UNLV has been stuck on five wins since Oct. 26 but Thursday night's game against Air Force is the best chance for the Rebels to earn their first bowl bid since 2000. Talent on the field favors UNLV quite a bit with the better players, but Air Force's run-option scheme will give any team fits.
Air Force has had a few huge games by senior running back Anthony LaCoste who has rushed for 440 yards in his last two games and has found the end zone three times. The Falcons need LaCoste to have a big game to keep pace with UNLV's many offensive weapons.
While the running game will be Air Force's main offensive attack, freshman Nate Romine has proved himself to be a more than capable signal-caller. The Falcons would be wise to try to be fairly balanced in their run/pass ration despite that the Revels are 114th in the nation in rush defense. Keeping a defense guessing, or at least the defensive backs honest, will give Air Force a good chance to be in this game.
Having said that, Air Force's defense is not very good, and UNLV has great weapons in quarterback Caleb Herring, wide receiver Devante Davis and running back Tim Cornett. Herring should have a big game throwing the ball, but the running game might be the way to for the Rebels. The weather is expected to very cold with temperatures in the mid teen's and the possibility of snow. A cold football will make it easier to catch and throw the ball, so if the passing game is struggling early on look for UNLV to go to a mostly ground attack.
Even with weather being a factor UNLV should be able become bowl eligible and beat the Falcons. Air Force just doesn't have enough weapons to keep up with what UNLV has on offense.
More from Mountain West Connection:
- PODCAST: Week 13 Mountain West football preview
- VIDEO: Week 13 Mountain West football preview
- Rebels free throw woes continue as Jahii Carson carries Sun Devils to win over UNLV
- Week 13 Mountain West football schedule
- Mountain West football standings: League title game could be determined this weekend
- 2013 Week 13 Mountain West football coverage
- Week 13 Mountain West football early odds: USU is a TD favorite over Colorado State