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Schedule Preview: Conference-only schedule for Rebel Football in Arroyo’s first year

While UNLV Football sports a new regime, looking to set new trends, a new wrinkle in the schedule has created even more questions.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Mountain West has opted to go to a eight-game, conference-only schedule ending with the conference title game on Dec. 19.

The Rebels are set to open the season against the rival San Diego State Aztecs, with the game set to be played in Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California as they have a new stadium built in San Diego.

Last season, UNLV sported a 2-6 conference record (4-8 overall) being outscored 290-169, allowing 50 points twice.

Both of the team’s wins were by three points each.

This year’s schedule features three 10-win teams from last season (SDSU, Boise State and Hawaii).

  • 10/24 at San Diego State

  • 10/31 vs. UNR

  • 11/7 vs. Fresno State

  • 11/14 at San Jose State

  • 11/21 at Colorado State

  • 11/27 vs. Wyoming

  • 12/4 vs. Boise State

  • 12/12 at Hawaii

In the last two meetings against SDSU, the games have been decided by three points apiece.

The Aztecs led 17-0 after the first 27 minutes of the game before being outscored 17-3 by the Rebels the rest of the way.

Kicker Daniel Gutierrez missed a field goal wide from the 42-yard line with 37 seconds left. He had made six straight attempts before that.

As a Halloween special, UNLV will open Allegiant Stadium by welcoming its rival from the north, Nevada – Reno.

In the season finale last year, the Rebels ousted the Wolf Pack in overtime, 33-30 on a game-winning touchdown by then-freshman Kenyon Oblad to fellow freshman Steve Jenkins.

Oblad started the game 13/14 before finishing 16/22, 229 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Jenkins reeled in five passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns.

The win gave former head coach Tony Sanchez a 3-2 record in the Governor Series, marking the program’s second overtime road win in school history (2008: Arizona State).

Fresno State was one of the team’s to hang 50 points on UNLV, beating the team 56-27 in 2019.

Despite missing three field goals during the game, the Bulldogs outscored the Rebels 28-10 in the second half.

UNLV committed five turnovers, including three in the second half, that led to 28 Fresno State points while forcing zero.

The other lone win for the Rebels last season was in the Sam Boyd Stadium finale over the San Jose State Spartans, 38-35.

The offensive line kept Oblad protected, giving up zero sacks allowing him to throw for 203 yards, two touchdowns and one interception helping UNLV to a 21-6 lead at halftime.

Things quickly flipped as San Jose State outscored UNLV 22-3 in the third quarter but five total turnovers doomed the Spartans.

It was a 20-point loss when the Rebels last met up with the Colorado State Rams after a kick return touchdown set the tone for the game.

After the first five minutes of the game, CSU led 14-0 before extending the lead to 24-0 by halftime.

Oblad threw for 280 yards and two touchdowns (both in the fourth quarter), no interceptions but was sacked five times.

Running back Charles Williams rushed for 83 yards and became the eighth Rebel runner with 2,000 yards and moved into seventh all-time in career rushing for the program.

In weeks four and five, the Rebels will be looking for back-to-back road wins for the first time since 2000.

The Wyoming Cowboys were the other team to score 50-points on the UNLV defense when they destroyed the Rebels 53-17.

UNLV led 10-7 after the first quarter but would be outscored 46-7 in the second and fourth quarters.

Both Williams and former starting quarterback Armani Rogers were injured during this game.

As a result, Wyoming out-rushed UNLV 374-77.

Oblad went 16-for-31, passing for 176 yards and two interceptions taking over for Rogers.

Reigning conference champion, Boise State, beat UNLV 38-13 in their last meeting despite punting eight times.

The Rebels found themselves in a hole early looking up at a 17-0 halftime deficit.

UNLV punted 10 times.

It marked the first start for Oblad as his 55 pass attempts landed him fifth most in program history.

He finished 24-for-55, throwing for 262 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

This year’s finale will be against Hawaii, last season's lowest combined scoring output.

The Rainbow Warriors took the Ninth Island Showdown with a 21-7 win over the Rebels after trailing 7-0.

With the game tied at seven, Hawaii intercepted Oblad and returned it for six points.

However, UNLV did force three turnovers (all in the first quarter), which marked more than the team had in the last 12 quarters combined.

Defensive back Jericho Flowers secured two interceptions for the Rebels.

UNLV will be looking for it’s first winning season since 2013.

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