Lots of targets: The Gophers completed passes to nine different receivers, and several of them demonstrated the speed to get open. "We got behind some people tonight, so that's encouraging," Kill said. "We've just got to get our timing down and execute better."
A big push: Largely without much help from a blitz, the Gophers' front four harassed and hit UNLV quarterback Nick Sherry, getting the defensive pressure (and two sacks) that has been absent for a few years.
The switch took: One of the Gophers' biggest offseason projects was creating effective safeties out of a pair of young cornerbacks. Guess it worked: Derrick Wells made a team-high eight tackles and intercepted two passes, while Brock Vereen had four stops and a pick of his own.
Off target: MarQueis Gray reverted to the inconsistent passer of last year, blowing some big plays by overthrowing receivers, then occasionally bouncing a ball at their feet. He blamed first-night jitters.
Flags and blunders: The Gophers were penalized 11 times, many of them critical. A pass interference penalty and a roughing-the-passer call basically handed UNLV its only touchdown in regulation, and an offensive pass interference flag snuffed a fourth-quarter drive.
Boom or bust: The Gophers used two punters, Christian Eldred and David Schwerman, but neither kicked the ball even once (in seven chances) as far as UNLV punter Chase Lansford averaged. That means the average UNLV drive started 12 yards further upfield than the average Gophers drive.