NCAA Football Week 5 Preview: UNLV Runnin’ Rebels vs. San Diego State Aztecs

Big South Tournament
San Diego State enters this week as 17.5 point favorites over UNLV.

unlv-san diego state
Time: 8 PM ET
Spread: SDS -17.5
Total: 56
M/L: SDS -900; UNL +600

Betting odds courtesy of Bookmaker

The UNLV Runnin’ Rebels have not been running well this year, nor passing. The team has dropped three of its first four, with the line victory coming over Northern Colorado. Lopsided losses to Arizona, Northern Illinois and Houston have painted the true picture, and the Rebels enter this week’s matchup against San Diego State appropriately listed as 17.5 point underdogs by college football oddsmakers.

The Rebels have had trouble scoring, averaging just 18.5 points per game, and even in the victory in week 2, the team scored just 13, but received some help from its defense, holding N Col. to just 12 points. Taking away that minor victory, the defense has allowed 51 points per game to its other three opponents.

QB Blake Decker has been poor, mediocre is a compliment. He’s thrown 53.5 percent of 129 attempts for completion, which is good, but he’s thrown seven INTs to just four TDs. His QB rating of 110.4 is deceiving, because he hasn’t been that good. He’s received some help from the backfield, with two rushers over 140 yards on the season, while Decker has rushed for another 140 himself.

Keith Whitley leads the way with 180 yards on a 5.1 yard average carry. At WR, Devante Davis and Devante Boyd have been the two workhorses, each accounting for over 200 yards, while Davis has scored two TDs on the young season.

San Diego State hasn’t fared much better this season, but it has faced tougher opponents. The Aztecs lost by just four points to then-No. 21 North Carolina, and lost 28-7 last week to Oregon State.

The offense has been mediocre, but the defense passably good. The Aztecs have held opponents to just 22 points per game, while scoring 24 itself. That should be good enough to account for a victory this week. QB Quinn Kaehler has been destructive, despite posting some decent stats for completion percentage (58.5) and QB rating (111.0) Where he’s hurt the team is his six INTs to just two TDs.

If it weren’t for RB Donnel Pumphrey, the team would be having a lot more problems. He’s rushed for 300 yards at 5.7 yards per carry while scoring a team-high five TDs already. Look for the Aztecs to attack UNLV aggressively on the ground, to open things up more for Kaehler. He has to make better decisions, and more time in the pocket may be just the thing to make that happen.

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