Tony Sanchez (USA Today)

Game Week: UCLA v. UNLV Facts and Factors

Sep. 6 -- After UCLA traveled to Las Vegas last season, UNLV returns the favor in the home-and-home and comes to the Rose Bowl Saturday led by second-year head coach Tony Sanchez...

• UCLA hosts UNLV in its season home-opener this Saturday at the Rose Bowl. Kick-off is approximately 5:00 p.m. and will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks, with Ted Robinson, Yogi Roth and Cindy Brunson calling the game.

• UCLA is 0-1, coming off a tough overtime loss to Texas A&M in College station, 31-24.  

• UNLV is 1-0, beating FCS Jackson State, 63-13. 

• Withe the loss, UCLA fell from #16 and #24 in the polls to unranked. 

• UCLA started the 2015 road season at UNLV, with the game being the first time the two schools had met in football.  UCLA beat UNLV in that first meeting a year ago, 37-3.  In that game, the Bruins held the Rebels to 56 yards passing while running up 528 yards themselves. That day, though, UCLA still wasn't hitting on all cylinders.  Paul Perkins ran for 151 yards and two touchdowns. 

• UCLA is 42-6-1 all-time against teams in the current Mountain West Conference.  In fact, UCLA has a winning record against every team in the Mountain West, and has only lost to Air Force (6-4-1) and Fresno State (6-2).   

• UNLV has played seven programs that were members of the Pac-12 Conference at the time, and has a 4-14 record against them.  It’s actually 1-0 against ASU and 3-2 against Oregon State.

• UNLV is helmed by second-year coach Tony Sanchez (42), who posted a 3-9 record in his first year with the Runnin' Rebels last season. Before UNLV, Sanchez spent six years at Bishop Gorman, posting a record of 85-5, and netting six consecutive 4A championships. His 2014 team finished 15-0 and won the mythical high school national championship.  Bishop Gorman’s football program and facilities rival some FBS programs, and Sanchez was an integral part of that.  In fact, some observers have said that Bishop Gorman’s facilities easily surpass UNLV’s.   In Sanchez's first season at UNLV, the consensus is that he brought some much-needed energy and discipline to the program and, while 3-9 might not be very impressive, it was the first time in 12 seasons UNLV topped the two-mark in a season.  Sanchez brought in what was considered a good recruiting class for UNLV this off-season, populated with some standout JC players.  Sanchez played ball at New Mexico State and started his coaching career there as a graduate assistant in 1996.  He was a positions coach at various high schools until he was the head coach at San Ramon (Calif.) California High in 2004, and then Bishop Gorman in 2009, and is considered a good offensive mind. 

• UCLA has won its last five home openers: 2011 San Jose State; 2012 Nebraska; 2013 Nevada; 2014 Memphis and 2015 Virginia.

• The 2016 season marks the 35th year UCLA has called the Rose Bowl its home. 

• Beating Jackson State last week was the first time UNLV has started a season with a win since 2009.  The Rebels haven't won a season-opening road game since 2007. 

• Sanchez has introduced new Runnin' Rebel uniforms, with "Las Vegas" and the diamond image of the famous Stardust sign on the pant legs.  The back of the helmet also include a version of the famous "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign. Sanchez will introduce a black helmet to go along with a red version he unveiled last year, after UNLV had worn only a silver helmet for 33 straight years. 

• There are 39 players on the Rebels' roster that come from California, more than the 22 from Nevada. 

• UNLV has had only one winning season in the last 15 years, and that was 2013 when they went 7-6. 

• Since becoming a 1-A (FBS) program in 1979, the Rebels' have only had 8 winning seasons.  It's best was in 1984 when it went 11-2 and finished first in the PCAA (the Pacific Coast Athletic Association, the precursor to the Big West Conference, which stopped sponsoring football in 2000).  

• UCLA is favored by 26.5. 

• The weather forecast for Saturday in Pasadena calls for a high of 86 degrees.  It should be in the low 80s at game time and low 70s by the fourth quarter. 


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