UNLV will try to give Saturday’s scrimmage at Sam Boyd Stadium as close to a game-day atmosphere as the Rebels will experience until the season begins.
That includes the preparation throughout the day leading to the evening scrimmage, which is closed to the public.
This is the most consequential scrimmage of the preseason for the Rebels, who open their season Aug. 31 against Southern Utah at Sam Boyd Stadium. They also scrimmage Aug. 17, but the starters won’t receive the same amount of playing time, making that one similar to an NFL preseason game.
“What I really want to see is the operational portion of it,” coach Tony Sanchez said after Friday’s practice at Rebel Park. “We’ll have coaches up in the box, so signals coming down and signals coming in, (we need) good communication there. I want to make sure personnel groups are all on the field when they’re supposed to be on the field. We (need to) do a good job of managing the game clock so we don’t have delay of games. So the management of the game is a big part and obviously the execution within it.”
The Rebels will go through two 30-minute halves with a running clock. They also will practice short-yardage and goal-line situations.
“I want to go out there and focus on the little details and make sure the alignment is right, make sure everybody is getting down all the plays,” junior quarterback Armani Rogers said. “Just prepare like it’s a game and go out there and compete like it’s a real game.”
Daniel Gutierrez, Jr., 5-10, 200
Nathan De Jager, Jr., 5-11, 180
Hayes Hicken, Sr., 5-11, 185
Outside kick returners
Drew Tejchman, Jr., 5-11, 195
Darren Woods Jr., Sr., 6-0, 215
Middle kick returner
Tyree Jackson, Jr., 5-8, 175
Tyleek Collins, So., 5-9, 170
— Sanchez chuckled at negative comments from Reno-based Nevada Sports Net regarding the helmet the Rebels will wear against Southern Utah. The helmet features an interlocking “UN,” a throwback to what was worn from 1969 to 1972 as part of a tribute to the final season at Sam Boyd. One commentator called wearing that helmet “a punk move” by Sanchez.
“I think it’s actually pretty funny,” Sanchez said. “Obviously, the guys who made the comments are really misinformed.” Sanchez added that once the commentators educate themselves on the helmet they will “correct themselves.”
— Senior linebacker Javin White returned to practice after missing the final half Thursday when he was poked in an eye.
— Linebacker Rayshad Jackson is graduating from Florida this weekend, so he will be cleared to join the Rebels next week.