Game Preview: UNLV at Aztecs

Infographic highlighting New Hey Reb’s most vulnerable pressure points.

What: Football game
Who: UNLV Rebels at San Diego State Aztecs
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: SDCCU Stadium
TV: ESPN2
Line: SDSU -23

The Stakes
It’s pretty simple: If SDSU wants to win the Mountain West Conference’s West division title, it can’t afford another loss. Not to Fresno State, not to Hawai’i and certainly not to these jabronis.

Of course, while such a loss would be devastating to the season, it would not be as devastating as the L voters hung on Measure E earlier in the week. Speaking of which, did you hear that Measure G won the election? It’s true. Just wanted to point out that fun factoid in case you hadn’t heard. The thing about SDSU West winning. Because it did!

The Opponent
So this may come as a surprise but HEY REB! is pretty bad again, you guys.

A little history: UNLV joined the Aztecs in the Western Athletic Conference when the WAC expanded to, like, 37 team in 1996. In the 22 seasons since, the Rebels have had five head coaches (including Jeff Horton!) and exactly two (2) winning seasons.

Actually, make it 23 seasons now. The Rebels limp in at 2-7, 0-5 in the Mountain West. Their hopes at a second winning campaign of the decade were dashed in a 50-37 loss two weeks ago to previously winless San Jose State. After that game, old friend Ed Graney of the Sheldon Adelson Review-Journal offered a pretty fair assessment of the program as it stands in year four of the Tony Sanchez era. And buddy,,, it’s pretty bleak.

One minor concern for the Rebels is that they can’t stop anyone. Seriously, anyone. UNLV is allowing 49.6 points per game in conference, including that 50 spot against SJSU and another 50 against New Mexico, a team that mounted literally one decent drive last week against the Aztecs. I looked at the Rebels’ stats against both the pass and the run and … I won’t bore you with them, just know that they’re bad at all of it. All of the defensive football things.

UNLV’s offense is less helpless, with most of its success coming in the running game with Pumphrey-sized speedster Lexington Thomas (768 yards, 8 TDs). Another running threat is QB Armani Rogers, who has been out since September with a toe injury but might return this week. If he doesn’t, it’ll be sophomore pocket passer Max Gilliam who has actually been pretty adequate (12 TD passes) in Rogers’ absence.

History
SDSU is 17-9 all-time against the Rebels, and has won eight in a row at the Concrete Tombstone. The Aztecs have won the last four in the series by an average of 25 points.

Other factors
The Juwan Washington/Christian Chapman/Isaac Lessard injury Voltron has transformed into a sprightly Voltron of health! Hold on to your butts for steady competence on offense. Also note that even though Measure G has passed (which, as I noted earlier, it absolutely did), you should not strut around STADIUM like you own the place on Saturday. Instead, you should strut around STADIUM like you will soon own the place after negotiating fair market value with the city. Totally different strut.

Film study
Nice try, stupid category, but I will not be watching any UNLV game film. Instead, here is the song that topped the charts the last time the Rebels beat the Aztecs in San Diego.

Man, whatever happened to the non-Kelly Rowland members of Destiny’s Child? Hey wait a minute …

The watch I’m wearin’, I’ve bought it
The house I live in, I’ve bought it
The car I’m driving, I’ve bought it
I depend on me, I depend on me

Wait. Is … is this song about SDSU West?

STAFF PREDICTIONS

Advisory Columnist @EgosAndDespair
The Aztecs are gonna give it everything they’ve got. Lady Luck’s with them, the team stays hot. Gotta coke up their noses to dry away the snot.
Aztecs 34, UNLV 17

AttemptedChem @attemptedchem
UNLV is awful. SDSU is 7-2. The Aztecs need to win at least one blow out this year, right? RIGHT?! I choose to will this into existence. Washington runs for 200. Chapman throws for, like 12 of 14 and 2 TDs. John Baron catches them both.
Aztecs 34, UNLV 10 

Aztecs Killing Him @akh_blog
Last week the Aztecs scored more than 28! What’s next, actually covering the spread as a favorite? Nah.
Aztecs 27, UNLV 16

lemonverbena @kabeerthirty
Hey Reb! Your football program is trash.
SDSU 31, UNLV 10

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Author: Aztecs Killing Him

Former proprietor of AztecsKillingHim dot com, a long-dead SDSU sports blog that was possibly dumber even than this one. On Twitter at @akh_blog.

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