Rebels to take on Utes
This article has been read 134 times.
Rebels to honor 1984 team during homecoming game
The Utah Utes will travel to Sam Boyd Stadium Saturday to take on the Rebels in the annual Homecoming game, which the Rebels have not won since 2001.
The team will honor their 1984 predecessors, in recognition of the greatest Rebel football team in UNLV history.
The 2-4 Rebels look to snap a three-game losing streak against the 4-1 Utes. Utah is ranked No. 24 this week in the AP poll.
“Utah is a very good team,” head coach Mike Sanford said. “They are a very fast, athletic team.”
The Rebels are coming off a defeat in which the BYU offense put up a huge amount of points (59) and yards (611) on the Rebel defense.
For the third consecutive week, it seems as if the Rebels are in a must-win situation. In a season that started with promise, the Rebels are looking to not only get a win in the stat category, but to get a win for their fans, the student body and most importantly, their head coach, whose job may be in jeopardy.
For the Rebels’ offense, Omar Clayton is struggling. He has battled injuries this year and has almost as many interceptions this year than he has had in his previous two years.
Things have been getting progressively worse for the Rebel offense. UNLV’s pass offense remains ranked No. 19 in the country, but the rush offense has dropped to No. 103, bringing the Rebels’ scoring offense and total offense to No. 57 in the country.
“We just have to stay together as a team.” said wide receiver Ryan Wolfe. “The last few games have gotten away from us and we just have to work on getting better.”
After last week’s game, Ryan Wolfe is again the nation’s leading active career receiver with 253 catches and 3,224 yards.
Wolfe ranks No. 28 in NCAA history and second all-time in the Mountain West Conference for receiving yards. Wolfe needs 10 more catches to becoming the MWC receptions leader.
The UNLV receivers have been doing their job on the field, accounting for most of the big plays. The Rebel offense must be able to move against the Utes, ranked No. 18 pass defense.
“They are very solid on defense,” Sanford said. “Very fast and they do a lot of different things.”
As for the defense, things are getting worse every week. The Rebels rank No. 118 in pass efficiency defense, No. 116 in total defense and No. 113 in rush defense.
The Rebels will put that defense against the No. 19 ranked rush offense in the country. Utah will be without top running back Matt Asiata, but backup Eddie Wide has had two very strong games, averaging more than 6.0 yards per carry, picking up where Asiata left off.
“The two biggest things are quickness and speed,” Sanford said about Wide.