Boise State football opponent scouting report: UNLV

Facts and figures

Where: Las Vegas

Founded: 1957

Enrollment: 28,600

Colors: Scarlet red and gray

Nickname: Rebels

Record: 2-5, 1-2 Mountain West (2-11 last season; 3-5 all-time vs. Boise State)

Last game: Lost 31-28 at Fresno State on Oct. 16


Tony Sanchez, 41, is hoping to be the rare high school-to-college success story. In his first season with the Rebels, Sanchez was hired from Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman High, where he went 85-5 in six seasons. Sanchez played wide receiver at New Mexico State in 1994-95.


UNLV utilizes a multiple-look offense that lists three starting receivers, but it often uses a fullback in running situations. The Rebels are 27th nationally in rushing yards per game (213.6), totaling 517 yards Sept. 26 in an 80-8 win over Idaho State. Six Rebels have at least 117 rushing yards, led by junior RB Keith Whitely’s 471. Senior QB Blake Decker leads the team with 652 yards on 45-of-83 passing with five touchdowns to four interceptions. With Decker hurt, sophomore Kurt Palandech has started the past two games and is 47-of-92 for 447 yards with six TDs and three INTs. He’s rushed for 216 yards, third on the team.

Sophomore WR Davonte Boyd, last season’s Mountain West Freshman of the Year, is the top target with 21 receptions for 374 yards and five TDs. Sophomore WR Kendal Keys, a former Boise State signee, is second with 20 catches and 226 yards. The Rebels average 28.3 points per game, and their eight turnovers are tied for 18th fewest.


Nine Rebels have combined for the team’s 10 interceptions. Freshman CB Tim Hough is the one with two. UNLV also has returned two interceptions for touchdowns. In their two wins, the Rebels have allowed 25 total points. In the five losses, they’ve allowed at least 28 points in each game.

Junior MLB Ryan McAleenan leads the team with 49 tackles and has one of the INT returns for a TD. Senior SS Peni Vea has 47 tackles and is fourth all-time in school history with 295. UNLV is allowing 419.9 ypg, 90th nationally, and its six sacks are third-fewest in the nation.


Sophomore K Nicolai Bornand has made 8-of-10 field goals and 24-of-25 extra-point attempts. Senior P Logan Yunker is averaging 41.7 yards per punt. He’s had a punt blocked, and the Rebels have blocked one. Opponents average 13.2 yards per punt return.


Among UNLV’s notable alumni are former hip-hop record producer Suge Knight (who played football for the Rebels), Food Network personality Guy Fieri (who didn’t), former NFL running back Ickey Woods (gonna get me some cold cuts!) and Pro Bowl QB Randall Cunningham (also an All-American punter).

Dave Southorn: 208-377-6420, @IDS_Southorn

A breakdown of Boise State’s next opponent UNLV (1:30 p.m. Saturday, ESPNU)

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