FSM Game Preview: UNLV vs Iowa State – Week 3

Franchise Sports Media

UNLV (0-2) | Iowa State (1-1)


Despite the betting odds favoring Iowa State with a spread of -30.5, UNLV looks to add to the win column for the first time since 2019.


UNLV vs Iowa State
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

This week’s matchup will take place at Allegiant Stadium for the team’s second home game of the season. Still, with overwhelming fan support for Iowa State on the road, home-field advantage will be put to the test not only for the Rebels but the Rebel Faithful as well.

UNLV is currently 0-2 to begin their 2021 campaign, and a big test is presented this week as they get set to host the defending Fiesta Bowl champions, the Iowa State Cyclones. The Cyclones are ranked 14th in the nation after suffering a tough loss last week against their rivals, the Iowa Hawkeyes, 27-17. This is a big game for both teams as they each look to get their seasons going in the right direction moving forward.

UNLV faces a bit of an injury situation as quarterback Doug Brumfield is day to day with an undisclosed upper-body injury. As of now, if he is cleared to return to the team, it would help out the offense as they get their main play-caller back onto the field in a tough matchup against the Fiesta Bowl champion Cyclones.


Upsets are not abnormal in college football or any sport in the world, so don’t write them off just yet. Even with the spread being -30.5 in favor of Iowa State, UNLV can still match up against the powerful Big 12 conference team.


What UNLV will need to rely on to match up against the defense is the long ball. If Brumfield is cleared to return this week, he will need to take some shots down the field early on and try to connect with his receivers, bring a fast tempo to the game, and put the pressure on Iowa State out of the gate. His best bet for the deep ball will be wide receiver Kyle Williams, who leads the Rebels with 114 yards on eight catches.

The Rebels will also need to rely on the running game and the star quality of running back Charles Williams. Williams has 41 carries for a total of 212 yards and two touchdowns this season for the Rebels and will be a key force to be reckoned with if you’re the Iowa State defense.


The Rebels defense will face a tough Cyclones offense looking to rebound from a poor performance last week against Iowa.


UNLV vs Iowa State
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

On the defensive end, defensive back Phillip Hill has turned in a great comeback season so far after missing all of 2020 with an injury. Hill has 11 tackles, a sack, and an interception so far this season, which is about as good of a start as one could ask for from someone playing his first games in two seasons.

The heart of the Rebels defense is linebacker Jacoby Windmon. Windmon will be a factor in providing pressure on the quarterback for Iowa State, Brock Purdy. Windmon has been a tackling machine so far for the Rebels, leading the team with 19 tackles along with being credited with 1.5 sacks in the first two games.

Kicker Daniel Gutierrez is one to watch for on-scoring sequences. Gutierrez has become Mr. Reliable when the Rebels have had the chance to score and add points to the board. On kicks from 39 yards out or closer, he is 18-for-19 in his college career while going 5-for-5 in field goals this season—his longest from 51 yards out.

For UNLV to contend for the upset victory against Iowa State this week, they will need to bring the pressure early and often.

The Cyclones will be playing more aggressively, not just as the defending Fiesta Bowl champions, but as a team that has more to lose at this point in the season. The Cyclones fell to 14th in national rankings from their preseason rank of 7th in the nation after a close victory over Northern Iowa by 16-10 and the aforementioned loss to rival Iowa.


Week 3 of college football action between UNLV and Iowa State begins with the kickoff at 7:30 p.m. PT. Fans watching on DirecTV or DISH Network can tune in to CBS Sports Network for live coverage of this week’s showdown from Las Vegas.

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– Matt Dobbs

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