Preview 2019: Previewing and looking ahead to the UNLV Running Rebels season with what you need to know.
2018 Record: 4-8 overall, 2-6 in Mountain West
Head Coach: Tony Sanchez, 5th year, 16-32
5. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE UNLV OFFENSE
– The Rebel offense was able to run the ball and it had its explosive moments, but it couldn’t make up for the issues on the defensive side. With nine starters returning, though, this has potential to be the best attack in the Tony Sanchez era by far … if everyone stays healthy.
– QB Armani Rogers is a special runner and talent as long as he can withstand the pounding. He needs to be a far better and more consistent passer, but he’s the one who can make the offense go. Max Gilliam stepped in when Rogers went down last season and was fine, and redshirt freshman Kenyon Oblad is going to be a factor, but the season is Rogers or bust.
– There’s a whole lot of receiving experience returning, but leading target Brandon Presley was knocked out for the season in spring ball with a knee injury. The next four top receivers are back along with TE Giovanni Fauolo, but they need to get the ball more – that’s more about the passing game that didn’t throw enough. It’s a good group even without Presley – grad transfer Jordan McCray should help – but they need the ball more.
– Losing RB 1,000-yard Lexington Thomas hurts, but the running game will work with Rogers taking off and with junior Charles Williams ready to take on a bigger role. The proven depth, though, is lacking. There’s talent and promise, but no other running back on the roster gained a yard last season.
– The offensive line should be a plus. It was strong for the ground game, but it allowed a few too many plays in the backfield. Four starters are back, starting around 6-3, 325-pound Justice Oluwaseun at one tackle spot, and with the interior set. It’s not a massive line, but there’s depth, and it can move.