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UNLV quarterback embraces Arroyo’s demanding practices

Sophomore quarterback Doug Brumfield received praise after his performance in UNLV’s opening 52-21 win over Idaho State.

Completing 84 percent of his passes for 356 passing yards and four touchdown earned him recognition as the Mountain West offensive player of the week.

But congratulations wasn’t what Brumfield was eager to hear.

“I want to hear my errors,” Brumfield said. “I want to know what I did wrong, so I can be better next time. Coach (Marcus Arroyo) does a great job doing that for all of us. It just helps us improve every week.”

Arroyo was clear on what he wants from his starting quarterback when the Rebels travel to play Pac-12 opponent California Saturday afternoon in Berkeley.

“I want to see him do it again,” Arroyo said. “He’s got to stack another good game.”

The Rebels will be in store for a tough challenge when they face a power conference opponent in the Golden Bears, who defeated UC Davis 34-13 last Saturday.

Coming off a bye week, Arroyo knows that the stakes will be raised in the step up in competition. As he has been all offseason, Arroyo isn’t afraid to be more demanding of his team, especially the quarterbacks.

When it comes to getting the best out of Brumfield, Arroyo said their relationship is at a point where he can challenge his starting quarterback for his own benefit.

“I like the fact that I can push (Brumfield) to say, ‘I bet you can’t complete the next 30 balls in practice. Complete every ball this practice, complete every ball this period,’ ” Arroyo said.

Brumfield appreciates that Arroyo coaches him hard because he believes it helps him stay level and focused. The 6-foot-6 quarterback has seen the benefits from how intense the coaches make practice.

“It makes it easier than the actual in-game situation, just to have all the chaos and uncontrolled situations at practice,” Brumfield said. “So when you get to the game, it’s easy.”

Arroyo wants Brumfield to improve on his ability to recognize defenses and change plays at the line of scrimmage.

Brumfield’s 72-yard touchdown pass to Ricky White against Idaho State was a result of Brumfield checking the play pre-snap and calling on White to run a different route. Arroyo believes honing in on that at practice can allow the Rebels to generate more explosive plays.

“We give them as much flexibility as they’ve earned,” Arroyo said. “I like them to play free and fast. I like them to be aggressive. I don’t want to hamstring them or box them in.”

The Rebels had an off day Monday for the Labor Day holiday. When they return to the practice fields Tuesday, Arroyo said he’s looking to see how his team will respond to the challenges he’ll present as they prepare for their road matchup.

“I love it when it gets irritable and tough because that’s when you grow,” Arroyo said. “There’s no comfort food on a Saturday afternoon in an opponent’s place.”

Contact Alex Wright at awright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlexWright1028 on Twitter.

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