Hawaii (0-5) at UNLV (3-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 12, 8:05 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Sam Boyd Stadium (36,800) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: MW Network Streaming. Home Record: Hawaii 0-3, UNLV 2-1. Away Record: Hawaii 0-2, UNLV 1-1. Neutral Record: Hawaii 0-0, UNLV 0-0. Conference Record: Hawaii 0-3, UNLV 1-0. Series Record: Hawaii leads, 14-8.
GAME NOTES: In the midst of a rare three-game win streak, the UNLV Rebels head back to Sam Boyd Stadium this weekend in order to host the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors in Mountain West Conference action.
The Rebels are 3-2 on the season thanks to a three-game win streak which may not sound all that significant, but considering the squad has won no more than two games in each of the previous three campaigns it is rather monumental given that there is still more than half the schedule to be played. Also, the win streak is the longest, sustained stretch of success since the program defeated the likes of Wisconsin, Hawaii and Nevada in succession back in 2003.
Should UNLV, which last played on Sept. 28 when it rang up a 56-42 triumph over New Mexico on the road, come up with a victory this weekend, it will be the first four-game win streak for the school since 2000.
As for the Rainbow Warriors, 2013 has been a disaster thus far with five defeats in as many games. Except for a desperate comeback bid against nationally-ranked Fresno State when it trailed by 39 points, every game has been decided by double figures. The latest of those defeats came last Saturday night versus visiting San Jose State in a 37-27 final.
Hawaii, one of nine teams at the FBS level still seeking its first win of the campaign, has bowed in nine straight games on the road. This is the worst start to a season for the Rainbow Warriors since they went winless back in 1998.
UNLV lost to Hawaii last season at Aloha Stadium, 48-10, in the season finale. With the setback, the Rebels fell six games behind in the all-time series, 14-8.
Quarterback Sean Schroeder helped get the Rainbow Warriors out to an early lead against visiting San Jose State last weekend, but the hosts ended up running out of steam as they bowed in the 10-point decision at Aloha Stadium. Schroeder completed 28 of his 50 pass attempts for 342 yards and three touchdowns, but he was sacked twice and suffered three interceptions along the way. Vasquez Haynes responded with six catches for 128 yards and a score, while Chris Gant chipped in with one touchdown on the ground, all while the Hawaii defense surrendered 534 yards of offense to the Spartans.
As has been the case for several years now with the Rainbow Warriors, the team is heavily pass-oriented and has little in the way of a running attack. In fact, heading into this week Hawaii was 119th in the country with a mere 73.2 ypg on the ground and while the passing game has managed to come up with a more respectable 276.8 ypg, the bottom line is that the offense is still 102nd in the FBS with 350.0 ypg.
Defensively the numbers aren't much better. In fact, the Rainbow Warriors are 112th in passing yards allowed per game (293.4) and their 34.6 ppg given up is 102nd. A significant issue for the team on both sides of the ball is turnovers before the group is currently minus-1.2 miscues per game, which is 112th nationally.
The Rebels began the season with Nick Sherry as their starting quarterback, but he was beaten up quite a bit during his time under center, necessitating a change at the position. In came Caleb Herring and the outlook hasn't been this bright in years for UNLV. Not only has Herring converted 75 percent of his 88 pass attempts, but he has tossed eight touchdowns without a single interception.
Also reaping the rewards of the quarterback change is Devante Davis who, with just 28 receptions, leads the team with 473 yards and eight touchdowns through the air.
Providing solid offensive balance for the group is Tim Cornett, who in five games has compiled 498 net rushing yards and scored seven times.
The defense for the Rebels has been a bit shaky during the first half of games, particularly in the second quarter while giving up a combined 69 points, 117 points overall through the first 30 minutes of games, but it has more than made up for those deficiencies after intermission. The squad has permitted just 62 total points after intermission, 31 points in each quarter, thanks to the efforts of players like Tyler Gaston who leads the team with three sacks on only 19 total tackles.
Adding to the confidence that has been building in Sin City over the last month or so with the team's positive outcomes, there's also a revenge factor what could be applied to this matchup as well. Put it all together and the Rebels have yet another potential win in their sights.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UNLV 31, Hawaii 23
10/09 10:34:52 ET