Las Vegas Review-Journal
Rebels still trying to work out kinks
Revolving door at quarterback has created problems for offense
UNLV football coach Marcus Arroyo addressed the obvious Saturday night during his opening statement after a 48-3 loss to No. 14 Iowa State at Allegiant Stadium.
“We’ve got to find ways to be efficient and not turn the football over, to do things that win games in all three phases,” he said. “The quarterback position is going to be one that’s going to continue, as we try to get healthy there, is going to help us. But we’ve got to continue to press on.”
With whoever is behind center for the Rebels.
In the past six quarters of play, UNLV has utilized four quarterbacks as it searches for stability with its signal callers. Sophomore Doug Brumfield, the only one of the four to lead a touchdown drive, was injured last week in the third quarter of a 37-10 loss to Arizona State. Fourth-year junior Justin Rogers, true freshman Cameron Friel and fifth-year junior Tate Martell have had opportunities since Brumfield’s departure.
They’ve collectively guided the Rebels to three points.
Through three games, UNLV sports one of the most impotent passing offenses in the FBS, averaging 100.3 yards per game to rank in the bottom eight. To compound the matter, a trip to No. 22 Fresno State looms.
Despite the struggles, UNLV tight end Giovanni Fauolo Sr. expressed confidence in his quarterbacks Saturday night. “I’m comfortable with all of them,” he said. “It doesn’t make a difference to me.”
Friel and Martell made their team debuts Saturday, with Friel earning the nod as the starter and the two sharing snaps throughout the second half. They combined to complete 10 of 19 passes for 94 yards. Friel threw an interception.
Fauolo still had praise for both players
“After (Friel) threw the pick, he wasn’t super rattled or anything,” Fauolo said. “He actually came in the huddle, like ‘I’ll be better.’ … It’s good to see out of him. First college game. First college throws. We’ll be fine. He’ll be fine. For Tate, he was third on the depth chart. (It’s just) staying ready when his time is ready to go. He’s a good dude. It doesn’t really bother me who plays.”
The Rebels are in for another challenge Friday against the Bulldogs, who stunned No. 13 UCLA on Saturday with a road win at the Rose Bowl.
“Our guys are resilient,” Arroyo said. “They keep fighting. They care about each other. … We’re all pissed off in there. That type of hurt and that type of identity of understanding where you want to be, where you want to go is part of that growth process.”