No. 16 Broncos look to stay undefeated, travel to play UNLV
No. 16 Boise State (4-0, 1-0 Mountain West) at UNLV (1-3, 0-1), Saturday at 10:30 p.m. EDT (CBSSN).
Line: Boise State by 21 1/2.
Series record: Boise State leads 7-3
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
The Broncos can’t afford to lose focus for their first road trip since Aug. 31, when they came from behind to defeat Florida State in Jacksonville before three straight home games. Boise State’s quick trip to Las Vegas before hosting surprising Hawaii must be business-like against the desperate, need-to-win Rebels who are nursing a three-game losing streak.
Boise State’s rushing defense against UNLV running back Charles Williams. Despite being knocked out with an injury in the first half after just five carries last week, Williams will play Saturday and comes into the game ranked No. 10 in the nation with 118 yards per game, including a career-high 168 vs. Arkansas State on Sept. 7. The junior can make things dangerous by extending drives, keeping the clock moving and monopolizing time of possession for the Rebels. The Broncos rank 56th in the country, allowing 142 yards rushing.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Boise State: DB Kekoa Nawahine. The senior All-America candidate is a tenacious ball hawk who has a knack for sniffing out turnover opportunities, whether he’s forcing a fumble, recovering one, or intercepting passes.
UNLV: WR Randal Grimes. The USC transfer leads the Rebels with 14 receptions for 175 yards. UNLV’s passing game lacks punch because of its stronger rushing game. If the Rebels are to match Boise State’s aerial attack, Grimes is the go-to guy for whomever is under center.
FACTS & FIGURES
Boise State has won each of its last five road games, tied for the third-longest streak in the country with Alabama, Florida and Wake Forest. … Boise State ranks 24th in total offense (476.0 yards per game) and 25th in total defense (299.3 yards allowed per game). … UNLV starting dual-threat quarterback Armani Rogers was knocked out of last week’s game at Wyoming with a sprained knee, making room for pocket-passer Kenyon Oblad. Rogers is expected to start, but Oblad has shared first-team repetitions this week. … While Boise State has won seven of the 10 all-time meetings, UNLV’s three victories came at Sam Boyd Stadium. The Rebels move to the new Allegiant Stadium next season.