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5 things to look for in UNLV-BYU

Five things to look for when UNLV plays at Brigham Young at 4 p.m. PST Saturday:

1. How healthy is UNLV quarterback Blake Decker? He took a beating Saturday against Air Force, but didn’t show any ill effects in practice Wednesday. Having been cut by BYU last year, he will do whatever it takes to get on the field and make plays.

2. No question, Decker badly wants to win, but whether he will play mistake-free football and make enough plays to at least keep the Rebels competitive is another question. He has thrown 14 interceptions, but also has shown enough promise in passing for 2,433 yards. Less of the former and more of the latter, and Decker could keep the Rebels in the game.

3. UNLV’s defense, though, must give Decker and the offense a chance. The Rebels have given up more than 30 points in all but two games. That trend can’t continue for UNLV to have a realistic shot because it has hit the 30-point mark only twice.

4. Which BYU team shows up remains to be seen. The Cougars won their first four games, had a bunch of injuries, and then lost four in a row. But they won 27-7 at Middle Tennessee two weeks ago before a bye, so that victory might have the Cougars back on track,.

5. The weather could make how the game plays out interesting. The forecast high for Saturday is 40 degrees, according to weather.com, with a 50-percent chance of precipitation. UNLV has played in snow the past two years, going 1-1.

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UNLV to play daunting football schedule

UNLV’s first six opponents are against teams that competed in bowls last season. The Rebels, though, get a break with two well-placed bye weeks.