UCLA Football: UCLA Vs. UNLV Early Analysis

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Go Joe Bruin continues to look into the 2016 UCLA Football schedule with our game-by-game analysis. In this piece, we look at the Bruin’s first home game against the UNLV Rebels.

“Rebel, rebel, your face is a mess.” Well, not anymore. Here is the thing about the UNLV Football program… they have not been good. In the last 20 years, they have had a winning record in only 2 season. TWO!

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That seems to be changing under second-year coach Tony Sanchez who was an uber-successful coach in the high school ranks with Las Vegas’ own Bishop Gorman High School. Despite only winning three games last year, he has injected some life into the program.

So this year, will the Rebels give the UCLA Football team some fits? Let us first analyze the teams before we jump to a prediction…

2015 Records and Recap

UCLA 8-5, 5-4 Pac-12 | UNLV 3-9, 2-6 Mountain West

We all know how the Bruins ended their 2015 season… getting run over by USC and Nebraska (in the Foster Farms Bowl). The Bruins had a horrendous run defense that placed them 8th in the Pac-12 with 198.5 ypg allowed.

The Bruins finished with an 8-5 record, which is not bad for the average FBS school, but at UCLA and the Bruin Revolution, 8-5 is a damn shame.

The opposite is true for UNLV. They ended their season 3-9, but if you take a closer look at their schedule, they could easily have been 5-7, or even as a stretch 7-5. In four of their losses, they lost by a touchdown or less. That is something to get excited for if you are a Rebel fan.

After UNLV’s loss to UCLA last season, the Rebels then turned around and put a hurt on Idaho State with an 80-8 whooping. The week after, the Rebels had their only streak of the year with a win at Nevada. That streak almost went to three games, but lost in overtime to San Jose State. The week after, they only lost by 3 to Mountain West power Fresno State.

After a win against Hawai’i, the Rebels ended the season on a three game losing streak. Though it seemed like another losing season, there were several signals the show UNLV is heading in a different direction.

Next: Key Players and Stats