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New FSM Preview: UNLV Football 2023 Season Preview

Franchise Sports Media


Barry Odom’s quest for success at UNLV starts with Bryant College. Let’s take a look at the 2023 UNLV Football team.

It’s the UNLV Football 2023 Season Preview

UNLV Football | Franchise Sports Media | Zyell Griffin
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As the summer heat is getting ready to leave and the autumn leaves begin to fall, college football fans’ cheers are again back with the kickoff of the 2023 season. But here in Las Vegas, there is much anticipation for the 2023 UNLV Rebels Football season. Is this the year UNLV gets to a Bowl game? Can the Rebels compete for the Mountain West Conference title?

Under the leadership of head coach Barry Odom, the Rebels are gearing up for what promises to be an exciting and transformative year. With a new coaching staff, new talent, renewed energy, and a commitment to excellence, the Rebels are poised to make a statement in the world of collegiate football.

The Rebels will be playing this season with a heavy heart as they have dedicated this season to their former teammate, Ryan Keating, who suddenly and unexpectedly passed away this past offseason. The Rebels are honoring Keating by having a #47 (Ryan’s number) on their helmet. UNLV will run out with his jersey and have it on the bench throughout the game. Lastly, they plan on coming out with only ten players on the first play of the Bryant College game.

UNLV Football has high expectations for 2023. 

Barry Odom: A Leader with a Vision

UNLV Football looks to become a winner under Barry Odom.

UNLV Football | Franchise Sports Media
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Barry Odom took the reins as the head coach of the UNLV Rebels in 2021, bringing with him a wealth of experience and a vision for the program’s future. Odom, who previously served as the head coach at the University of Missouri and as the defensive coordinator for the Arkansas Razorbacks, has quickly become a respected figure in Las Vegas.

Coach Odom went out and hired a staff that is a mixture of experience (Del Alexander, Cornell Ford, Vance Vice, Ricky Logo, and James Shibest) as well as younger coaches who have bright futures and are considered future head coaches (Brennan Marion, Mike Scherer, Nate Longshore, Damon Magazu, and Akeem Davis). Coach Odom has never been shy about hiring up-and-comers and letting them coach.

Coach Odom’s decision to hire and mentor young coaches provides opportunities for those entering the coaching profession and brings fresh perspectives and energy to his coaching staff. Coach Odom has also contributed to the overall development of coaching talent in the college football community.

The offense will be much different than what Rebels fans have seen in the past. Coach Marion has installed his “Go-Go offense” and will have his most talented trigger man running it in quarterback Doug Brumfield. UNLV fans can expect a fast, explosive, physical offense that plays with an edge.

On the defensive side of the ball, Coach Odom has one of his right-hand men, Coach Scherer, running the show on that side of the ball. The Rebels’ new-look defense will feature multiple fronts, multiple Safties, and blitzing from everywhere. The strength of the Rebels’ defense is the secondary. They have a wealth of talent, which features playmakers who are physical and tough.

Under Odom’s leadership, the Rebels have shown significant improvement, both on and off the field. His dedication to building a solid and cohesive team and his commitment to player development have garnered praise from the players and experts alike. With the 2023 season upon us, Coach Odom’s vision for the program’s future is more apparent than ever, and expectations are running high within the program.

This year’s UNLV Football team should be better, with playmakers, and more physical. 

5 Key Rebels to Watch

Five key players to watch for UNLV.

UNLV Football | Franchise Sports Media | Doug Brumfield
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The success of any football team depends on the talent of its players, and the UNLV Rebels have some exciting prospects to watch in 2023. While it’s impossible to list them all, here are five key players who I expect to make a significant impact this season:

  1. Quarterback Doug Brumfield: The Rebels starting quarterback has a strong arm and a knack for making plays with his legs, which are natural fits for Coach Marion’s offense. If Brumfield can stay healthy, he can lead the Rebels‘ offense to new heights.
  2. Running Back Jai’Den “Jett” Thomas: Jett is a dynamic playmaker who can change the course of a game with his speed and agility. Look for the freshman to be a focal point of the Rebels‘ ground game as the season progresses. He is special.
  3. Linebacker Jackson Woodard: The Arkansas transfer has a relentless motor. His leadership on the field, knowledge of the defense, and ability to read opposing offenses will be critical to the Rebels‘ defensive success.
  4. Wide Receiver Ricky White III: White III is a big play waiting to happen and is the Rebels best receiver. He will team up with Senika McKie to form one of the better receiver duos in the Mountain West Conference.
  5. Defensive End Zavier Carter: Carter’s ability to disrupt opposing quarterbacks and create turnovers will be pivotal for the Rebels‘ defense. He is a freak athletically and has high-level pass-rushing skills.

UNLV needs those five players to have big years to have success.

Season Expectations

UNLV Football season expectations. 

UNLV Football | Franchise Sports Media | Jett Elad
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The UNLV Rebels have their sights set on a Bowl this season, with aspirations of contending for the Mountain West Conference championship. Coach Barry Odom has instilled a winning, family, all-for-one, one-for-all mentality within the team, and the players are all bought in and expecting to see their hard work translate to success on the field.

To achieve their goals, the Rebels must excel in all facets of the game and remain healthy. This includes strong offensive performances from Brumfield, White III, and the stable of running backs the Rebels have. They will also need to have a stout defense. Stopping the run and getting the quarterback are major focal points in 2023. UNLV has shown a commitment to special teams for the first time in many years, which should be much improved. The team’s chemistry and ability to work as a unit is as high as I have ever seen.

In addition to on-field success, the Rebels are dedicated to academic excellence and community involvement. They understand the importance of being role models and ambassadors for UNLV on and off the field. This is a team that Las Vegas should be proud of.

UNLV Football 2023 Season could be one where they turn it around.


Here is the prediction for the 2023 UNLV Football team. 

UNLV Football | Franchise Sports Media | Ricky White
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Now that the 2023 UNLV Rebels Football season has arrived, excitement and optimism are running high. Under the guidance of head Coach Odom and with a roster filled with promising talent, the Rebels are poised for a season that could shape the program’s future.

The schedule plays out very favorably for the Rebels. The season comes down to a few simple things: Brumfield’s health and whether or not the team is beat up after their third game. If Brumfield can stay healthy, there isn’t a better quarterback in the conference and should be in consideration for the MWC Player of the Year. If he is hurt, the talented Jaden Maiava will take over, and we will see how much he has improved.

If the Rebels can get out of their first three games healthy, they have a shot to be really good. If they are injured and third-stringers are starting, it could be a long year for UNLV.

My prediction is that UNLV goes 9-3/10-2 if they are healthy. I believe this team has the talent to compete with any team in the MWC. I also feel their speed is the best in the conference, and it will be hard for teams to match up with them on offense, and they can match up with any of their opponents on defense. The Rebels should be bowling in 2023, barring any devastating injuries to key players.

Whether it’s a die-hard fan or a casual observer of college football, people are keeping an eye on UNLV in 2023. They’re a team on the rise, and their journey promises to be a thrilling one, filled with ups and downs and the pursuit of a Bowl game.

It’s time for some Rebels football! #RebelUp

UNLV Football should make a massive jump in 2023. 

Coach Odom and his coaches have done a really nice job laying the foundation for a successful program. It’s time to get out and watch them. UNLV plays Bryant College on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Allegiant Stadium. Click here for tickets.


-Joe Arrigo   Franchise Sports Media

Follow Joe on X, Threads, and Instagram: @JoeArrigoFSM

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