UNLV Football Preview Week 6 – Rebels vs Boise State



UNLV Rebels vs Boise State College football
Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Rebels vs Boise State     Rebels vs Boise State

With a 36-point thrashing at Wyoming last week, it looks inevitable that the Rebels will lose to 16th ranked Boise State at home, but both players and coaches believe that the team can still win. The Rebels have beaten Fresno State and others in the past when the odds were not in their favor. In other words, stranger things have happened, and the Rebels want to show that again on the field this week. Here are the keys to victory for the Rebels. Boise State is currently undefeated, and are coming off of a bye.

If the Rebels want to win they have to stop quarterback Hank Bachmeier. In the Broncos’ last game against Air Force, he went 19/26 for 263 yards and a couple of touchdowns. He led the Broncos to a 30-19 victory. On the season, Bachmeier has completed 63.5% of his passes for 1,190 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions. However, even with a veteran line protecting him, he has been sacked 11 times.


This shows that if you get to him you have a chance to win.


For example, against Florida State in his first game of the season, he was sacked five times and only won by five, 36-31. A couple of weeks later, he played Portland State, was sacked three times, and won 45-10.  When Bachmeier passes 26 times or less per game, the Broncos have won by double-digits in both games. However, in games where he has thrown at least 34 times, the Broncos have won by single-digits in both contests: 14-7 over Marshall and 36-31 over Florida State. Applying pressure to Bachmeier will be critical, but so will limiting the rush.

The run game for Boise State is a clear dual-headed monster with Robert Mahone leading the way with 50 carries for 288 yards and four touchdowns. George Holani is second with 47 carries and 22 yards from scrimmage. However, when Marshall limited Mahone to seven carries for 14 yards, the Broncos only won by seven. On the other hand, when Mahone struggled, Holani picked up the slack with 22 carries for 103 yards.

The Bronco run game is something that the Rebels will have to key in on if they want to win this game. It will not be easy as the UNLV defense gave up over 300 yards last week. Stopping the run game will be dependent on how the Rebels did in game-planning and paying attention to film in the past week. Both running backs have different running styles, but that is up to UNLV to solve.

The biggest problem for UNLV will be starting redshirt freshman quarterback Kenyon Oblad against a solid Broncos defense featuring Kekaula Kaniho in the secondary. He already has 17 total tackles to go along with one forced fumble, an interception, and two passes defended. If he can break up plays and force turnovers, it will be a problem.


Oblad had three interceptions in his first extended playing time against Wyoming.


Now he will start against one of the best secondaries in the Mountain West, who only allowed one quarterback to pass for over 200 yards against them. That was Florida State’s James Blackman, who passed for 327 yards and three touchdowns. The next best quarterback was Davis Alexander of Portland State, who went 11/23 for 133 yards and a touchdown. This game should be a test for Oblad.

Based on this, it will be hard for UNLV to win with a first-time starting quarterback playing against an outstanding defense. If UNLV plays within themselves and can force Bachmeier to throw the football, the Rebels do have a chance. They need to limit Oblad and give Charles Williams more carries as he’s averaging 4 yards per rush. Williams is one of the leading running backs in the nation; he should be able to find the weak spots.

Being one dimensional and not having the threat of a running quarterback will be an interesting problem for the Rebels this week as they face-off against Boise State on ‘90’s Night’ at Sam Boyd Stadium. Kick-off is at 7:30 PM preceded by the 2019 basketball showcase starting at 6 PM.


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els vs Boise State      Rebels vs Boise State

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