UNLV Football: Cameron Friel To Start vs. Iowa State, Tate Martell Will Play
True freshman Friel will get his first career start on Saturday night for the Rebels, while former top recruit Tate Martell will see the field.
A big surprise ahead of the night.
UNLV will host the Iowa State Cyclones at Allegiant Stadium on Saturday night, but the big news for the Rebels before kickoff is a significant change under center.
According to Franchise Sports Media’s Joe Arrigo, true freshman Cameron Friel will get the start for UNLV, though that buries the lead just a bit. Tate Martell, the former top quarterback recruit who transferred his hometown Rebels after stints with Ohio State and Miami (FL), will be the backup and get “extensive” playing time “early and often”.
UNLV's Tate Martell warming up before tonight's Iowa State game. pic.twitter.com/5pLYgdFvcx
— COFIELD (@stevecofield) September 19, 2021
Friel assumes the starting job after Justin Rogers started in the season opener against Eastern Washington and Doug Brumfield did so against Arizona State last weekend. Brumfield got banged up against the Sun Devils, however, and is not dressed against Iowa State while Rogers has been generally ineffective, so UNLV will bank on Friel, who played at Hawaii high school powerhouse Saint Louis before transferring to and graduating early from Kailua to compete for the QB1 spot in the spring.
Martell, meanwhile, could give the Rebels a spark after playing only sparingly with the Buckeyes and Hurricanes in 2018 and 2019. In his collegiate career, he’s completed 24-of-29 passes for 276 yards and one touchdown while rushing for 135 yards and two scores on 29 attempts.
Arrigo also noted that both Friel and Martel split snaps throughout practice this week and expects that UNLV head coach Marcus Arroyo will lean toward whichever player is able to seize the upper hand on the field against a tough Iowa State defense. As a team, UNLV has completed just 19-of-42 passes in its first two games, averaging a Mountain West-low 4.9 yards per attempt with zero touchdowns and one interception.