Five burning questions for UNLV’s game at Fresno State at 7 p.m. Saturday:
1. What’s the status of Rebels quarterback Armani Rogers?
Coach Tony Sanchez will address Rogers’ situation in his Tuesday news conference, but the fact the quarterback is going through the concussion protocol is not a good sign. His status might not be known until game day.
2. How much of a setback will it be if Rogers doesn’t play?
A big one. The Rebels’ offense nearly came to a halt when he went out in Saturday’s 52-28 loss to Utah State. UNLV went from scoring 28 points in the first 25 minutes to zero over the final 35 minutes. Giving Kurt Palandech and Johnny Stanton a complete week to run the offense should help, but only so much.
3. Does UNLV have a chance?
Fresno State is a 20½-point favorite and deservedly so. If Rogers plays, the Rebels might be able to keep up offensively. If not, it’s difficult to see a path to victory.
4. How has Fresno State coach Jeff Tedford turned it around so quickly?
He recruited well and upgraded the talent and then got the most out of it. Sounds simple, but that’s essentially what happened. The Bulldogs have gone from 1-11 last season to 5-2 in Tedford’s first season at his alma mater. Not only are they one victory from bowl eligibility, but the Bulldogs are on their way to winning the West Division after beating New Mexico 38-0 and San Diego State 27-3.
5. Does Tedford’s success put pressure on Sanchez?
It doesn’t help. Fresno State was as much of a disaster as UNLV when Sanchez, now in his third season, took over. Tedford’s success shows what an elite coach can do for a program. That’s not to say Sanchez won’t eventually get the job done, but few are on Tedford’s level. He won at California, where coaches before and after have failed. Sanchez is all but assured of coming back next season, but he needs to take a serious look at his staff and even how he goes about his own job. A fourth season is looming, and if Sanchez doesn’t turn UNLV into a winner by then, it’s very unlikely he will not be able to.