Rowe not happy with his play | NevadaAppeal.com

Rowe not happy with his play

Nevada quarterback Jeff Rowe was understandably upset after Monday’s 38-21 season-opening loss to Louisiana Tech.

The 6-foot-5 redshirt sophomore from McQueen is trying to win the respect from his teammates after a disappointing freshman season, and he believes he didn’t play up to his capabilities.

Rowe threw for 181 yards and two scores, but he didn’t feel he made the plays his teammates expected of him. Of course, it’s hard to throw the ball accurately when you’re sitting on your rear end or have defenders in your face. Rowe was sacked seven times, including four times by Tech defensive end Jemelle Cage.

“I knew they were coming after us,” Rowe said. “I’m not really a proven quarterback. I knew they were going to come.

“I’ve got to get rid of the ball (quicker). If the rush is coming, I’ve got to get rid of the ball no matter what.”

Chris Ault, Nevada head coach, eventually replaced Rowe late in the game, and No. 2 quarterback Travis Moore did lead the team to a meaningless touchdown late in the game. Ault said at no time was he thinking about yanking Rowe when the game was still on the line.

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“Jeff did some nice things,” Ault said. “He stayed in there and threw the ball. He did miss a few audibles, but overall I thought he did a decent job. It wasn’t Jeff’s fault. He has to have time to throw.”

When he did, he threw the ball well, according to Dell McGee, who caught one of Rowe’s TD passes.

“Jeff did a lot better the second half,” McGee said. “He’s going to be a good quarterback.”

So, figure to see Rowe under center when Nevada plays Sacramento State Saturday at 1:05 p.m. at Mackay Stadium.

Ault said he doesn’t know much about his upcoming opponent because the Hornets have changed coordinators on both sides of the ball.

“I’m not sure what they’re going to do,” Ault said. “That may be the best thing. We need to concentrate on how we execute.”

Don’t expect SMU coach Phil Bennett to send a Christmas card to Texas Tech coach Mike Leach anytime soon.

Bennett and Leach exchanged some harsh words at the conclusion of last week’s game, which Tech won 27-13. Bennett was incensed that Tech tried to run up the score in the closing minutes instead of walking away with a two-touchdown win. Tech even tried a fade route on its closing drive; a play that Bennett said had not been called the entire game.

According to reports, some players from both teams swung their helmets in anger at each other at the end of the game.

The WAC, according to Commissioner Karl Benson, is investigating the incident.

“I like Mike Leach,” Bennett said. “I don’t like the way the game ended. I let my emotions get away from me.”

Bennett said that he plans on playing quarterback Tony Eckert, a JC transfer, will see action Saturday against TCU. Starter Chris Phillips rushed for around 100 yards, but wasn’t a prolific passer in the last several games last season and the opener against Tech.

San Jose State coach Fitz Hill admitted that he was hit from the blindside when school officials informed him Friday morning that more than 15 players were ineligible to play against Stanford on Saturday.

Hill hastily got his staff together, and the group managed to iron out most of the problems. Still, six players sat out the 43-3 nonconference loss.

“I was not excited about putting the team on the field,” Hill said. “On the flip side, I was grateful for the opportunity. I’ve been in worse situations. That’s why I’m able to stay positive. In building a program you’re all held accountable.”

Hill served in Desert Storm, so without a doubt it’s easier to deal with not having players available compared to somebody firing a weapon at you.

What frustrated Hill is that in some cases, the players were already cleared at one time. What was also frustrating is that many of the players in question had been in San Jose all summer working out. You have to wonder why this wasn’t discovered sooner.

Louisiana Tech running back Ryan Moats, Fresno State safety James Sanders and Boise State kick returner Chris Carr of Reno were honored as the conference’s top players.

Moats, a junior, torched Nevada for 257 yards and three scores in the Bulldogs’ 38-21 win on Monday. The three scores tied a career high set last year when he ran for 199 yards and three scores in a 42-34 win over, you guessed it, Nevada.

Sanders had seven tackles and two interceptions, including a 19-yard return for a touchdown in the Bulldogs’ 35-16 win over Washington on Sunday.

Carr, who prepped at McQueen, returned five punts for 135 yards, including a 62-yard score, to help Boise State destroy in-state rival Idaho 65-7.

Conference officials love to point out that Fresno State, Boise State and Hawaii can match up with any three teams in Bowl Championship Series conferences.

Since 2001, and including last week’s openers, the WAC’s three best teams have combined for 92 wins. The Big 12 is tops with 98 followed by the ACC and SEC with 93. Boise also enjoys the nation’s longest home winning streak with 19 straight victories on its blue turf.

Hawaii’s June Jones, who leads off the weekly WAC teleconference, was a no-show.

The Rainbow Warriors lost a 35-28 overtime decision to little-known Florida Atlantic Saturday in Hawaii. It was easily the WAC’s biggest disappointment of the weekend, and the only true upset.

Timmy Chang did throw for 302 yards, and now needs 1,915 to become the all-time NCAA leader in yardage. It was the 28th time he’s passed for 300 yards or more.

Mike Price, UTEP’s first-year head coach, faces his old school, Weber State, this weekend. Price’s first head-coaching job was at Weber State.

“I’m excited to have Weber State here,” Price said. “It will be tremendous for both universities. I have really great memories about that school (Weber State). Four of the assistants on their current staff I coached when I was there.

“You always want to play well against your old coach. I expect it to be real competitive.”

For possible breakout:

The week in the WAC

Friday

Oregon State at Boise State, 7 p.m., ESPN

Saturday

Sacramento State at Nevada, 1:05 p.m.

Fresno State at Kansas State, 9:10 a.m.

Tulsa at Oklahoma State, 4 p.m.

SMU at TCU, 4 p.m.

Louisiana-Lafayette at Louisiana Tech, 4 p.m.

Weber State at UTEP, 6:05 p.m.

Darrell Moody can be reached at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281.

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