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UNLV at Central Michigan breakdown


Johnny Stanton has been serviceable for UNLV through two starts, but senior Cooper Rush might be the best quarterback in the Mid-American Conference. Rush, who is averaging 8.8 yards per attempt this season, is in his fourth year starting for the Chippewas and probably will finish as the school’s all-time passing leader.

Edge: Central Michigan


Both teams rely on running back duos. The Rebels have sophomore Lexington Thomas and freshman Charles Williams, and Central Michigan has junior Devon Spalding and freshman Jonathan Ward. UNLV’s younger backs have the edge in production.

Edge: UNLV


Five Chippewas players have more than 50 receiving yards through their first two games, with senior Jesse Kroll leading the way with 144. UNLV’s Devonte Boyd has nine catches and 219 yards, and Darren Woods Jr. is the only other Rebels receiver with more than 50 yards.

Edge: Central Michigan


UNLV’s offensive line has helped the team average 227.5 rushing yards through two games and allowed only one sack, despite playing against UCLA at the Rose Bowl. Central Michigan has allowed seven sacks for a loss of 38 yards.

Edge: UNLV


The Chippewas’ line has been stout, with six sacks. Central Michigan’s opponents also are averaging only 47 rushing yards. The Rebels have sacked their opponents two times and allowed an average of 163.5 rushing yards.

Edge: Central Michigan


UNLV has the edge at experience and production at the defense’s second level, with seniors Ryan McAleenan and Tau Lotulelei leading the team in tackles. Senior Nathan Ricketts leads Central Michigan in tackles, but the Chippewas’ other two starters are sophomores.

Edge: UNLV


Both teams appear relatively evenly matched on the back end, and both have faced tough tests in UCLA and Oklahoma State. Central Michigan has fared slightly better through two games, allowing an average of 185 passing yards and picking off three passes.

Edge: Central Michigan


Evan Pantels averages 38.8 net yards per punt for UNLV, more than the combined net average of Central Michigan’s two punters. The Rebels’ return game is also stronger on kicks, with Charles Williams, Torry McTyer and Darren Woods Jr. getting the chance to run kickoffs.

Edge: UNLV


Central Michigan will need to make sure it refocuses quickly after a crazy victory over Oklahoma State. The Chippewas’ crowd is likely to be raucous, though, as it celebrates the team coming home, which could make it a difficult atmosphere for the Rebels.

Edge: Central Michigan


Bruce Marshall (goldsheet.com): Central Michigan 36, UNLV 27 — Central Michigan probably won’t need to draw up a now-familiar last-play Hail Mary to beat UNLV. But if the Chippewas are still celebrating last week’s miracle win at Oklahoma State, the improved Rebels could stay within earshot. Bruising quarterback Johnny Stanton gives UNLV an extra dimension, and the Rebels are covering numbers consistently on the road (14-5 as underdogs since 2013).

Ben Gotz is a sports reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Contact him at bgotz@reviewjournal.com or follow him on Twitter @BenSGotz. UNLV vs. Central Michigan, Depth Chart

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