A new season did nothing to help stop the Nevada-Las Vegas football team’s road struggles.
The Rebels were dominated by Minnesota 51-23 Thursday night, losing their 23rd consecutive road game. UNLV now has gone winless away from home in each of Bobby Hauck’s three seasons as head coach.
The streak is the second-longest drought in the nation behind only Akron, which has 27 straight road defeats after losing at Central Florida on Thursday.
After only trailing 16-13 at halftime, special teams let the Rebels down in the second half.
Minnesota’s Marcus Jones started the third quarter with a 98-yard kickoff return. Midway through the third quarter, Minnesota’s Ra’Shede Hageman blocked a field goal, and Martez Shabazz picked up the ball and ran 51 yards for a 30-13 lead.
Overall, the Rebels gave up 252 yards in return yardage.
The biggest bright spot for UNLV was that it won the statistical battle. UNLV outgained Minnesota 419 yards to 320, and also had 21 first downs to the Gophers’ 17.
Rebels quarterback Nick Sherry completed 35 of 50 passes for 226 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
The other bright spots: Tim Cornett rushed for 80 yards on 20 carries with a TD, and Shaquille Murray-Lawrence ran for 108 yards on only four carries.
UNLV, which was picked to finish fifth in the six-team West Division of the Mountain West Conference by media experts, is now 6-33 overall in Hauck’s tenure.
Currently, UNLV has a stretch of nine straight losing seasons and are 24-85 in that span.
The Rebels return home next week, but it doesn’t get easier as Arizona comes into town.
After three straight homes games at Sam Boyd Stadium, UNLV has to play both Fresno State and rival Nevada-Reno on the road in consecutive weeks.