FSM Rebel Vision
Graphic Credit: Mike Dancy II

UNLV Football Rebel Vision: UNLV vs. Wyoming- Week 6



This FSM series will follow the UNLV Football season as a coaches analysis by FSM’s JaRon Turner. JaRon is an Arbor View High School alumni and former college football player who has coached high school football locally in Las Vegas for the past three seasons. This weekly segment will focus on crucial plays and factors of UNLV football games this season. This assessment will highlight plays that made a difference in the ball game, ranging from great individual effort plays, attitude runs, big hits, coaching adjustments, etc. Be sure to follow us for weekly film breakdowns throughout the 2020 season.

Franchise Sports Media


UNLV vs Wyoming
Photo Credit: UNLV Athletics

After the cancelation of the Colorado St. game, last Friday’s game against the Wyoming Cowboys wasn’t certain to take place. It did, and UNLV was outplayed from the start. Wyoming was struggling due to injuries to their first two starting quarterbacks. Simultaneously, the rest of the Wyoming team is full of experienced and savvy players who kept their team afloat by covering up the deficiencies at the quarterback position. UNLV, while outplayed, is a team that is still evaluating and analyzing its players at every position.

The team returned some important players to the forefront: like rising star receiver Tyleek Collins, after starting freshman receiver Zyell Griffin in his place in the San Jose St. game and injured linebacker Farrell Hester II. The Rebels have also begun to put in young players like quarterback Doug Brumfield to gain some live-action experience for the future. However, the true nature of this team has not yet been seen. The Wyoming game, much like the San Diego St. game, showed that the team still has issues lingering around from week one that need attention in the coming offseason. 

With two games left in the season: against Boise St. and Hawai’i, and the Rebels mostly playing new and young returning players, Coach Arroyo and his staff have less than 300 snaps left in the season to see what kind of team they have going into next year with a highly ranked 2021 recruiting class. It looks like the future may be now for the Rebels


It’s time for Rebel Vison!


Play#1 Stopping the Run

Video Credit: FS1

In week one (of the Mountain West season), I talked about how UNLV had a hard time stopping the counterplay that SDSU ran against them. The play was responsible for several scores. Fast forward to week six against Wyoming, and that same issue again arises, but this time it showed up against a more colorful pallet of offensive run plays. The quarterback power plays coupled with the inside power play: both of these plays have a pulling guard, while the rest of the offensive line washes down the defensive line. The frontside tackle then works up to the linebackers, which creates a hole up the center of the defense.

Inside zone and quarterback lead were the other two run plays that caused many issues upfront for UNLV. With all the technical components that could cause the problem, the most basic answer is that UNLV needs another interior defensive lineman other than Kolo Uasike, who’s played well at the defensive tackle position. Other than Kolo, there is no other interior defensive lineman who has stepped up and helped bear the burden of keeping the opposing offensive line off the linebackers or found a way of splitting doubles teams and make plays upfront.

We can’t allow teams to run for 399 yards in a single game with six touchdowns. Granted that 2 of those touchdowns were from the one-yard line, the other four were from over 20 yards out. This issue has to be addressed and addressed in the recruiting sphere with the re-commitment of a 4-star defensive tackle from Sierra Vista CA, Nick Dimitris. Players like Dimitris are what UNLV will need to form a complete defense heading into 2021, but for this season, UNLV will have to find somebody on the roster that can step up and handle the center of the defensive line.

Play #2 Miscues 3rd Quarter 7:31 & 3:33

Video Credit: FS1

Many have watched ESPN and heard almost every commentator talk about miscues, but what they mean in the football world is different from what they mean to everybody else. Miscues in the football world are avoidable mistakes that end up in turnovers or missed opportunities. They are self-imposed turnovers.

In the game against Wyoming, two of these mistakes added 14 points to Wyoming’s total. The first mistake was a low snap that hit the butt of center Jaron Caldwell. It failed to reach Max Gilliam and was recovered by Cameron Smith for Wyoming on UNLV 30 yard line. A few plays later, Wyoming scored on a quarterback sneak. 

The next play here was on the Rebels’ ensuing possession, where Max Gilliam attempted to make a routine throw to an open Tyleek Collins on a crossing route. Yet, when the ball hit Collins’s hands somehow deflecting backward and fell into the Wyoming defender’s hands, who was following Collins on the play in man coverage. Four plays later, Wyoming tailback Trey Smith ran it in for a 37-yard touchdown. 

These plays are here because they are self-inflicted and portray the small things that UNLV has to do to get out of their own way. For most of the season, the Rebels have often played much better in the second half than the first. They’ve made some good adjustments and have shown some fight in the team. But these plays disrupted the Rebels’ flow of the game and ultimately ended their chances of keeping themselves in it with a 14 point swing off the turnovers.

Miscues are a part of a team in its rebuilding phase and display how this team is a combination of young, inexperienced players that are still learning the system and each other as this season moves forward.


Final Breakdown


UNLV vs Wyoming
Photo Credit: UNLV Athletics

Until this game, UNLV had not scored a point in the fourth quarter; Friday night, a freshman quarterback erased that stat. Doug Brumfield was a light in a not so bright game that showed how capable the young guys in the UNLV program are. The game’s final drive was not pretty but showed Brumfield’s ability and the system’s adaptability to adjust to new quarterbacks week to week. However, Brumfield isn’t the only impressive young player on the team. Wide receiver Kyle Williams also showed his raw skills with an impressive one-handed grab. 

Besides these two young men, UNLV has garnered a lot of criticism for their now 0-5 record. However, people have seldom mentioned the combined record of their opponents. A few weeks ago, Franchise Sports’ own Joe Arrigo finally explained how UNLV’s opponent’s combined record at the time was 13-2. Friday, the announcers in the game updated that record to 17-5.

UNLV has played stiff competition against programs with experienced players in systems that haven’t changed. Terminology, system dynamics, and the overall culture of each of these programs have remained the same. Down 20 players for different reasons, from opting out to injuries, UNLV is going through a tough season trying to figure out who they are as a team and a program against crippling odds. 

Coach Arroyo’s team reminds me of Scott Frost’s first season at UCF. The Blacks Knights hired coach Frost to change their program’s culture the same way UNLV entrusted Marcus Arroyo. In the first season, much like this one, the Black Knights lost every game going 0-12. Three years later, however, the Black Knights turned the entire program around and went 12-0, the only Division-1 FBS school to ever make such a fast turn around in the history of college football. 

This isn’t me trying to say that that will be UNLV. Yet, the young guys on the team and the recruits of the 2021 class are ready to come in and impact the team right away. The coaching staff is willing to put in and start many different players to get them game-time experience and evaluate the players they have to show you and me that UNLV is trying to focus on the future. 


Patience Las Vegas… Patience. 


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