UNLV vs Utah State
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

New FSM Preview: UNLV vs Utah State – Week 7

Franchise Sports Media

UNLV Rebels (0-5)  |  Utah State Aggies (3-2)

 

 

After a much-needed bye week, the UNLV Rebels return to action at home in a Mountain West Conference matchup against the Utah State Aggies on Saturday.

 

UNLV vs Utah State
Photo Credit: SBG San Antonio

When we last saw UNLV, the team showed fight and perseverance against UTSA before losing a close game to the Roadrunners 24-17. The game saw both defenses forcing big turnovers and getting critical stops during crunch time in the fourth quarter.

This week, the currently winless Rebels look to finally break into the win column for the first time since 2019. They will face against an Aggies team that comes into the game on a two-game losing streak after starting the season 3-0.

The odds favor the Aggies, but only by a slim -6.5 with the spread being listed at 58.5. This is the closest odds for UNLV being projected as underdogs this season. For the sports bettors looking to place money on this game, it wouldn’t be surprising to see plenty of bettors take a chance on UNLV this week.

With this game being projected to potentially cover a lot of points between two conference teams looking to end losing streaks, this is a big game for both Mountain West Conference foes. For the Rebels, this game is a must-win to finally turn the corner after suffering two close defeats in their last two games. Meanwhile, the Aggies are also in a must-win situation in order to turn their season around from their undefeated start prior to their two-game skid.

UNLV has a chance to win this potentially pivotal conference game, but in order to do that, they must pick apart the Aggies defense.

This season, the Aggies are ranked 99th in scoring defense, giving up an average of 30.6 points per game. With the spread being as high as it is and the odds being at only +6.5 underdogs for the Rebels. They will need to step on the gas with their offense and put the Utah State defense in a bad spot early on by scoring fast and often while keeping them on the field as long as possible.

 

Another key to watch for is keeping possession of the ball. Utah State has only forced five turnovers all season, while the Rebels have committed just six, with the majority of them coming against UTSA.

 

UNLV vs Utah State
Photo Credit: Terrance Quaites/Franchise Sports Media

Utah State’s five forced turnovers are only good for 44th fewest in college football. If UNLV can protect the football and turn their possessions into points, it will help their chances of winning the game, as well as improve their national ranking in stats.

The quarterback matchup is expected to be relatively even. Utah State quarterback Logan Bonner has 764 passing yards with a completion percentage of 53.1%, while UNLV quarterback Cam Friel has a completion percentage of 64.6% with 512 passing yards.

While the quarterback carousel hasn’t been finalized for UNLV (as of this article), the Rebels have the advantage in terms of accuracy whether the play caller is Friel, Tate Martell, or Doug Brumfield. This surely will make the quarterback equation even more interesting to solve as the season continues.

Third down is going to be crucial throughout the game in terms of momentum shift and life of the drive. This season, UNLV’s conversion rate on third down is just 29.4%, ranked 123rd in the nation, while Utah State has a conversion rate of 46.7%, ranked 26th in the nation.

On the flip side, UNLV’s defense on third down is ranked 99th with a 42.9% stoppage rate, while Utah State’s defense prevented conversions 45.2% of the time on average, 111th in the nation. While the advantage may go to the Aggies on third down, it will be equally important for the Rebels to keep their third down-to-go distance to a minimum in order to beat the defense.

 

UNLV hosts Utah State this Saturday on October 16th at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. The game begins at 4:00  and can be seen live on CBS Sports Network.

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Matt Dobbs – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Matt on Twitter @RecordBowler19

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