2016 FOOTBALL PREVIEW – Mountain West – UNLV
Looking for 2016 UNLV Rebels predictions? With Tony Sanchez at the helm, UNLV showed signs of promise during his first year in 2015, but the Rebels weren’t able to make a bowl game. However, not many predicted UNLV to actually make a bowl game, so it’s not like the program fell completely flat.
NCAA Division: Mountain West – UNLV Rebels
Head Coach: Tony Sanchez
2015 Record: 3-9
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The highlight of the season was stealing the Fremont Cannon back from in-state rival UNR on the road, and that alone gives the Rebels momentum heading into what should be an improved 2016 campaign.
2016 UNLV Rebels Predictions: Team Strengths
The Rebels were able to bag the nation’s best high school coach when they lured away Sanchez from Las Vegas’s powerhouse Bishop Gorman High School in 2015.
Sanchez won multiple national championships while spearheading the Gorman program, and he’s already given the UNLV program a much-needed boost.
With a nationally recognized high school coach at UNLV, the Rebels have been able to keep a portion of the local talent in Las Vegas, which bodes well for the program.
Wide receiver Devonte Boyd is poised to have another terrific season for the Rebels, and he’ll be their best receiver in 2016. Boyd, a local product, was able to finish with 900-yard seasons each of the last two years with sub-par quarterbacks under center.
Last season, he finished with nearly 17 yards per catch to go along with seven touchdowns, and he’ll be the big man on campus again this year.
2016 UNLV Rebels Predictions: Team Weaknesses
The Rebels were a disaster last season at the quarterback position, and it’s tough to say that they got any better with their current situation. Blake Decker started the season under center, but backup Kurt Palandech looked absolutely lost when Decker was hurt.
Palandech was reportedly the better quarterback during UNLV’s Spring Showcase in April, and that can’t be too reassuring if you’re a fan of Rebel football.
The defense will also be a question mark for the Rebels this year. UNLV allowed more than 33 points per game last season and twice allowed more than 50 in a game.
The Rebels will also have to play powerhouse UCLA on the road as well as the highly-talented Boise State Broncos. Both teams put up 50-plus on UNLV last season, so the Rebels will have their hands full trying to contain both high-powered offenses.
2016 UNLV Rebels Predictions:
(UNLV Rebels 6-6)
Despite a 3-9 record last year, this is a UNLV program that is trending upward. The Rebels lost a handful of games by one possession and could’ve easily finished over .500 last season. With a weak West Division in the Mountain West this year, UNLV could finish second to San Diego State.
The Rebels should be able to handle Hawaii, Jackson State, Fresno State and UNR, and could potentially pull off road wins against San Jose State and Central Michigan.
This team still has plenty of holes to fill, specifically on the defensive side of the ball, but there’s no doubt that Sanchez will keep the Rebels in contention for most of their games once again.
This year, however, they’re going to have to put them away.
2016 UNLV Rebels Football Schedule
- 9/1/16 vs. Jackson State Tigers 7:00 PM/PT
- 9/10/16 at UCLA Bruins 5:00 PM/PT
- 9/17/16 at Central Michigan Chippewas 12:00 PM/PT
- 9/24/16 vs. Idaho Vandals TBA
- 10/1/16 vs. Fresno State 7:30 PM/PT
- 10/8/16 at San Diego State Aztecs TBA
- 10/15/16 at Hawaii Rainbow Warriors TBA
- 10/22/16 vs. Colorado State Rams 2:30 PM/PT
- 10/29/16 at San Jose State Spartans 7:30 PM/PT
- 11/12/16 vs. Wyoming Cowboys TBA
- 11/18/16 at. Boise State Broncos 6:00 PM/PT
- 11/25/16 vs. Nevada Wolfpack TBA
What do you think about our 2016 UNLV Rebels predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2016!
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