Utah State vs. UNLV
- Kickoff: Saturday, 5 p.m. MDT
- Venue: Merlin Olsen Field at Maverik Stadium (25,513 capacity)
- TV: CBS Sports Network
- Livestream: CBS Sports
- Radio: Sirius XM 383 / SXM App 974
- Series: Utah State and UNLV will be meeting for the 26th time. USU holds an 18-7 advantage, including a 9-3 record at home. The Aggies have won 15 of the last 18 games played in the series, including six in a row.
- Weather: Sunny with temperatures in the mid 70s at kickoff, with a 0% chance of precipitation and negligible winds out of the southwest.
For Utah State: The Aggies are 1-2 overall and have lost back-to-back games to Alabama and Weber State. Utah State has been outscored by 83 points in its last two games and has only scored once during that span.
For UNLV: The Rebels are 2-1 on the year, with wins over Idaho State and North Texas, the only setback coming in a 20-14 loss at Cal. UNLV has already matched its win total from last season and has the 30th-best total offense in all of college football.
What to watch for
Utah State is reeling after losing back-to-back games in convincing fashion, while UNLV is off to its best start to a season in over a decade.
The Aggies have struggled mightily on both sides of the ball and are currently ranked among college football’s worst in both total offense and total defense.
The Rebels, meanwhile, boast a top-30 offense and a respectable top-70 defense.
Any chance Utah State has of turning its season around rests on the Aggies’ offense recapturing some of the form it displayed a season ago. This year USU’s attack has been completely ineffective in all but one single quarter — the second quarter against UConn.
UNLV, meanwhile, has a dynamic offense that currently ranks as the best in the entire Mountain West Conference, after the Rebels scored 52 points against Idaho State and 58 against North Texas.
With quarterback Logan Bonner struggling after his return from injury, Utah State has tried to rely on its run game thus far this season. UNLV currently boasts a top-40 run defense, surrendering just over 100 yards per game and only two total touchdowns.
Doug Brumfield, QB, UNLV: The Rebels have been led thus far this season by their sophomore quarterback Doug Brumfield. Brumfield has been much improved this year, and has completed 60 of 85 passes — that is a completion percentage of 71% — for 773 yards and seven touchdowns, with only one interception thrown.
With Brumfield under center, the Rebels’ offense has taken a significant leap forward this season.
“Brumfield makes (UNLV’s offense) go,” Utah State head coach Blake Anderson said. “He is playing very well, competing 70% of his passes with only one pick, which says a lot about how he is controlling the ball. The hidden message, though, is how well he is moving the chains with his feet.”
Brumfield’s dual-threat ability has opened up opportunities for transfer running back Aidan Robbins, who has rushed for 346 yards, averaging 6.5 yards per carry.
“UNLV is a much better football team that we saw a year ago. A lot of returners. ... They’ve scored 50 points in two of their games and are a completely different look from what we saw a year ago and they were a challenge to beat last year at their place. ... They are big on both sides. It doesn’t get any easier for us.” — Utah State head coach Blake Anderson, on facing UNLV.
“We have to go play the defending champs and they had a bye week so we have our hands full. I have a lot of respect for Blake (Anderson) and what he does and how he coaches. ... They’ve seen the discipline, how to get it done. They know how to win.” — UNLV head coach Marcus Arroyo, on facing Utah State.
Utah State will travel to Provo to take on rival BYU on Thursday, Sep. 29. UNLV will host New Mexico on Friday, Sep. 30.
Utah State schedule
Aug. 27 — Utah State 31, UConn 20
Sept. 3 — No. 1 Alabama 55, Utah State 0
Sept. 10 — Weber State 35, Utah State 7
Sept. 17 — BYE
Sept. 24 — Utah State vs. UNLV
Sept. 29 — Utah State at No. 25 BYU
Oct. 8 — Utah State vs. Air Force
Oct. 15 — Utah State at Colorado State
Oct. 22 — Utah State at Wyoming
Oct. 29 — BYE
Nov. 5 — Utah State vs. New Mexico
Nov. 12 — Utah State at Hawaii
Nov. 19 — Utah State vs. San José State
Nov. 25 — Utah State at Boise State
All times MDT.