UNLV football: From ESPN’s Bottom 10 to a bowl game projection

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L.E. Baskow

UNLV’s Roger Mann (56) is pumped up after a stop of Howard’s Anthony Philyaw (7) during their home-opening football game of the season against Howard on Saturday, September 2, 2017. L.E. Baskow

Tue, Sep 12, 2017 (2 a.m.)

What a difference a week makes.

Last Monday, fresh off a historic loss in the season opener against Howard, the UNLV football team was included in ESPN’s Bottom 10 of college football teams. It is believed to have been the biggest against-the-spread loss in the sport’s history, meaning the Rebels saw plenty of unwanted publicity.

Now, after a thorough victory over the weekend at Idaho, one of ESPN’s writers has the Rebels pegged for a postseason bowl game. David M. Hale’s weekly bowl prediction column projects the Rebels playing Ball State in late-December NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl.

There is plenty of football left to be played, and the Rebels would have to win the games they are supposed to the rest of the way. That means wins against San Jose and Hawaii at home, and at Fresno State, New Mexico and UNR on the road. As witnessed against Howard, that is easier said than done.

But at least there is hope, which is something UNLV fans didn’t have after the disaster against Howard. One game doesn’t make or break a season. For UNLV, though, one game changes its fortunes. And one game puts the team on track for a bowl — well, at least according to Hale.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 702-990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21

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