UNLV is about to get served

By By Nick Pappas

By Nick Pappas

Going into the game on Saturday, both the Utah Utes and UNLV Rebels can be proud. One vaulted into the polls and the other whimpered out of one.

After a huge win against BCS perennial powerhouse Michigan, Utah cracked the Top 25 for the first time since going to the Fiesta Bowl in 2005. The Utes are sitting at 22 in The Associated Press and at 23 in the Coaches Poll.

Meanwhile, in front of a roaring crowd of dozens of fans, UNLV squeaked out a win against Utah State 27-17. The pillow fight vaulted them out of ESPN’s Bottom 10. Impressive, if it weren’t for the fact that Utah State is currently ranked No. 6 on the same shameful list.

Yes, these are two teams on a collision course8212;one in a locomotive and the other in a Daewoo. And the inevitable crash should be ugly.

The operative word is “should.” All signs point to an epic blowout at Rice-Eccles Stadium, but the Rebels proved last year that no team can be taken for granted.

If the game against Michigan was one of the most important in Utah football history, last year’s loss to UNLV should remain planted as the worst of all time.

UNLV had just lost embarrassingly to Hawaii the week prior. Utah, in an eerie similarity to this year, had just defeated No. 11 UCLA. Regardless of their past résumés, the Rebels rolled over the Utes 27-0, with running back Frank “The Tank” Summers going for 190 yards and three touchdowns.

“It’s very evident on tape,” UNLV head coach Mike Sanford said after the game. “They were avoiding trying to tackle him, no question in my mind.”

Summers felt no remorse in twisting the rusty knife of a UNLV loss in the Utes’ back.

“People were just throwing themselves in front of me,” Summers said.

It was reported that the team laughed while watching the game film afterward.

I hope they enjoyed the victory. UNLV lost its next game against Nevada Reno with a score of 27-20, and continued a roll of eight- straight losses. The humiliated Utes, on the other hand, won seven in a row, losing a heartbreaker to BYU in the final game of the regular season.

It’s always darkest before the dawn. A loss to the Rebels is pitch black.
Don’t look for the Utes to falter again. The team is hungrier and healthier this year. Whittingham has proven in the past that he doesn’t take trash talk lightly, as shown by the infamous onside kick against Wyoming after Joe Glenn guaranteed victory.

Glenn merely flashed the bird after the game. Look for the volatile Sanford to flap his arms like a wounded duck.

The Utes need to prove they belong in the Top 25 and make sure UNLV goes back to the bottom. This game should be a massacre.
Sanford and his team have shown their lack of sportsmanship. It’s time for Utah to punish them for it.

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Nick Pappas