UNLV’s Biggest Questions To Answer Heading Into 2022 Season
The Rebels Have Plenty To Work On
Can UNLV Answer These Questions?
Who Will Be The Starting QB?
With Cameron Friel expected to take a step forward in his second year at UNLV, he will need to prove that he is UNLV’s quarterback of the future. He has less than one month left to prove he belongs as the QB1. Friel will be tasked with holding off Harrison Bailey and Doug Brumfield from taking his job. Bailey, a Tennessee transfer, will be Friel’s biggest threat from the outside. Brumfield played in three games in 2021 and gained experience from being on the field.
Friel should win the job, but his position will not be guaranteed throughout the season. As a true freshman, Friel appeared in nine games and had six touchdowns with 11 interceptions. When the season starts, Friel should be in line to re-enter his position as UNLV’s quarterback.
How Long Will Marcus Arroyo’s Leash Be?
UNLV head coach Marcus Arroyo enters his third season in the position with a 2-16 record. His tenure began on a bumpy road. He inherited a program that was in the basement of the Mountain West. Arroyo was not supposed to fix UNLV immediately.
If Arroyo has another season with seven or eight less wins than losses, he could be in danger of losing his job in 2022. Even if Arroyo has another two or three-win season, UNLV could decide to commit to him for at least one more season. For UNLV fans, the hope is that he can be the coach to fix the program. Arroyo still needs time to figure out how he can put his own claim on the program.
Will The Defense Make Up For Brennon Scott’s Loss?
In the spring, Scott suffered a knee injury and missed the start of training camp. His absence could play a major part in this season’s defense. If Scott’s injury is as serious as it seems, he could be out for the entire 2022 season. The Rebels will need a linebacker to fill his shoes and make up for the loss. This will be a major loss for the Rebels.
Although this player is not a linebacker, UNLV defensive back Nohl Williams can fill some of the void as the defense’s leader. The Rebels will look to Williams to take on the role as the team’s best defensive player in his junior season.
Will The Rebels Make A Bowl Game?
While a bowl game seems out of reach for the Rebels, it is a goal that every program aspires to achieve every season. When someone sees last season’s final outcome of a 2-10 record, it will be hard to envision this season being any better. The main problem with UNLV’s 2021 season was the early hole that the team dug themselves in.
UNLV started the 2021 season with an 0-8 record. By the time UNLV won its first game in November, the season was already over. The team managed to split the final four games of the season with a two-game winning streak. If the Rebels can find a way to take at least two of the first three non-conference games, that will ease any rough patch that happens in the Mountain West portion of the schedule.
The Rebels lost six games by single digits in 2021. If Arroyo’s team can find a way to close out tight games, a five-win season will be within UNLV’s reach. UNLV needs to have at least five wins to even be considered eligible for a bowl game. If the Rebels can win six games, expect the program’s first appearance in a bowl game since 2013.