The Bobby Hauck era at UNLV got off to a rough start as the Rebels fell to #12 Wisconsin, 41-21, in their season-opener Saturday night at Sam Boyd Stadium. The Badgers steamrolled UNLV on the ground, rushing for 278 yards led by tailback Clay’s 123 yards and two touchdowns. Clay’s backfield mate Montee Ball added 79 yards and two scores, while Badger QB Scott Tolzien completed 15 of 20 passes for 197 yards with and interception. Wisconsin wasted no time in establishing its ground game, opening the contest with a time-consuming 80-yard, 14-play drive culminating in Clay’s five-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead. On the Badgers’ next possession, Ball took it in from one yard out to make it 14-0. But the Rebels got on the board near the end of the quarter when Will Chandler intercepted Tolzien and returned the pick 19 yards for a score to pull UNLV within 14-7. The Badgers tacked on a second-quarter field goal to go up 17-7, but the Rebel offense responded just before halftime with a 16-yard touchdown pass from starting QB Mike Clausen to wide receiver Philip Payne to make the score 17-14 at the break. But Wisconsin blew the game open in the third quarter, outscoring UNLV 24-0. First, the Badgers’ Aaron Henry returned a Rebel fumble 20 yards for a touchdown, then Wisconsin added a 30-yard field goal. On their next possession, the Badgers got a 16-yard TD run from Ball, and after another UNLV punt, Wisconsin closed out the quarter with a 19-yard run by Clay to go up 41-14. UNLV backup quarterback Omar Clayton’s touchdown pass to Irshad Stolden a few minutes into the fourth quarter rounded out the scoring. The Rebels now go on the road for their Mountain West Conference opener at Utah next Saturday.