UNLV coach Tony Sanchez is proceeding as if quarterback Armani Rogers won’t play Saturday at Fresno State.
Sanchez said Tuesday the redshirt freshman is doubtful for the 7 p.m. game, but wouldn’t have a clearer picture until at least Thursday. Rogers is going through concussion protocol after getting injured in last Saturday’s 52-28 loss to Utah State.
“You want to see those symptoms completely go down,” Sanchez said. “They’ve decreased every day, but we want to make sure he’s got zeros across the board before we throw him on out there.”
Fresno State (5-2, 4-0 Mountain West) is a 20½-point favorite over the Rebels (2-5, 1-3) in a game that will be televised on AT&T SportsNet.
Seniors Kurt Palandech and Johnny Stanton are sharing repetitions with the first- and second-team offenses, and each brings his own set of skills.
Palandech has averaged 5.0 yards per carry over his three-year UNLV career, having totaled 728 yards on the ground. He has thrown for 1,489 yards and 14 touchdowns with nine interceptions and a completion percentage of 49.2.
Stanton, who began his college career at Nebraska, started the first four games last year before suffering a season-ending knee injury. In that short time, he completed 46.7 percent of his passes for 676 yards and six touchdowns, with six interceptions. Stanton also rushed for 231 yards and a touchdown, averaging 5.8 yards per carry.
Sanchez acknowledged the effectiveness of Palandech’s running ability, but spent more time heaping praise on Stanton.
“(Stanton) comes back (from injury) and he finds himself behind a great freshman in Armani Rogers,” Sanchez said. “He didn’t lose the job because he wasn’t a good quarterback. Armani took the job probably by the skin of a hair.
“We know Armani’s the future and a great player, but we also know that Johnny Stanton’s a heck of a football player. And if he’s got to go and play a bunch, we’ll be just fine with him.”
Stanton has played linebacker the past two games because of a series of injuries at the weakside spot, but Sanchez said the players at that position are healthier. Junior starter Bailey Laolagi (shoulder) practiced Tuesday morning, and Sanchez was hopeful he would play.
“We’re a little thin there, and that’s going to be an issue throughout the course of the year,” Sanchez said. “One of the hardest things is numbers right now. We just don’t have the numbers to have some of the needed depth, and it can get thin real fast.”