Idaho State vs. UNLV: Game Preview, How to Watch, Odds, Prediction

Idaho State vs. UNLV: Game Preview, How to Watch, Odds, Prediction

Mountain West Football

Idaho State vs. UNLV: Game Preview, How to Watch, Odds, Prediction

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Idaho State vs. UNLV: Game Preview, How to Watch, Odds, Prediction


The Rebels will host the FCS Bengals to begin their 2022 college football season. Here’s how to tune in and what to watch for.


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The Rebels look to start the year with a victory.

WEEK 0: Idaho State Bengals vs. UNLV Rebels

WHEN: Saturday, August 27 — 12:30 PM PT/1:30 PM MT

WHERE: Allegiant Stadium; Las Vegas, NV

WEATHER: Sunny, high of 100 degrees (note: game to be played indoors)

TV: CBS Sports Network

STREAMING: Fans can sign up to receive a free one-week trial of Fubo, which includes CBSSN, by following this link.

You can stream the UNLV radio broadcast on The Varsity Network app, which is available for Android and Apple devices.

RADIO: The UNLV broadcast can be found in and around Las Vegas ESPN 1100 AM & 100.9 FM. The Idaho State broadcast can be found in Pocatello on 91.1 FM (KISU).

SERIES RECORD: UNLV leads the all-time series, 6-2.

WEBSITES: ISUBengals.com, the official Idaho State athletics website | UNLVRebels.com, the official UNLV athletics website

GAME NOTES (PDF): Idaho State | UNLV

ODDS: no line

SP+ PROJECTION: UNLV 33.8, Idaho State 11.4

FEI PROJECTION: N/A

PARKER FLEMING PROJECTION: N/A

When UNLV’s 2022 season kicks off in Allegiant Stadium on Saturday afternoon, questions will inevitably include comparisons to its 2-10 campaign in 2021.

That schedule included a double-overtime loss to FCS opponent Eastern Washington that made headlines for all the wrong reasons. A quarterback change, a running game that simply couldn’t compensate for the struggles in the passing game and a defense giving up almost 500 yards left a lot of questions to sort out at the start of a tough season. The Rebels eventually finished the 2021 with two wins in their last four games, eager to build on that late success for this season.

2022 finds the Rebels facing the Idaho State Bengals, and at the risk of calling this a “must-win” game, this could be another FCS team testing a UNLV squad as a gauge for the season ahead.

What kind of offense should we expect? How is the quarterback play? WHO is the quarterback?

At the time of this writing, no starting quarterback has been named, but incoming transfer Harrison Bailey and returning starter Doug Brumfield are at the top of the depth chart. Bailey seemingly represents the potential for more explosive plays downfield; Brumfield is more of a dual-threat quarterback, with the ability to affect the running and passing games.

Coach Marcus Arroyo’s decision on the starter for Saturday will be the first step in forging an identity this season. For an offense that finished 92nd among FBS teams with just over 200 passing yards per game, the Rebels will be looking for a fast start.

What will the run/pass balance look like? 

Against Idaho State, a team that struggled mightily on defense in 2021, the Rebels should be able to move the ball effectively. The depth at wide receiver – including junior Kyle Williams and transfer Ricky White – brings the potential for big plays against the Bengals. Incoming transfer Aidan Robbins, along with returning players Chad Magyar (84 attempts) and Courtney Reese (34), will lead the running game for UNLV and should help set the tempo on offense. After ranking in the bottom half nationally at 4.9 yards per play, expect the Rebels to mix in a variety of plays early on, then stick with what works most effectively against Idaho State.

Mountain West Football: First Look At The Idaho State Bengals

What about the defense? 

If there’s a game the Rebels can show potential in for the season, this is the one. After finishing last in the conference in scoring defense for 2021, the Rebels will need improvement across their front seven. An experienced secondary includes cornerbacks Nohl Williams and Cameron Oliver, potential breakout candidates for 2022, and may lead this defense to start the season, but this defense overall will need to quickly round into form before conference games begin.

Prediction

These two teams won a combined three games in 2021, and both will look for a new start to their respective seasons. Although no lines have been posted at the time of this writing, UNLV is already projected as a 3-touchdown-plus favorite, and are expected to head into their second game vs California at 1-0.

There’s a lot for the Rebels to pull together on offense, and the defense will need to show improvement, but Idaho State is in the midst of their own rebuild with a new head coach. Look for UNLV to possibly struggle at times, but still get the win to open 2022.

UNLV 34, Idaho State 13

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