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‘Just tremendous’: UNLV earns spot in Mountain West title game

Updated November 27, 2023 - 7:14 pm

The UNLV football team woke up to good news Sunday morning.

The Rebels will host Boise State in the Mountain West championship game at noon Saturday at Allegiant Stadium, the conference announced.

“To host the game in Las Vegas at Allegiant is just tremendous,” coach Barry Odom said in a release.

UNLV (9-3, 6-2) finished in a three-way tie atop the conference with Boise State (7-5, 6-2) and San Jose State (7-5, 6-2), with the tiebreaker coming down to composite computer rankings. The Rebels had the best rating of the first-place trio at 44.5 despite losing to the Spartans 37-31 on Saturday at Allegiant Stadium. The Broncos were second with a composite score of 55.75, slightly ahead of San Jose State’s 58.5.

“It’s unfortunate. I think we were one of the top two teams in the league,” San Jose State athletic director Jeff Konya told The Associated Press. “… It’s unfortunate that somebody was going to be the third wheel, and apparently the computer decided it was us.”

The Rebels are 3-8 against the Broncos all-time, including 0-5 in the Mountain West, with each game decided by at least 17 points. However, the teams haven’t played since 2019, a 38-13 beatdown of UNLV at Sam Boyd Stadium.

The Rebels haven’t beaten the Broncos since a 31-26 victory at home Nov. 6, 1976.

This is Boise State’s sixth time in the conference championship in the past seven seasons, though the Broncos haven’t won the title since 2019. This is UNLV’s first Mountain West title game appearance.

Boise State didn’t play UNLV this season, so the Rebels’ higher composite computer ranking also made Allegiant Stadium the host site.

“I am very proud of Coach Odom, our players and staff on what they accomplished to this point,” UNLV athletic director Erick Harper said in a release. “It is a credit to the work that they have put in during this journey. We absolutely need everyone at the game Saturday – we are calling on all Rebel fans to be there and support this team in what promises to be a great matchup in our city.”

General tickets are available for purchase through UNLVTickets.com starting at $20. Season ticket holders can purchase their normal seats and parking through their online account for a discounted price before 5 p.m. Tuesday. Additionally, UNLV students will be given one free ticket and the option to purchase a discounted guest ticket.

Contact reporter Andy Yamashita at ayamashita@reviewjournal.com Follow @ANYamashita on X.

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