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Game Preview: Boise State @ UNLV

The Broncos travel to Sin City after their bye week

NCAA Football: Air Force at Boise State Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Boise State and their #16 ranking will travel to Las Vegas for a week six showdown against the UNLV Rebels. Boise State is coming off of a bye week, while the Rebels are coming off of a loss against Wyoming.

Time: 8:30 MT

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada (Sam Boyd Stadium)

Television: CBS Sports

Will the Broncos be close to full strength?

During the Air Force game, it looked like Boise State was getting closer to full strength with left tackle Ezra Cleveland returning to the lineup. It also looked like DeAndre Pierce and John Ojukwu were closer to being ready for game action. The Broncos lost Zeke Noa for the season during the Air Force game. Getting Pierce and Ojukwu back would be huge for the Broncos.

Will this be the game where it all clicks?

It is hard to complain about a team that is 4-0, but like Bryan Harsin has hinted, the Broncos can be much better. Slow starts have plagued the offense this year, and a team like UNLV can help to remedy those pains. This is a chance for Boise State to open up the run game and take some shots downfield.

Will there be a bye week slump?

It is common for teams to struggle coming off of a bye week. With the allure of Vegas and an inferior opponent, it is not out of the question that Boise State could struggle early.

Can Boise State make a statement?

Boise State has Hawaii and BYU coming up after Air Force. They also have teams like UCF, Memphis, and SMU breathing down their neck. The team needs to send a message this week and let voters know that they are the top Group of Five team. If they can’t do that against a squad like UNLV, they risk losing some votes. It also looks like the Rebels will be without some key players, which should make the game a bit easier for the Broncos.

Will this be the last time BSU faces Tony Sanchez?

If Tony Sanchez isn’t on the hot seat by now, he should be. His tenure at UNLV has been disappointing to say the least. Fans of the Rebels had hopes of a bowl game this December, and those hopes are all but vanished four games into the season.

Vegas Line: Boise State -21.5

My Prediction:

Boise State comes out and makes a statement. The Rebels struggle to move the ball the entire game and don’t get into the end zone until garbage time. The Broncos rack up more than 500 yards of total offense en route to a blowout victory. Boise State 45-UNLV 10