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UNLV gambling third QB will help end losing streak

SHARE UNLV gambling third QB will help end losing streak

UNLV coach Jeff Horton isn't a gambling man. He's just a guy trying to stop a losing streak or two. Entering Saturday's meeting with BYU (2-3), Horton's Rebels (0-5) have lost 23 straight road games and 10 contests overall.

The losses have taken its toll, but UNLV isn't about to quit. Same goes for senior quarterback Chad Reed. He'll make his first-ever start for the Rebels at Cougar Stadium. And in the process, become the team's third different starter this season."I'd love to have a guy step up and be the guy. I don't like changing. I think it hurts you consistency wise," UNLV coach Jeff Horton told reporters. "But you've got to give your team the best chance for success. And if that means trying something else, then so be it."

Senior Kevin Crook had three chances (starting the first, second and fifth games) and freshman Chris Hayward two (games three and four) as starting quarterback before Horton opted for Reed. The third-stringer saw his first game action in four years when he took snaps in the fourth quarter of last weekend's 31-20 loss to rival Nevada. Reed completed 5 of 10 passes for 43 yards after replacing Crook, who was a woeful 2 of 16 against the Wolf Pack.

Now the job is his. And Reed is confident he'll make the most of it - even if the first start comes before a homecoming crowd of 65,000 in Provo.

Cocky? Perhaps. Though Reed's confidence is backed by some experience.

As a freshman at Memphis, Reed started five games at quarterback and played in games at national powers Michigan and Tennessee. Following the 1994 season, the former Texas all-stater was moved to wide receiver after a coaching change. His catching career, however, was halted by an season-ending ACL injury after one reception for six yards. He never played for the Tigers again, choosing to follow offensive coordinator Charlie Stubbs (now at Alabama) to Vegas when he didn't get another chance to reclaim the quarterback position.

Unfortunately for Reed, the Rebels had Jon Denton. He set several school records while quarterbacking UNLV for the better part of the next two seasons. Denton left the program last June after a series of suspensions - thus, opening the door for someone else.

And with Crook and Hayward teaming for nine interceptions and only four touchdowns in the first five games, Reed finally gets his chance.

Only time will tell if it was worth the wait.

"Right now we're struggling at the quarterback position. That's obvious," Horton said. ". . . Hopefully, Chad can be the guy to get things sparked for us."



Feterik likely to start

"Business as usual" is how LaVell Edwards described BYU's quarterback situation for Saturday's homecoming game with UNLV. If so, the Cougars will start Kevin Feterik and bring Drew Miller in off the bench. Edwards fueled speculation that a switch might take place when he told reporters earlier this week that the coaching staff was taking a "wait-and-see" approach to the starting assignment.