Five burning questions for UNLV’s football game against San Jose State at 6 p.m. Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium:
1. Can Rebels quarterback Kurt Palandech get it done? Maybe with a week of practicing with the first-team offense, but he hasn’t so far when called upon for extended periods. UNR even stopped worrying about defending the pass on Saturday, and it almost cost the Rebels the game.
2. Will UNLV change its offense to better suit Palandech? Expect some tweaks to take advantage of his athletic ability, which likely means some option plays. But don’t expect an overhaul.
3. No matter who has started at quarterback, the passing game has struggled. What’s the problem? It’s no one single thing. Neither Palandech or usual starter Blake Decker has been consistent, but they also haven’t had a lot of open wide receivers. That position was thought to be a strength, but it hasn’t been so far.
4. What is the biggest concern in facing San Jose State? Tyler Ervin leads the Mountain West with 801 yards rushing, and the Rebels can’t let him set the tone. They need to defend Ervin like they contained UNR’s strong run game in holding the Wolf Pack 69.5 yards below their average.
5. Is there a danger of a letdown? That was the problem two years ago after UNLV won at UNR. The Rebels returned home and came out flat against San Jose State. First-year coach Tony Sanchez, however, is really good at getting his team to focus on the next task, so it shouldn’t be as much of an issue this time.
Contact Mark Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2914. Follow him: @markanderson65
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