New FSM Game Preview: UNLV vs UTSA – Week 5

Franchise Sports Media

UNLV Rebels (0-4) | UTSA (4-0)



The UNLV Rebels almost pulled off the upset at Fresno State in Week 4. Now it is off to the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas as the Rebels are set to take on the undefeated University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners.


Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

The Rebels gave the Fresno State Bulldogs quite a scare as they had a 21-9 lead at one point in the game. Despite the eventual loss, UNLV looks to keep up the momentum from their strongest performance of the season this week against a UTSA Roadrunners team that remains undefeated after a narrow victory over the Memphis Tigers, as well as a victory over Illinois earlier in the season.

The Rebels are entering this week’s matchup as +21 point underdogs as the Roadrunners are not far from getting into the AP Top 25 National Rankings. Strong showings from running back Sincere McCormick and quarterback Frank Harris have been two key reasons UTSA has a 4-0 record on the season.

Both teams will play hard this week, as UNLV is still looking for win number one on the season, while UTSA looks to remain undefeated and potentially move into a position to get into the AP Top 25 for the first time. The Rebels will need to bring some more of the same heat they brought in the first half against Fresno State and then maintain that same energy to pick up a win against this small yet dangerous Roadrunners team.


UNLV Quarterback Doug Brumfield made his return to the field against the Bulldogs and looked great in his first start back until another injury forced him back out of the game.


Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

Brumfield went 6-13 passing for 143 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Charles Williams also looked very solid in Week 4, having one of his best games of the season so far. Williams picked up a total of 102 yards on 19 carries and scored a touchdown for the Rebels. The Chuck Wagon is now 437 yards away from breaking the school’s All-Time rushing mark.

Franchise Sports Media’s Joe Arrigo reported on Wednesday morning that quarterback Tate Martell practiced for the first time since hurting his planter facia at practice the Friday before the Iowa State game. Martell played in the Iowa State game but was then in a walking boot the week leading up to the Fresno State game.

Joe Arrigo also is reporting that it is highly unlikely that Brumfield plays against UTSA. Brumfield went out after his body had cramped up late in the first half against the Bulldogs. He is also dealing with a lower-back injury that may have caused the full-body cramp according to Arrigo. If Martell can go, he will give the Rebels offense a shot in the arm and some much-needed extra juice, after Brumfield’s injury. He could be the answer to their quarterback situation until Brumfield can return, and give UNLV a nice 1-2 punch. If Martell can’t go, look for Cam Friel to get the majority of playing time at quarterback for the Rebels.


UNLV will have their work cut out for them on defense as they will attempt to contain UTSA running back Sincere McCormick.


Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

McCormick had 42 carries for a total of 184 yards and was responsible for three of the four touchdowns scored by the Roadrunners against Memphis. The UNLV defense will likely spend a majority of the game attempting to stop McCormick from doing too much damage. The UNLV offense will need to find a way to sustain their drives and control the football for as long as they can to give the defense some rest in between drives.

The Rebels will also need to keep their drives as clean as they can to control and sustain them. Against Fresno State, the Rebels committed five penalties and only turned the ball over one time the whole game. The Rebels currently average 4.7 penalties per game this season, tied for 18th in the nation. This is a notable is an improvement from 6.5 penalties per game in 2020. The team will need to avoid flag trouble this week, while also driving the ball down the field as efficiently as they can to keep the ball out of the hands of Sincere McCormick.

Lastly, for UNLV to contend and possibly secure a victory, the Rebels will need to stay healthy throughout the contest. Doug Brumfield’s latest injury forced the Rebels to rely on their backup Friel once again. After Brumfield led the team to a strong start against Fresno State, the offense stalled for the most part with the freshman Friel as the signal-caller. If Brumfield plays (which is unlikely according to Joe Arrigo) and can avoid getting injured, or if Martell plays and provides a spark, look for the Rebels to potentially pull off an upset in the Alamodome.


Join Franchise Sports Media for the game between the UNLV Rebels and the UTSA Roadrunners at Born And Raised for a Rebel Watch Party. The address is 7260 S Cimarron Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89113. The game begins Saturday at 3:00 and can be seen on ESPN+ with the subscription.

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– Matt Dobbs for Franchise Sports Media


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