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New FSM Preview: Week 9 – UNLV vs Colorado St. – 2023

Franchise Sports Media

 

It’s homecoming, and UNLV looks to become Bowling eligible for the first time since 2013 as they host Colorado St. on Saturday in a program-defining game.

UNLV vs Colorado St. is taking place this Saturday. 

UNLV vs Colorado St. | Franchise Sports Media
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UNLV looks to secure their first bulb since 2013 when they host the Colorado State Rams on Saturday evening. It is also the Rebels homecoming game, so 30,000 UNLV fans are expected to show up at Allegiant Stadium to witness a potential program-changing game.

The Rebels are coming off a 45–27 win over rival UNR last Saturday. UNLV dominated the Wolfpack from start to finish to keep the Fremont Canon Rebel Red. That was UNLV‘s fourth straight win for the first time since 2013, and the fourth straight game was scoring 40 points or more. UNR, on the other hand, has now lost 16 straight games.

UNLV enters the game with a 26–28 all-time record in homecoming games and is looking to earn its first win in the traditional event since beating Fresno State in 2016.

Colorado State had an impressive victory of their own with a 31–30 win over Boise State. They overcame a 20-point deficit in that game. Jay Norvell, the Rams head coach and former head coach at UNR, is bringing his team to Allegiant Stadium for the first time in program history. On the season, Colorado State is 3–3 and 1-1 in Mountain West play.

This week, a pair of UNLV football players received some honors. Running back Donavyn Lester was one of 11 players earning an honorable mention for the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Player of the Week award. Meanwhile, quarterback Jayden Maiava was voted the National Freshman Player of the Week.

UNLV wants to improve to 6-1 on the season. 

UNLV is looking to continue to make history when they take on the Rams. They also are building goodwill and belief in the Las Vegas community.

UNLV looks to become bowl-eligible with a win over Colorado St. 

UNLV vs Colorado St. | Franchise Sports Media
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The last time UNLV started 5-1 was 39 years ago when College Football Hall of Famer Randell Cunningham lined up at quarterback. You know, he has set a program record with four 40-point games for both consecutive outings (4) and in a season (5). Their 21 rushing touchdowns trail only Air Force (24) for the national lead. In other words, the UNLV offense is humming.

Barry Odom is the first UNLV head coach to win five of his first six games since Tony Knap started 5–1 in 1976 when the rebels were still at the D-II. Odom is also just the second rebel coach to win his first two conference games since the program joined the league in 1982.

Colorado State is one of just two Mountain West members to have never played inside of Allegiant Stadium, the other being Boise State. It has been four years since the rebels and Rams got at each other, and their last scheduled matchup in Fort Collins in 2020 was canceled just three days before the kickoff because of COVID-19. 

Overall, Colorado State leads the all-time series 17-6-1 and has won four straight against the Rebels.

The importance of this game cannot be understated for UNLV. For a program to have the turnaround that they have this season and to start off with the best possible record that they could have, it is imperative that they win this game and secure bowl eligibility. 

By doing so, it continues to build the goodwill that has been growing throughout the city of Las Vegas, as well as within the program. People are starting to believe that the UNLV football program has turned around, and winning the Mountain West Conference is not out of the question for the Rebels.

The Rebels will debut a new uniform on Saturday, wearing pink numbers in honor of breast cancer awareness month.

UNLV wants to beat Colorado St. and improve to 6-1 as conference play continues. 

5 Key Rebels to Watch

Five key players to watch for UNLV.

UNLV vs Colorado St. | Franchise Sports Media
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Here are five key Rebels to watch this week vs Hawai’i:

  1. The UNLV Running Game: The UNLV offense is hard to stop, but their running game has been almost unstoppable. Jai’Den Thomas, Vincent Davis, Donovan Lester, and Courtney Reese give UNLV a considerable advantage and make it difficult for defenses to key on one player.
  2. The Offensive Line: The Rebels must continue establishing the line-of-scrimmage early to run the Go-Go Offense. They must also give Jayden Maiava time to throw and continue to open running lanes for the Rebels‘ running backs.
  3. UNLV Secondary: The Rams have a couple of players that may give the UNLV secondary some fits. Tory Horton and Louis Brown IV have been issues for teams this season—the Rebels‘ secondary needs to lock in all game.
  4. The UNLV Pass Rush: UNLV needs to continue to put pressure on Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi. They need to hit them hard and often. The CSU QB gave Colorado fits and seems to make plays out of nothing. UNLV needs to get to him early and often.
  5. Don’t believe the hype: This is a massive game for UNLV. They must stay focused on the “win this week mentality” they have had this season. They can’t get caught up in the hype of being 5-1 and the success they are having. They have to remain hungry and focused.

It’s time for some Rebels football! #RebelUp

Can UNLV improve to 6-1 when they take on Colorado St. this week?   

The Rebels take on Colorado St. on Saturday evening for their Homecoming game. The kickoff is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. at Allegiant Stadium.

 

-Joe Arrigo   Franchise Sports Media

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

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