MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Bill Stewart spent the first part of the week studying film of UNLV, and the West Virginia coach grew concerned after watching one play against Nevada.
The Wolf Pack sent a cornerback on a blitz and he fired through space and leveled Rebels quarterback Omar Clayton.
"I don't know how he's walking," Stewart said.
That wasn't what had him worried. It was what happened next and it was particularly perplexing.
"He took just a terrible shot, but it was a legal hit, right when the ball came out," Stewart said. "He got right up. The next series, he takes them right down the field and takes them into the end zone."
The Rebels, in their first year with Coach Bobby Hauck, lost 44-26 and enter Saturday's 3:30 p.m. game at Mountaineer Field with a 1-4 record. They've scored 71 points the past two games - including a 45-10 win against New Mexico - after totaling 38 in losses to ranked Wisconsin and Utah and at Idaho.
"They have absolutely come on in the last two games," Stewart said. "They're learning the system. The coaches have been in there since the spring. ... I like what they're doing. They're making big plays. They're starting to gel. They're starting to believe."
Clayton, a 6-foot-1 senior, was the season-opening starter in 2008 and 2009, but lost the offseason competition to Mike Clausen - who is now a starting safety.
A former fifth-string walk-on, Clayton can finish as UNLV's career leader in passing yards, completion percentage and lowest interception rate. He's completed 55 of 104 passes for 748 yards, five touchdowns and one interception - and against three ranked teams.