The University of Hawaii Warriors first season in the Mountain West Conference will end with this contest against the UNLV Rebels. These two teams were old Western Athletic Conference (WAC) foes before UNLV left for the Mountain West in the late '90s. This will be UNLV's last gridiron contest of the year while Hawaii has one more non-conference game after this. The game will be played in Aloha Stadium at 6:00 PM Hawaiian Time (8:00 PM Pacific) on Saturday November 24.
The Rebels will be coming off their last home game of the year versus Wyoming while the Warriors will be coming home after having just played a road trip contest at the Air Force Academy (see related articles). UNLV is not a very strong football program and has been near or at the bottom of the Mountain West for many years. Head coach Bobby Hauck has been trying to rebuild a program that hasn't seen a winning record in well over a decade. Norm Chow will be winding down his first year as a head coach for Hawaii.
The Rebel run
The Rebels offense had a decent running game in 2011 and again, it should be decent in 2012 with their starting running back and entire offensive line back from last season. But, the quarterback position doesn't look good and neither does their receiving corp. UNLV may be able to run on the smaller but quicker Warriors; however, the problem for the Rebels is they don't appear to have a good passing game this year, so teams like Hawaii will crowd the line of scrimmage, making it much harder to run.
UNLV's defense was not good last season but there may be a few signs they might improve in 2012. The defensive line and linebacking corps are respectable but the Rebel secondary is iffy at best. And the Warrior passing attack may be their best weapon in 2012 so the scoreboard could light up for Hawaii.
The Warriors had an inexplicit loss last year at UNLV that doomed their season. They will want some payback plus if Hawaii is still in the running for a bowl selection, this game may mean even more to the Warriors while the Rebels will simply be playing out a season-ending contest. UNLV's run game will keep them in this battle but Hawaii's air attack will help them pull away in the fourth quarter.
The Rebel's season ends with this game and they'll leave the islands with probably double digit losses for the year. The following week, the Warriors end their regular season with one more home game against a brand new Division 1 school in South Alabama, who only started playing football a few seasons ago.
Sources - UNLV, University of Hawaii
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