College Football News Preview 2020: UNLV Rebels Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The UNLV Rebels Offense
A third down conversion would be nice. The offense isn’t going to care too much about ball control under the new staff, but is has to keep things moving.
The Rebel offense under former head coach Tony Sanchez normally wasn’t too bad at keeping the chains moving, but last year was a different story.
UNLV had the third-worst offense in the country on third downs, converting a pathetic 28.5% of the time. It never hit 40% against any FBS team, and it didn’t get to 30%in five games – all losses.
Biggest Key To The UNLV Rebels Defense
Pass rush, pass rush, pass rush. It wasn’t as disastrous of a season getting to the quarterback as it was in 2017 with 11 sacks, but the 13 generated last season weren’t enough.
No one came up with more than two, and there was almost nothing happening during the season. The Rebels came up with four in the opener against Southern Utah, three in the regular season finale win over Nevada, and six in the ten games in between.
The defense five games without a sack. That obviously has to change.
And that means …
Key UNLV Rebels Player To A Successful Season
DE Nate Neal, Sr.
Someone has to get into the backfield and make offenses worry. The 6-3, 240-pound Neal, part of the recruiting class, a transfer or two, junior Jalen Graves – a pass rusher has to emerge on the end by anyone able to give it a shot.
Neal hasn’t been much of a playmaker so far – he came up with eight tackles with half a tackle for loss last season – but he’s a veteran who’ll get a shot to rise up into a role.
Key Game To The UNLV Rebels Season
Wyoming, Oct. 10
There’s a shot UNLV goes 0-5 to start the season before Wyoming comes to town. That’s not going to make things a whole lot easier.
The Cowboys are once again going to be solid, and they’ve had UNLV’s number with four wins in the last five games in the series. Last year they won 53-17, and this year it’ll be a measuring stick moment in Marcus Arroyo’s first run.
– UNLV Rebels Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2019 UNLV Fun Stats
– Punt Return Average: Opponents 11.21 – UNLV 2.45
– Fumbles: UNLV 17 (lost 6) – Opponents 12 (lost 5)
– Sacks: Opponents 29 for 169 yards – UNLV 12 for 81 yards