Ohio State Football Forum

Ohio State Football Forum

Ohio State football fan talk.

UNLV: Way Too Early 2017 Preview

+5 HS
Matt Gutridge's picture
May 29, 2017 at 10:30am
It appears UNLV is trying to look like Ohio State. Can they play like the Buckeyes? No.

This will be the first game between Ohio State and UNLV in football. Before diving into this mismatch, please take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices members of the military have made for our country.

Now, let's take a little time to learn about the Rebels and their football history.

The school opened with 28 students as a satellite campus of the University of Nevada in 1957. Eight years later, the school changed its name to Nevada Southern University and in 1969 switched to UNLV.

The football program emerged as a Division 1 program in 1978 and became a member of the Pacific Coast Athletic Association (now known as the Big West Conference) in 1982. From 1996 to 1998, the Rebels were part of the Western Athletic Conference. Today the Rebels participate in the Mountain West.

Memorable Seasons, Players and Coaches
 UNLV won its first conference championship and participated in its first bowl game. The Rebels defeated Toledo 31-13 in the California Bowl and finished the season with an 11–2 record. QB Randall Cunningham was a big reason for the '84 team's success. Unfortunately, it was discovered several years later that several players on the team were ineligible and the NCAA forfeited the season.

1986, Elbert "Ickey" Woods led UNLV in rushing yards (1,658) and became the first PCAA player to claim the NCAA D1 rushing title. Woods also helped the Rebels defeat Wisconsin 17-7 as the Silver Bowl sold out for the first time.

1994, UNLV claimed a share of the Big West Conference title as the Rebels shocked Nevada 32-27. UNLV faced Central Michigan in the Las Vegas Bowl and came away with a 52-24 victory. 

1999, Legendary coach John Robinson is named head coach. The Rebels made Robinson the school's eighth head coach the same season the program left the WAC for the Mountain West Conference. The season was one to forget except for the Baylor game in Week 2. UNLV trailed 24-21 with five seconds on the clock. The Bears had the ball on UNLV's five-yard line and the Rebels were out of timeouts. Game over, right? Wrong. Baylor decided to run the ball instead of taking a knee. Defender Kevin Thomas forced a fumble, scooped it up on his own 1 and raced 99 yards for the game winning touchdown.

John Robinson's College Football Hall of Fame career ended in 2004 when he left UNLV after six seasons and a 28–42 record. 

UNLV's All-time record: 241–317–4 (.432) 

Below you will find facts and stats relating to Ohio State and UNLV. Hopefully this will help bide the time until college football returns in 93 days.

Game Details

When: Saturday, September 23, 2017 
Where: Columbus, OH, Ohio Stadium

Ohio State has never faced UNLV in football, but is 5–0 against Mountain West opponents. The Buckeyes outscored those Mountain West opponents 147-36.

The Last Time...​

  • Ohio State played UNLV was... never. 
  • The Buckeyes played a member of the Mountain West was a 38-0 win over Hawaii in 2015.
  • UNLV defeated a Big Ten team was 2003 when the Rebels defeated the 14th ranked Badgers 23-5 in Madison.
  • Ohio State lost to a current non-power five school was the 23-11 Liberty Bowl loss to Air Force in 1990.
  • An AP ranked Buckeye team lost to a current non-power five school in Ohio Stadium was 1950. No. 10 SMU beat the No. 11 Ohio State 32-27 on September 30 to open the 1950 season.

Game 4, The Last Time...

  • Ohio State played a game 4 home game was 2016. The No. 2 Buckeyes dropped Rutgers 58-0.
  • The Buckeyes lost a game 4 home game was 1990. No. 20 Ohio State lost to No. 13 Illinois 31-20. 
  • OSU lost to a non-conference opponent in game 4 was against Florida State in 1982. 
  • The Buckeyes faced a Mountain West team in game 4 was...never.

UNLV's 2016 Season

Record: 4–8
Bowl Game: Did not play.
Coaching Status: Tony Sanchez (7–17) 3rd season.

Leading Offensive Players Returning From 2016
Passer: Johnny Stanton // 676 yards, 6 TDs, 6 INTs
Rusher: Charles Williams // 763 yards, 3 TDs
Receiver: Devonte Boyd 746 yards, 4 TDs 

Leading Defensive Players From 2016
Tackles: Mike Hughes (37)
Sacks: Mike Hughes (2.0)
Interceptions: Darius Mouton (1)

Notable Missing Players
Tau Lotulelei, Troy Hawthorne and Ryan McAleenan are not on the 2017 team. Lotulelei led the 2016 team with 117 tackles, Hawthorne was second with 107 and McAleenan third with 89.
Jeremiah Valoaga led the team with 4 sacks last year.
Torry McTyer led the team with 3 interceptions.

Five Things September 23rd

  1. This is the seventh time the Buckeyes have played on September 23rd.
  2. No. 1 Ohio State defeated No. 24 Penn State 28-6 in Ohio Stadium the last time the school played on this date.
  3. The Buckeyes are 4–1–1 when playing on September 23rd.
  4. Ohio State is 3–0–1 against unranked opponents on the 23rd of September.
  5. This will be the first time since 1905 (Otterbein) that the Buckeyes play a non-power five program on this date.

2016 Statistical Comparison
Ohio State Buckeyes   Rebels
39.4 13th POINTS FOR 31.6 47th
245.2 11th RUSHING OFFENSE 241.5 15th
213.9 81st PASSING OFFENSE 162.9 114th
459.2 31st TOTAL OFFENSE 404.4 70th
.467 17th 3rd DOWNS .378 89th
.871 40th RED ZONE .905 15th
15.5 3rd POINTS ALLOWED 36.8 112th
124.5 19th RUSH DEFENSE 186.9 74th
172.2 7th PASS DEFENSE 243.2 81st
94.4 3rd PASS EFFICIENCY DEFENSE 131.9 73rd
296.8 6th TOTAL DEFENSE 430.1 80th
.322 11th 3rd DOWNS .447 108th
.725 5th RED ZONE .863 83rd
5.2 105th PUNT RETURN -0.1 127th
24.4 13th KICKOFF RETURN 18.9 105th
43.1 2nd NET PUNTING 35.8 98th
+ 1.2 3rd TURNOVER MARGIN + 0.2 47th
6.3 70th PENALTIES 5.6 46th
16 EDGE 2


Ohio State is 75–42–10 in the fourth game of the season and is 52–25–8 when playing game 4 at home. 

Tony Sanchez, UNLV's head coach, was the head coach at Bishop Gorman High School from 2009-2014. Current Buckeyes Haskell Garrett and Tate Martell were sophomores on that team.

Ohio State is 42–15–7 against unranked opponents in Columbus and is 24–8–3 against unranked teams outside of the Big Ten.

Wyoming was the first Mountain West team the Buckeyes played. No. 9 Ohio State won 24-10 in the opening game of the 1997 season.

The Buckeyes have won 12-straight against game four opponents. The last loss was against Northwestern in Evanston in 2004.

Since 1993, Ohio State is 23–1 in game four.

This is a forum post from a site member. It does not represent the views of Eleven Warriors unless otherwise noted.

View 39 Comments