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5 burning questions for the UNLV-UNR game

Updated November 20, 2017 - 1:21 pm

Five burning questions for UNLV’s football game at UNR at noon Saturday:

1. So the Rebels have to win in Reno to get to a bowl. Really?

This is the Wolf Pack’s bowl, and they would like nothing more than to keep UNLV out of the postseason. The Rebels went into last season’s game as 10-point favorites and got blown off their field 45-10. Fortunately for them, recent history favors the away team in this series, which has won four in a row. But that still is little consolation for the Rebels, who will have to be at their best to beat UNR, even a Wolf Pack team with just two victories. And, by the way, UNR is a 3-point favorite.

2. But should UNLV point spreads be believed anymore?

No one should bet for or against UNLV. Let’s repeat that. NO ONE should bet for or against UNLV. At least not this season. The Rebels have lost twice as favorites and won three times as underdogs. They were 3-point underdogs Friday at New Mexico, but won 38-35. Oddsmakers are geniuses in setting the lines, but even they must be flummoxed when it comes to figuring out UNLV games.

3. OK, so if the Rebels win, where are they going?

Good luck figuring that out. The Rebels have made a number of bowl projections, and they’re all over the place, from Dallas to Detroit to St. Petersburg, Florida. They, of course, have to first win to make this a reality, and if they do, it’s mostly guesswork until Dec. 3 when the bowl announcements are made.

4. Will this season be considered a disappointment if UNLV loses?

Yes. Though it’s true coach Tony Sanchez has increased his victory total each of the three seasons he’s been in charge, he and the players made no secret their goal is to play in a bowl. To be denied that by their chief rival would leave a bitter taste.

5. Will there be any defense played?

Not much. UNLV averages 30.0 points and UNR 28.6. UNLV gives up 32.5 points and UNR 35.5. The winner could be decided by which team has the ball in the final minute.

More Rebels: Follow all of our UNLV coverage online at reviewjournal.com/Rebels and @RJRebels on Twitter.

Contact Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

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