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2023 UNLV Rebels Football Team Preview

With a new head coach and a fresh start, the Rebels look to take on the Mountain West head-on going into the 2023 Season.

Doug Brumfield (above) is ready to stay healthy this season and have a bounce back year for the Rebels.

UNLV is under new leadership this season under new head coach Barry Odom. We will get to see some familiar faces, and new ones, on the field this season for the Rebels.


Reasons for optimism: QB Doug Brumfield is back under center for his Junior season in a Rebel uniform and will be looking to show the Mountain West his skills like he had early season last year. With his arm talent and elusiveness combined with returning WR Ricky White’s speed should make this offense and explosive one in the 2023 season. With a few more added talent at WR we could be looking at a very heavy pass attack from the Rebels. With Odom coming over from the SEC, he has seen a few explosive offenses over the years.

However, the Rebels lost their stud RB Aidan Robbins in the transfer portal. Filling the production from his spot will be a difficult task, but they got a few new faces at the positions like Vincent Davis Jr. out of Pitt that has played high caliber college football and can fill the shoes of Robbins this upcoming season. The Rebels will also look to longtime Rebel Courtney Reese to take up carries. He had some great games while Robbins was out and he look to continue that into his Senior season.

After the disappointing end to the 2022 season, the Rebels are looking to start the 2023 season firing out of the gates.

Reasons for concern: All the moving parts with the new coaching staff and transfers could have UNLV starting with some mistakes. Guys are fighting for spots and starting roles. Like it was said above there are some open spots in the offense, like the RB position, that will bring competition amongst the offense heading into the season. The Rebels could have some miscues early with the new rostered guys who have either transferred or are starting their collegiate football career.


Reasons for optimism: Last year, the Rebels defense was solid, but had some holes. They gave up a lot of yards through the air. Even in games where the offense put up points, their opponents were able to stay in the game. This year, they are looking to turn that around. Odom brings with him recruits and transfers to make an effort to solidify this defense. This new Rebel defense could be a sneaky one to watch out for in the Mountain West.

If the Rebels are able to get stops on 3rd down and stop their opponents passing attack. There is only room for improvement on defense after last year and the new and improved Rebel defense is up for the challenge.

Reasons from concern: The Rebels were out scored by a little more than 2 Points per Game (PPG) by their opponents. The offense scored, but the defense would not be able to hold their opponents. The Rebel lost their star defensive specialists, LB Austin Ajiake and EDGE Adam Plant Jr., who were picked up as Undrafted Free Agents (UDFA). Ajiake led the team in tackles and Plant Jr. led the team in sacks. They also helped the run defense. The Rebels will have the tall task finding replacements for their production, whether it is a few studs or multiple role players.

Defensive production will be UNLV’s major hole to fill this upcoming season.


UNLV last year exceeded expectations last year with their hot start. They cooled down a bit after some injuries hindered their season. One thing about the Rebels is that everyone talks about how Fresno State, Boise State, and San Diego State running the Mountain West and counts the Rebels out. College Football is shocking and the UNLV Rebels could be a team to bring the shock factor to the conference this upcoming season.


Week 1 - Bryant

When: Saturday, September 2nd, 1 PM

Where: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV

Prediction: W (1-0)

Week 2 - Michigan

When: Saturday, September 9th, 12:30 PM

Where: Ann Arbor, MI

Prediction: L (1-1)

Week 3 - Vanderbilt

When: Saturday, September 16th, 4 PM

Where: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV

Prediction: W (2-1)

Week 4 - UTEP

When: Saturday, September 23rd, 6 PM

Where: El Paso, Texas

Prediction: L (2-2)

Week 5 - Hawaii

When: Saturday, September 30th, 1 PM

Where: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV

Prediction: W (3-2)

Week 6 - BYE

Week 7 - UNR

When: Saturday, October 14th, 2 PM

Where: Reno, NV

Prediction: W (4-2)

Week 8 - Colorado State (Homecoming)

When: Saturday, October 21st, 4 PM

Where: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV

Prediction: W (5-2)

Week 9 - Fresno State

When: Saturday, October 28th, TBA

Where: Fresno, CA

Prediction: L (5-3)

Week 10 - New Mexico

When: Saturday, November 4th, 3 PM

Where: Albuquerque, NM

Prediction: W (6-3)

Week 11 - Wyoming

When: Friday, November 10th, 7:45 PM

Where: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV

Prediction: L (6-4)

Week 12 - Air Force

When: Saturday, November 18th, 12:30 PM

Where: USAF Academy, CO

Prediction: L (6-5)

Week 13 - San Jose

When: Saturday, November 25th, 12 PM

Where: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV

Prediction: L (6-6)

*All times are in Pacific Time (PT)