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UNLV vs. Boise State: How The Rebels Can Win, How to Watch, Odds, Prediction


UNLV vs. Boise State: How The Rebels Can Win, How to Watch, Odds, Prediction


The Rebels look to complete their stunning rise to the top of the Mountain West on Saturday afternoon. Here’s how to watch and what to watch for.


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Potential history to be made in Las Vegas.

2023 MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP: Boise State Broncos (7-5, 6-2 Mountain West) vs. UNLV Rebels (9-3, 6-2 MW)

WHEN: Saturday, December 2nd — 1:00 p.m. MST / 12:00 p.m. PST

WHERE: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada

TV: FOX

STREAM: FuboTV – Get a free trial

SERIES RECORD: This will be the 12th all-time matchup between the two schools. Boise State leads the series 8-3. The Rebels have lost the last six meetings.

WEBSITES: BroncoSports.com | UNLVRebels.com

ODDS: Boise State -3

SP+ PROJECTION: UNLV by 1.0

FEI PROJECTION: Even

PARKER FLEMING PROJECTION: UNLV 53.87% win probability (29.92-19.79)

On Saturday, the UNLV Rebels will take on the Boise State Broncos in the Mountain West Conference (MWC Championship game. It should be an exciting game and highly contested. Both teams have a good chance of winning.

Pass to set up the run

The Rebels like to run the ball, but the Broncos feature the second-best run defense in the MWC, giving up 127.2 yards per game. This game was where UNLV could use the pass to set up the run. Boise State gives up 254.8 passing yards per game, which is last in the MWC.

Rebels quarterback Jayden Maiava has thrown for 2,628 yards and 14 touchdowns this season. Receiver Ricky White leads the Rebels with 75 receptions, 1,300 yards, and seven touchdowns. Look for UNLV to use quick passing and get the ball to White early so it can loosen the Broncos’ defense, then the Rebels can run.

Stop the run

UNLV must be successful in slowing down the Boise State rushing attack. The Broncos average 207.7 yards per game. They are led by Ashton Jeanty, the Mountain West offensive player of the year who averaged 164.6 all-purpose yards per game and scored 18 touchdowns, though George Holani contributed when healthy with 534 yards and five touchdowns in six games and freshman Jambres Dubar flashed his potential with 335 yards on 62 attempts.

UNLV gives up 144.6 rushing yards per game and 4.2 yards per rush, so they must tackle well and play in the correct gaps to slow down the Broncos’ rushing attack. If UNLV can slow down the Boise State running game and force them to pass, they will have a great chance of winning. UNLV’s leading tackler, Jackson Woodard, must be all over the field for the Rebels.

Special teams

The Rebels have an excellent kicker, Jose Pizano, who was recently named a Lou Groza Award finalist, has made all 50 of his extra points, and has connected on 23-of-25 field goals, the longest coming from 52 yards. Returner Jacob DeJesus averages 26.4 yards on kickoff and 16.8 yards on punt returns, both of which led the Mountain West. In close games, field position and field goals can be crucial, and the Rebels have players who can be game-changers on special teams.

Prediction

The Rebels will win  27-24 with a Pizano last-second field goal. I think UNLV will slow down the Broncos rushing attack and make plays in the passing game.

Story originally appeared on Mountain West Wire