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5 burning questions for UNLV football vs. Boise State on Saturday

Five burning questions for UNLV’s football game against Boise State at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium:

1. What difference does getting quarterback Blake Decker back make for the Rebels? It’s a big deal. His absence was critical in the losses to San Jose State and Fresno State because the Rebels couldn’t put a balanced offense on the field.

2. Do the Rebels have a chance against Boise State? The Rebels, who are 20-point underdogs, can be competitive, but it’s difficult to imagine a scenario in which they they win. Boise State tops the Mountain West in scoring offense (38 points per game) and scoring defense (17.2-point average).

3. But Boise State has some key injuries. Won’t that make a difference? The Broncos could be without their starting offensive tackles, so UNLV might be able to mount a pass rush from the edges. The Rebels also could face a Boise State team without its middle linebacker, so that will help UNLV’s inside run game, which has been the biggest part of its offense.

4. What is UNLV’s main concern? Limiting Boise State running back Jeremy McNichols. He is capable of beating the Rebels by running and catching passes. McNichols will likely get his yards, but the Rebels can’t allow him to take over.

5. How will the Rebels respond if faced with adversity? They have responded well to adversity in past games. Their recent problem has been holding on to leads. But if Boise State gets up big in the second half, will a UNLV team that has been through a slew of emotional games have enough left?

Contact Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2914. Follow him on Twitter: @markanderson65

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