2. KEYS TO THE SEASON
Biggest Key To The UNLV Offense
Crank up the downfield passing game. As long as Armani Rogers is under center, the ground attack will be the main mode of transportation. It’s not just that the Rebels need more of a passing game; they need to be more effective.
Rogers doesn’t have to be Drew Brees with his accuracy – it wouldn’t be bad, though, if he picked that up – but he has to hit more downfield plays after completing just five yards per attempt. If he can get that up to around seven, look out. If he’s around eight, the UNLV O will be deadly. On the flip side …
Biggest Key To The UNLV Defense
Don’t allow so many big pass plays. It starts with generating more of a pass rush after struggling to consistently get to the quarterback, and then the corners have to hold up.
The Rebels were bombed on for 270 passing yards or more seven times and in each of the last five games. It was also hit for two touchdown passes or more in nine of the last ten games and was bombed on way too easily. For the first time since 2014, the Rebels allowed more than 14 yards per catch, and only 11 teams allowed more yards per game.
Key Player To A Successful Season
RB Charles Williams, Jr.
The Rebels are going to miss Lexington Thomas, the consistent heart-and-soul of the ground game and all-star for the O over the last few years. He’s gone, and while there might be a few promising options for the rushing attack, there’s no experience outside of Williams.
The 5-9, 185-pounder is hardly a thumper, but he’s a dangerous back who finished third on the team with 332 yards averaging over five yards per play. In 2016, he led the team with 763 yards and three scores, and now he has to do it again.
Key Game To The UNLV Season
at Wyoming, Sept. 28
2003. That was the last time UNLV beat Wyoming in Laramie, and this year it has to happen again, or else there’s going to be a big problem in the Mountain West.
It’s the conference opener for the Rebels, and up next is Boise State followed by three road games in four dates – but one of those is at Vanderbilt – with a trip to Fresno State and a home game against San Diego State. If that wasn’t enough, they have to go to Colorado State and Nevada, too. In other words … beat Wyoming.
– UNLV Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2018 UNLV Fun Stats
– Field Goals: Opponents 22-of-27 – UNLV 6-of-11
– 4th Down Conversions: Opponents 11-of-16 (69%) – UNLV 17-of-31 (55%)
– Red Zone TDs: UNLV 31-of-41 (76%) – Opponents 33-of 57 (58%)