Five things to look for when UNLV’s football team plays at No. 10 Ohio State at 9 a.m. PDT Saturday:
1. UNLV coach Tony Sanchez wants the passing game to open up the running attack. And the opportunity is there for the Rebels’ talented receivers against Ohio State’s inexperienced cornerbacks, who are still trying to find their way.
2. For the Rebels to make it a respectable game, they need to eat some clock. So if they are able to pass the ball efficiently, that should help running backs Lexington Thomas and Xzaviar Campbell find some room to make plays and extend drives. They combine to average 7.5 yards per carry.
3. The Rebels’ defense has to create takeaways. They can’t expect to beat Ohio State straight up by forcing three-and-outs. Forcing the Buckeyes into mistakes might mean taking occasional chances with well-timed blitzes.
4. And the Rebels need to take some chances offensively. They have nothing to lose, so why not take some shots deep? But the keys are to properly time those plays and don’t go crazy doing too many of them.
5. Health. How beat up will UNLV players be when the game ends? If the Rebels come out in good physical health, that will be important as they enter Mountain West play the following week against San Jose State at Sam Boyd Stadium.
Contact Mark Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.