UNLV Rebel Preview

The Beavers face the UNLV Running Rebels for their third non-conference game of the season.<br><br> Mark Anderson of the Las Vegas Review-Journal previews the UNLV football team for us.

Record, rankings, and standing in conference:

UNLV is 1-1 with a win against Kansas and a loss against Wisconsin. The Rebels are currently not receiving any votes for the top 25, but are ranked in the mid 60's of various top 117 power polls. UNLV currently sits at fifth place in the Moutain West Conference.

Key Players:

Offense:
Quarterback Jason Thomas is the most recognizable player, and the offense's success depends largely on him. But I would say the tailbacks, particularly Joe Haro and Larry Croom, are the main players because if UNLV can't run, its offense doesn't go anywhere. Those two players combined with the offensive line, led by Tony Terrell and Dominic Furio, dictate mostly how the Rebels perform offensively.

The Rebels are trying to be more experimental by lining up running backs at receiver spots. Their base offense is a traditional two-back, but with Thomas being such an athletic quarterback, the Rebels also like to roll him out and give him the option of throwing or taking off and running.


Defense:
Outside linebacker Tyrone Tucker and strong safety Jamaal Brimmer have emerged as the two main playmakers. Tucker is an Iowa State transfer, and he leads the Rebels in tackles. Brimmer played nickel back against Kansas last weekend and was all over the field. Also look for middle linebacker Adam Seward and defensive end Ahmad Briggs as players expected to do a lot.

Until Kansas, UNLV used a basic 4-3 defense, and that still probably its base alignment. However, the Rebels went nickel the entire game last Saturday, and I think they might continue to do that here and there depending on the opponent.


Injuries:
  • Ryan Claridge, LB (Abdominal Muscle Strain)
  • Johnnie Graham, RB (Sprained Knee Ligaments)
  • Marco Guerra, OL (Right Knee Surgery)
  • Tremayne Kirkland, WR (Right Knee Surgery)
  • Trevan Sorensen, DE (Concunssion) is out for the season.
  • Joe Miklos, LB (Left Thumb Fracture)


Who's Hot:
Tucker and Seward lead the team in tackles with 26 and 19, respectively. Both played well in the first two games. Brimmer played well in the opener against Wisconsin, too, but truly broke out against Kansas when he had four tackles for losses and two sacks. Offensively, none of the skill players played well in the first game, so there are no streaks going on there.


The best player nobody's heard of:
A player from the Pacific Northwest could turn out to be an outstanding tight end. Michael Freund is a redshirt freshman from Tumwater, Wash., and he will back up starter DeJhown Mandley this season. Freund should become the starter next season and could be one of those all-conference kind of guys. Also, fullback Dyante Perkins could have an excellent career. Las Vegans know him because he is a highly touted local, but he probably isn't too well-known in Oregon.

Weaknesses:
A lot of it defends on Thomas. When he is struggling, the Rebels have all sorts of problems. He had four turnovers in the first five possessions against Wisconsin. But he might be turning the corner. Also, there are questions about the secondary, which hasn't done much the first two games and, in fact, has struggled. There are questions with the special teams. Even though UNLV had outstanding return specialists last season, they haven't done much yet.


Strengths:
The running game is the top strength. Haro rushed for 1,107 yards last season, and he is coming off a game where he broke 100 yards. Croom is an
Arizona transfer who shares time with Haro and is a big-play type of player. Dominique Dorsey also creates big plays, and Deon Burnett is a Washington State transfer the Rebels are high on. Of course, Thomas receives most of the attention, and if the second half against Kansas is any indication, he might be turning into the outstanding player of 2000 and not the one slumped last year. Also, the offensive line has been terrific the first two games despite replacing four starters. Defensively, Tucker, Briggs, Seward and Brimmer have been the most promising players. The defense also has been particularly effective against the run.


UNLV's previous game result:
Quarterback Jason Thomas ran for two touchdowns and threw for another to lead UNLV past Kansas 31-20 Saturday night.

UNLV lost its first game of the season, 27-7 to Wisconsin, when a power failure stopped the game with 7:41 left in the fourth quarter. There were no such problems at Sam Boyd Stadium this week...Thomas Leads Rebels past Kansas, 31-20.

Prediction for game:
My prediction is Oregon State 34-13. The Beavers have too much for UNLV. And I'm not just saying that for your site. That's my prediction in our paper for tomorrow.


Series History and last meeting result:
UNLV is 3-0 against the Beavers. The Beavers and Rebels last met in 1991 at Sam Boyd Stadium where the Rebels beat the Beavers 23-9.

 

The above information was provided by the Las Vegas Review-Journals, Mark Anderson. Anderson has been with the Las Vegas Review-Journal for almost four years, and
is currently in his ninth season covering college football. He also covered Nevada football for five seasons, including a 48-6 loss to Oregon State in 1998. Anderson is 36 and
has a journalism degree from the University of Florida.

 


Probable Starters

Oregon State
(Depth Chart | Roster)
  UNLV Rebels
(Depth Chart | Roster)

Offense

 

Offense

84 Tim Euhus, 6-5, 247, Jr. TE 80 DeJhown Mandley, 6-4, 240, Sr.
65 Doug Nienhuis, 6-6, 302, So. RT 62 Keith Kincaid, 6-3, 300, Sr.
55 Kanan Sanchez, 6-3, 340, So. RG 70 Tony Terrell, 6-4, 310, Sr.
73 Matt Brock, 6-2, 301, So. C 73 Dominic Furio, 6-3, 290, Jr.
70 Mike Kuykendall, 6-6, 324, Sr. LG 76 Marcus Johnson, 6-1, 290, So.
62 Brian Kilkenny, 6-5, 285, Jr. LT 71 Matt Williams, 6-6, 300 Jrr.
10 Shawn Kitner, 6-3, 203, Sr. SE 86 Troy Mason, 5-10, 170, Sr
14 Derek Anderson, 6-6, 235, So. QB  2 Jason Thomas, 6-4, 230, Sr.
-- FB 24 Steven Costa, 6-1, 230, Sr.
34 Steven Jackson, 6-1, 227, So. TB 34 Joe Haro, 5-10, 195, Sr.
 2 James Newson, 6-1, 201, Jr. FL  4 Earvin Johnson, 6-3, 200, So.
 1 Kenny Farley, 6-3, 225, Jr. SL --
 
Defense   Defense
91 Noah Happe, 6-5, 238, Jr.

LE

47 Chris Eagen, 6-3, 265, Jr.
99 Eric Manning, 6-1, 300, Sr.

LT

91 Dietrich Canterberry, 6-4, 300, Jr.
98 Dwan Edwards, 6-3, 294, Jr. RT 93 Garrett Brassington, 6-2, 285, Sr.
90 Bill Swancutt, 6-5, 251, So. RE 90 Ahmad Briggs, 6-4, 230, Sr.
42 Nick Barnett, 6-2, 221, Sr. SLB 52 Tyrone Tucker, 6-2, 240, Sr.
51 Richard Seigler, 6-3, 230, Jr. MLB 55 Adam Seward, 6-2, 240, So.
58 Erik Tuma, 6-1, 233, Sr WLB 58 Terrence Young, 6-1, 235, So.
 3 Terrell Roberts, 5-10, 198, Sr LC 21 Chameion Sutton, 5-11, 180, Sr.
21 Dennis Weathersby, 6-1, 208, Sr. RC 19 Jamal Wynn, 6-0, 180, Sr.
 5 Mitch Meeuwsen, 6-3, 204, So. FS 13 Connie Brown, 6-2, 215, Sr.
 7 Lawrence Turner, 5-11, 193, Jr. SS 27 Jamaal Brimmer, 6-1, 205, So.
     
Specialists   Specialists
41 Ryan Cesca, 5-8, 182, Sr. PK 95 Dillion Pieffer, 5-11, 180, Jr.
41 Ryan Cesca, 5-8, 182, Sr. KO 95 Dillion Pieffer, 5-11, 180, Jr.
91 Noah Happe, 6-5, 238, Jr. S 72 Ryan Heise, 6-5, 230, Fr.
48 Carl Tobey, 6-2, 224, Jr. P 16 Gary Cook, 6-0, 195, So.
19 Seth Trimmer, 6-4, 212, Sr. H 23 Toby Smeltzer, 5-10, 185, Sr.
 3 Terrell Roberts, 5-10, 198, Sr. PR 86 Troy Mason, 5-10, 170, Sr.
 3 Terrell Roberts, 5-10, 198, Sr.
26 Rodney Landingham, 6-1, 198, Frr.
KOR  6 Dominique Dorsey, 5-6, 165, So.
 1 Larry Croom, 5-10, 205, Jr.

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