NCAA Football: UNLV Rebels vs. Arizona State Sun Devils Preview, Prediction & Odds -- Sept. 11, 2021

by Big Al Staff

Game time: 10:30 p.m. ET, Sept. 11, 2021
Venue: Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ
Where to watch: ESPN2

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Arizona State -33.5; O/U 53
BetMGM: Arizona State -33.5
Caesars: Arizona State -33.5; O/U 54.5; Arizona State -1000000, UNLV +1400

Season record
UNLV: 0-1
No. 23 Arizona State: 1-0

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UNLV - Arizona State preview and analysis


Recent form
UNLV: lost 35-33 in double overtime vs. Eastern Washington on Sept. 2
Arizona Stadium: won 41-14 vs. Southern Utah on Sept. 2

In 2008, one of the greatest moments in UNLV Football history happened.

The Rebels, as 24-point underdogs, went into Tempe and upset the nationally ranked Arizona State Sun Devils in an overtime classic that is still heralded in the halls of UNLV.

Almost 13 years to the day that UNLV pulled off one of the better wins in program history, it’s been a downward spiral of nothingness for the better part of a decade and a half for the Rebels. Meanwhile, they’d probably like to have Arizona State’s string of bowl wins and postseason success.

For the first time since that historic meeting, UNLV will face Arizona State again. Only this time, the Rebels are not expected to make a play for another ranked upset because, well, UNLV has not won anything major in quite a long time. So much so, in fact, that the allure of even winning the Fremont Cannon against Nevada-Reno doesn’t seem fun anymore.

UNLV is coming off a 35-33 double-overtime thriller loss to FCS Eastern Washington at Alleiant Stadium in Las Vegas, which is not a shock anymore considering the Rebels seem to lose to FCS schools every couple of years, even dating back to the Bobby Hauck days when they were near last in the Mountain West. Meanwhile, Hauck is leading Montana to victories over ranked-Washington teams, so how are we feeling, Rebels alumni?

The Rebels had to make a quarterback switch during their loss to EWU. Doug Brumfield will start after totaling 144 yards, two touchdowns and an interception as UNLV rallied to force overtime. He replaced Justin Rogers at halftime.

Unfortunately with UNLV, it’s always been about the defense. When UNLV’s defense has been good, the team has usually followed suit. Case in point against Eastern Washington: The Eagles had two plays in overtime. Both were touchdowns.

UNLV gave up 471 yards of total offense last week. Good news is, only 97 of those came on the ground. Bad news: Any quarterback can look good against UNLV. Eric Barriere threw for 374 yards and three touchdowns, despite being picked off twice.

I preface that by saying even though Arizona State ran for 222 yards and six touchdowns in the 41-14 Sun Devil rout over Southern Utah last week, expect Jayden Daniels (132 yards on 12 attempts against SUU) to let it rip on this UNLV defense. Or at least Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards will tell him you play to win the game.

Prediction


The Carlos Arroyo Era at UNLV is off to a bizarre start. The Rebels are only 1-6 against the spread under Arroyo and have lost every game overall. Unless Dr. Strange is pulling some sort of wacky magic in the Multiverse, UNLV isn’t winning and likely isn’t covering. Arizona State by 40.

Betting trends


UNLV is 6-10 the last 16 games against the spread. The over is 8-2 in games following a home loss of three points or less.

Arizona State has lost six in a row against the spread as a home favorite.

Players to watch


UNLV: Despite all the bad that comes with UNLV, the lone good is running back Charles Williams. After a 172-yard, two-touchdown game on Thursday, Williams is 621 yards away from breaking the school’s all-time rushing record. If there’s one bright spot, it’s the UNLV running game

Arizona State: DeaMonte Trayanum was the other solid running in Week 1, totaling 52 yards on the ground and two touchdowns on just six carries. This Arizona State team is deep at tail back.

Statistical leaders


UNLV:
Passing: Doug Brumfield -- 117 yards, 1 INT
Rushing: Charles Williams -- 172 yards, 2 TD
Receiving: Kyle Williams -- 87 yards
Defense: Jacoby Windmon -- 10 tackles, 1 sack

Arizona State:
Passing: Jayden Daniels -- 132 yards
Rushing: Rachaad White -- 58 yards, 2 TD
Receiving: Curtis Hodges -- 56 yards
Defense: D.J. Davidson -- 6 tackles

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All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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