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UNLV Mountain West Championship Preview

The Rebels have made it to the Mountain West Championship Game for the first time since making their way into the conference.

San Jose State v UNLV
QB Jayden Maiava (1) keeps his team in the game against San Jose State. He will be ready for the Mountain West Championship Game this Saturday
Photo by Louis Grasse/Getty Images

UNLV was put into a position after last week’s loss to San Jose State. Since Boise State, San Jose State, and UNLV all had the same record in conference. It went to a computer to decide who would make it to the championship game.

The outcome of the computer decision was that UNLV would host Boise State in the Mountain West Conference Championship this next weekend.


The Rebels are led by Mountain West Freshman of the Year and Las Vegas native, QB Jayden Maiava, who came on in replacement of the injured QB Doug Brumfield, earlier in the season. He has been absolutely great, making big plays and getting the ball to his receivers. His favorite target, WR Ricky White, is hopefully looking to extend his breakout season and keep his name in some NFL Scouts thoughts this upcoming draft season. This will be a big game for the freshman against Boise State, which brings a lot of pressure, but he has been in big-game situations before. He is a competitor and should be able to put his team in a position to win.

Maiava has been helped out this season by the plethora of running backs the Rebels have. The ground game for the Rebels has been so efficient this season and they continue to shine. Whether it is RB Donavyn Lester, RB Vincent Davis Jr., RB Jai’Den Thomas, RB Jordan Younge-Humphrey, or 4-year RB Courtney Reese, teams playing the Rebels do not know which one will be getting the ball in certain games. Boise State will have to game plan for each and every one of these backs to attempt at fully stopping the run.

Most likely, the Rebels number one reason behind their success this year is First Year Head Coach and Mountain West Coach of the Year Barry Odom. Odom comes over from coaching in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and brings the intensity and toughness from that conference. It shows in how UNLV was able to bounce back after years of losing seasons. This conference championship game should have the same feel as a SEC game and it will be a familiarity to Coach Odom. His biggest attribution to the Rebels is the defensive side of the ball. They have been able to come up with big plays all season and are a huge part of what got the Rebels to the championship. They will have to come up with big plays if they want to stay in the game against Boise State.

UNLV comes into this game as 2.5 point underdogs at home to Boise State. They should use the underdog and “play like there is no tomorrow” attitudes going into this game. In games where both teams should be equally matched, being home underdogs could be a sneaky motivational tool for the Rebels.

DraftKings Betting Lines

UNLV +2.5

  • Spread: -110
  • ML: +114

O/U: 58.5

  • Over: -110
  • Under: -110

(Odds/lines subject to change. Visit DraftKings for more information.)

Game Time

Kickoff will be at 12:00 PM PT or 3:00 PM ET on Saturday, December 2nd. The game will be played at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. For the Rebel fans that will not be able to make it to the game, it will be on your local FOX Station.