No matter what kind of offense UNLV runs on Saturday, this week of preparation should help the University of Wisconsin defense for the following two games.
That’s because each of the first three UW opponents features more questions than answers on offense.
“I think any time you play a team that has a new (coaching) staff, there’s a lot of what-ifs,” defensive coordinator Dave Doeren said. “Because you’re not sure.”
This is the first game at UNLV for coach Bobby Hauck, who brought most of his staff with him from Montana.
“Are they going to run what they did at Montana, even though they don’t have the personnel, per se, to run it?” Doeren said. “Or are they going to wait until they recruit those guys and run what UNLV did?”
Doeren expects a blend of both philosophies, which is similar to what UNLV coaches have said. That means a possible mix of UNLV’s spread from last season and the physical running game Hauck hopes to bring from Montana.
Having spent two seasons at Montana as the recruiting coordinator and secondary coach in 2000 and 2001, Doeren is close friends with UNLV offensive line coach Chad Germer. Doeren has met Hauck three or four times and has great respect for him.
“I think he’s really sound and detailed,” Doeren said. “I think he’s a good person. They’re a bunch of blue-collar, hard-working guys.
“I think he takes pride in ball control and good special teams. He was the special teams coordinator at Montana when he was there. I think we’ll see a hard-nosed football team.”
The Badgers will face another new coaching staff against San Jose next week and a new offense with Arizona State the following week.
“We’re going to have the same issue here three weeks defensively,” Doeren said. “We just have to be flexible enough with our calls, where we can adjust.”