North Texas will face UNLV on Saturday in Las Vegas.
The Mean Green are off to their best start since 2018 at 2-1 and hammered Texas Southern 59-27 last week. The Rebels are coming off a near miss in a 20-14 loss to Cal.
We are fortunate to welcome in Jeremy Mauss to discuss the game. Jeremy covers UNLV for the Mountain West Wire, which is part of the part of the USA Today Network.
Here is what Jeremy had to say about Saturday's game.
1. How much confidence did UNLV gain in its close loss to Cal?
UNLV has had many one-score games going back to last year. On one hand it was a close loss against a good defensive team in Cal, but also it tells the same story during Marcus Arroyo's career as UNLV's head coach. They want to break through and start winning these game and not losing all of these close ones.
Keeping close against a Power 5 team does bring some confidence, and the Rebels, by facing a team more on their level in North Texas, should allow everyone to know how good they can be
2. Tell us a little about QB Doug Brumfield.
He was the starter last year before he got hurt and had to beat out Cam Friel and Tennessee transfer Harrison Bailey to be the starting quarterback this year for UNLV. He is a dual-threat quarterback, but he would rather extend the play than take off and run the ball.
He has just 20 yards this year. He is patient in the pocket and this year has been able to get the ball to multiple receivers and not just focus on Kyle Williams.
In his two games so far he is spreading the ball out to many wideouts, and he is not just a one-look quarterback and scans the field to find the open player. The offensive line could be better in protecting him and if they can do that then Brumfield should have a big day.
3. Who are some of UNLV’s defensive players UNT fans should be aware of?
The Rebels lost a few players to the portal with Jacoby Windmon and injury to Brennon Scott this offseason, and that left a big opportunity for players to step up.
Through two games the defense doesn't have a real superstar, but it has been a team effort. The top three tacklers are players in the secondary. There are guys on the defensive line like Dadius Johnson and Eliel Ehimare who each have a sack and have shown to be a bright spot so far.
No one has overly impressed, and that could be a good thing by making this a collective effort on defense.
4. What do you see as the key to this game?
I think UNLV needs to get its offense going in some aspect closer to what they did against Idaho State. That will be tough against a better team like North Texas.
However, to do that they need to protect Brumfield better and keep being a balanced attack. The Rebels are replacing all-time leading rusher Charles Williams, but his replacement is Aidan Robbins, who has 119 yards and three scores. He put up 84 yards on the ground against Cal, so if he can be in that same neighborhood, or more, then that is going to be a key difference in this game and how the Rebels can win.
5. How do you see this one playing out?
I see the Rebels getting a close win against North Texas. Brumfield is a guy that can make some plays, and their ability to swing the ball around to multiple receivers is what I see being the difference in this game.
The defense as well since they are doing a great job of not allowing a bunch of points as they have given up a respectable 20 and 21 points so far in their short season.
UNLV will finally win a close one in their favor, and will do so 21-17.