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2014 UNLV Football Schedule: Rebels Face Tough Road Tests

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UNLV gets all it can handle on the road this year, as they try and build upon last year's postseason trip.

Sarah Glenn

Guided by senior quarterback Caleb Herring, UNLV managed to surpass expectations a bit in 2013, making a bowl game and finishing the year with a winning record. But now, with Herring gone, they may have their hands full once again, replacing his leadership and skill set, despite returning key starters at other positions. Additionally, this year's schedule does them no favors, challenging the Rebels both on the road and at home. The full slate of MWC games reveals the difficulty:

Date Opponent
Saturday, August 30
at Arizona
Saturday, September 6
vs. Northern Colorado
Saturday, September 13
vs. Northern Illinois
Saturday, September 27
at San Diego State
Saturday, October 4
at San Jose State
Saturday, October 11
vs. Fresno State
Saturday, October 25
at Utah State
Saturday, November 1
vs. New Mexico
Saturday, November 8
vs. Air Force
Saturday, November 15
at BYU
Saturday, November 22
at Hawaii
Saturday, November 29

vs. Nevada

Four of UNLV's first seven are on the road, as are two of their final three, making things a little less than friendly on both ends of the schedule. While the Rebels get to avoid a tough road trip to Fresno State, they also find themselves traveling to both Arizona and BYU in non-conference play, as well as San Diego State, Utah State and San Jose State. The long trip to Hawaii could also take its toll, especially late in the season.

This slate is a challenge, in all aspects -- opponents, overall construction, location. And for a team looking to replace its quarterback, that is incredibly daunting. Between the five initial road games outlined above (so, minus Hawaii), plus the home date vs. the always difficult Northern Illinois Huskies, you're suddenly looking at six likely losses before taking into account the toss-ups in the middle of the schedule. So the Rebels, though they should be rewarded for ambitious non-conference scheduling, may end up coming out with a worse record than their talent indicates.

It's no discredit to coach Bobby Hauck and his staff (though he's certainly in less danger now with his contract extension). but expectations should be subdued for the fall of 2014. This is a building team, but one that will struggle to find itself above fourth place in the West Division given the perils of this schedule. Anything better than 6-6 would be an over-achievement and unfortunately, 3-9 is very much in play if they can't get off to better than a 1-6 start (which is what many would project after seeing their first seven games laid out).