are looking forward to their next game."Defensively, the Cougars suffocated UNLV's offense almost the entire game. Brian Logan set the tone early with an interception, and Jameson Frazier also had a pick on a ball tipped by Vic So'oto. The Cougars did not turn the ball over.Players called it a breakout game in the postgame news conference, but Mendenhall wouldn't go that far. "I don't know if we needed [a big win] or not," he said. "It presents some different challenges, and different learning opportunities. And what I liked I wouldn't say we needed it but what I liked was having so many players get a chance to play when they have been laboring behind the scenes and working so hard.....From the overall perspective, it was nice to have the win. I am not sure it was needed, or I wouldn't put it in that classification." UNLV coach Bobby Hauck and Mendenhall are good friends from their days coaching together at Northern Arizona. Their wives have known each other since going to school together in Montana. Hauck had plenty of praise for Mendenhall in his postgame comments. "Bronco and his staff did a great job," Hauck said. "They had their team ready to go and they dominated us any way you look at it. They dominated us in terms of numbers and they dominated us out on the field." Hauck said that right now the Rebels are not a tough football team. "I am really disappointed with the way we played and, frankly, I didn't think that we had enough toughness on our football team and that starts with the head coach not being tough enough. "So we are going to spend the next 10 months developing toughness on our football team because when things to wrong we have a tendency to snowball, and that's not good."- If there was one negative for the Cougars today, it was that they allowed some long kickoff returns. The Rebels had five returns for 167 yards, and Marcus Sullivan took one 50 yards that he nearly broke for a touchdown. A bright spot that might have gone unnoticed was that the Cougars recorded five sacks, a season-high. Matt Putnam, Austen Jorgensen, Graham Rowley, Connell Hess and Corby Eason were all credited with sacks. Linebacker Shane Hunter led the team in tackles, with five.