SAN JOSE, Calif. — One day, UNLV’s football team might join No. 13 Boise State in The Associated Press Top 25 poll. For now, the Rebels will have to settle for being ranked No. 6 in Sports Illustrated’s list of top 25 college football field designs.
UNLV debuted its Las Vegas-themed field design at Sam Boyd Stadium last year under the direction of Rebels coach Tony Sanchez in his inaugural season at the school.
Here’s the Sports Illustrated review: “UNLV has one of the most fun field designs in college football. It blends Las Vegas culture with its field and doesn’t have the same yard line markers as the rest of the country. What happens in Sam Boyd Stadium stays in Sam Boyd Stadium.”
As part of a $1.2 million renovation on the stadium’s field level during the summer of 2015, a new $800,000 playing surface was installed and Sanchez took advantage of the blank canvas, having the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign emblazoned in the black end zones along with “REBELS” in red. Yardage numbers are displayed in a retro Las Vegas font atop red and gray diamonds from the old Stardust hotel sign, and the 50-yard-line markers are gray sunbursts taken from the top of the Las Vegas sign.
UNLV is one of three Mountain West schools on the list, along with Boise State and its famed blue field at No. 2, and Wyoming and its Rocky Mountains-lined end zones at No. 14.
COMING UP NEXT
UNLV has a bye this week. The Rebels next will play Nov. 12, when they host Wyoming at 12:30 p.m. at Sam Boyd Stadium in a game that will be televised on ROOT SPORTS.
The Cowboys (6-2, 4-0 Mountain West) scored on a safety with 1:25 left Saturday to stun Boise State (7-1, 3-1) in Laramie, Wyoming, 30-28.
Wyoming, which went 2-10 last season, has won the past three meetings with UNLV, four of five and eight of 10. The Cowboys beat the Rebels 35-28 last season in Laramie on Cameron Coffman’s tiebreaking 64-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Hollister with 2:20 to play. Wyoming running back Brian Hill rushed for 232 yards and a touchdown and is running wild again this season.
Hill, who rushed for 146 yards Saturday, is second in the nation in rushing yards (1,156) behind San Diego State running back Donnel Pumphrey, a Canyon Springs High School product who has 1,469 yards.
PUMPHREY GAINS GROUND
Pumphrey’s 223 rushing yards in Friday’s 40-13 win over Utah State pushed his career total to 5,741, which moved him past Cedric Benson (Texas), Travis Prentice (Miami, Ohio) and Charles White (Southern California) into fifth place on the NCAA’s career rushing list.
Pumphrey, a senior, is on pace to pass Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne (6,397 yards) this season to become the NCAA’s career rushing leader.
Contact reporter Todd Dewey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0354. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.