The whole novelty of seeing UNLV’s legendary head coach John Robinson wore off rather quickly on this particular Saturday afternoon. To begin, not one part of anyone’s clothing failed to stick due to the slow, but steady cloud leak that fell from the gray skies in Madison. Ponchos offered a flimsy defense against the rain, especially with the chilly breeze that made the drizzle feel like a monsoon. The Rebels, who are more accustomed to triple digit temperatures and bone dry air masses, appeared undaunted by the unpleasant weather. They probably could have played underwater and still managed to speed through this game.
UNLV cracked the seal on this contest with a field goal, which seemed harmless enough. However, turnovers would plague the Badgers all day. The Rebels’ next score would come courtesy of Wisconsin tailback Dwayne Smith who lost the football. UNLV’s Jamal Brimmer found it, picked it up, and waltzed 55 yards in the other direction to extend the lead to ten. The rain pounded harder. Wisconsin’s feeble attempt to answer came with a safety and a field goal. The Rebels didn’t let their blunders hold them back. More Wisconsin turnovers flooded the field and UNLV took advantage. By the conclusion of the third quarter, the Rebels were up 23-5.
The fourth quarter saw some alleviation from the rain, but the majority of the precipitation came in the form of fans pouring out of the stadium. No scoring occurred in the final period of play – perhaps the dreariest quarter of the Alvarez era. UNLV celebrated with little exuberance. They may have been taught to treat victories over top twenty competition as commonplace. They may also have been as bored, tired, wet, and cold as the rest of us – just wanting to go home. At least the Rebels had a win to pack in their suitcases.