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5 players to watch in Saturday’s UNLV-Idaho game

Five players to watch in UNLV’s football game against Idaho at 6 p.m. Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium:

1. Johnny Stanton, QB, UNLV:

The junior is coming off a brutal outing in Saturday’s 44-21 loss at Central Michigan, where he completed only 15 of 41 passes for a season-low 131 yards and threw two interceptions. The strong-armed Stanton has struggled with his accuracy in losses to the Chippewas and UCLA. He’s 36-for-81 (44.4 percent) overall this season for 501 yards, five touchdowns and four interceptions. Look for Stanton to get back on track against the Vandals, who are tied for 122nd in the nation in scoring defense (42.1 points per game) and are 117th in total defense (487.7 yards per game).

2. Devonte Boyd, WR, UNLV:

The junior from Basic High School had a catch in the first 27 games of his career at UNLV before getting shut out at Central Michigan. A preseason All-Mountain West pick, Boyd has 119 career catches for 2,103 yards and 14 touchdowns. He had nine receptions for 219 yards and three touchdowns in the first two games this season and should add to those totals against Idaho.

3. Lexington Thomas, RB, UNLV:

The sophomore has been the most consistent bright spot for the Rebels, rushing for 293 yards and four touchdowns on 47 carries (6.2 yards per carry). He had an 85-yard touchdown run against the Chippewas on his way to 113 yards, giving the Houston native five career 100-yard games despite only three career starts. Thomas is poised to run wild against the Vandals, who are 125th of 128 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in rushing defense (273.3 ypg).

4. Matt Linehan, QB, Idaho:

The 6-foot-3-inch junior completed 63 percent of his passes last season for 2,972 yards and 16 touchdowns, with 11 interceptions. Linehan is 46-for-84 (54.8 percent) this year for 487 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

5. Deon Watson, TE, Idaho:

The 6-4 senior had 42 catches for 551 yards and a team-leading seven touchdowns last season and leads the team this year in receptions (10) and receiving yards (170). He had a season-high five catches for 62 yards Saturday in Idaho’s 56-6 loss at Washington State.

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