Archive for Sunday, September 8, 2002

Turnovers no problem for Rebels

September 8, 2002


— One big fat zero really stuck out when Nevada-Las Vegas football coach John Robinson looked at the statistics.

The Rebels were turnover-free in Saturday night's 31-20 win over Kansas. Then again, KU didn't have any turnovers, either.

"I don't think I've been involved in many games where neither team turned that ball over," said the 67-year-old Robinson.

Frequent turnovers were a bugaboo in the Rebels' season-opening 27-7 loss to Wisconsin the week before  especially turnovers by quarterback Jason Thomas.

Thomas passed for 144 yards and ran for 74 more, scoring two touchdowns and throwing for another. The 6-4, 235-pound southpaw from Compton, Calif., will probably be in line for a Mountain West Conference weekly honor.

"He held on to the ball," Robinson said. "He accounted for almost 220 yards of offense and led all rushers in average per carry (8.2). I would say he had an OK game. I'm not about to say it was great."

Thomas wore goat horns after the Wisconsin loss and the local media didn't ignore his shaky play against the Badgers.

"I'm happy we didn't turn the ball over," Thomas said. "We stressed that all week in practice. When we have the offensive line blocking like they did and Joe (Haro) running like he did, it makes my job easy."

Haro led all rushers with 105 yards on 14 carries. UNLV netted 291 rushing yards.

"I was happy with our running game," Robinson said. "We were able to run consistently."

Robinson had no complaints about the defense, either.

"Defensively," the UNLV coach said, "we did what we set out to do. At the start of the game, they hurt us with the option. We were able to adjust at the half, and pretty much shut it down from there."

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