New FSM Preview: UNLV vs Notre Dame – Week 8

Franchise Sports Media

UNLV Rebels (4-3)  |  Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-3)


UNLV makes its first-ever trip to South Bend to take on the Fighting Irish.


UNLV vs Notre Dame
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

UNLV will play the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Saturday afternoon, and it is safe to say this is the most talented team they’ve seen all year long. The Irish may not blow you away with their win-loss record, as at 3-3, they’ve struggled by their standards. Yet the offensive lines and defensive lines for the Irish will be one of the more skill-full and powerful that UNLV has played to date.

UNLV’s once historic start has now turned into a distant memory. After back-to-back blowout losses, a rare meeting with Notre Dame has the potential for a defining upset moment for the Rebels football program. It could also pose as a get-right game for the Irish as they prepare for a 14th-ranked Syracuse Orange squad the following Saturday.

As for UNLV, their 4-3 record has them right around par for the Mountain West conference this season. The San Jose State Spartans sit ahead of the Rebels in the standings currently at 4-2. The other more competitive squads, such as Boise State (4-2), Air Force (5-2), and Wyoming (4-3), are all floating around the same record. With a win on Saturday, UNLV could really help themselves out and be back in the serious mix for more high-level conference action. With a loss, they’re not totally dead in the water, but they will be in dire must-win games down the stretch.


UNLV is far different without Doug Brumfield, and his status is up in the air.


UNLV vs Notre Dame
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

Listed as day-to-day, Doug Brumfield may or may not be under center in this game on Saturday afternoon. UNLV handed the keys to Cameron Friel, who once started the previous eight games for the Rebels. In Friel’s 2022 starting debut, he struggled mightily to the tune of three turnovers, 180 yards, and a lone touchdown. UNLV’s offense is far different without Brumfield. Instead of a high-paced RPO offense, UNLV becomes more of a “Gun N Run” with Friel.

In Saturday’s loss to Air Force, when the run game was stuffed, the lack of consistency in live action showed as Friel missed a couple of open targets and struggled to get into a groove. Harrison Bailey came out to close the game for UNLV and did not have much to do besides getting them to the locker room. After going two-for-five passing and 10-yards, it was a get us out of here moment from the third-stringer.

The question of who is under center on Saturday will hugely impact this game. As much as UNLV would love to have the star sophomore back, a decision may be made for the greater good. As if Brumfield is not 100% healthy, a Notre Dame defense with edge rushers of NFL-level capability can spell serious trouble for a reaggravation of an injury.

The logical thesis would be that Friel returns under center for another start. UNLV can attempt to get this offense rolling in the right direction and turn back the clock to what this offense had tried to accomplish last year with his consecutive starts. Although, no matter who will be back there, this will be an arduous task.


Notre Dame’s season is not going to plan, but the team is still talented.


UNLV vs Notre Dame
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

The Irish season got off to a terrible start after an incredible letdown loss to Marshall in week two. From there, they have been able to erase the 0-2 start, but every single game they have played has come down to the wire—even last Saturday’s two-point defeat to Stanford. 

However, Notre Dame still carries some serious prospects, like every year. Michael Mayer is a tight end that is a sure-fire NFL draftee and has five touchdowns on the season. He may make an impact on this game as he finds his way into zones through a currently struggling UNLV secondary.

On defense, Isaiah Foskey is an NFL-level edge rusher with three sacks on the season. He will be looking to come off the edge and help kick-start a Notre Dame defense that has been struggling mightily this season.

Head coach of the Irish Marcus Freeman had said that their “slow-starts need to stop” in a previous press conference. UNLV head coach Marcus Arroyo can relate, as both teams struggle out of the gate in the first halves. This game will be interesting to see who jumps out first and also to see if the Rebels can do more than make a trip to a historical site but also play well there.


UNLV travels to South Bend, Indiana, to take on Notre Dame and look to come away with a historic win. The kick-off is at 11:30 am and can be watched on NBC’s Peacock Network.

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Brandon Steele – Franchise Sports Media

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