UNLV football’s opportunities to become bowl eligible are becoming fewer as the season winds down.
The Rebels (4-5) are looking to break their four-game losing streak as they return to the field for a crucial matchup against Fresno State Friday night at Allegiant Stadium.
“You will not be given a bowl, you’ve got to earn a bowl, you have to earn everything in this game,” Arroyo said.
Despite the return of sophomore quarterback Doug Brumfield and junior running back Aidan Robbin, the Rebels’ offense struggled.
Combined with a struggle to score points, four turnovers and several penalties led the Rebels to a disappointing 14-10 loss last Saturday against San Diego State.
Brumfield completed 17 of 27 passes for 207 yards and one touchdown but threw two interceptions.
Head coach Marcus Arroyo says that the game against the Aztecs was winnable, but believes the mistakes are fixable.
“They did a really nice job in the front, did a really nice job holding them in a lot of ways, and put us in a position where that game could have been won for us,” Arroyo said.
“On offense, we got to do a better job of executing, we got a lot of rust out there, a little more rust than I probably anticipated in some decision-making and playing together which is all fixable, none of it is terminal.”
Robbins had similar emotions to Arroyo regarding the teams’ disappointing loss.
“It just comes back to practice and we did have a good week of practice but unfortunately it wasn’t good enough,” Robbins said. “There’s always room for improvement, better communication, and just better execution on all ends, everybody doing their one eleven.”
The Rebels must win two of their next three games to qualify for a bowl. It would be their first time being bowl-eligible since 2013.
Despite the Rebels’ four-game losing streak, Arroyo says that he’s excited about the future.
“Seeing some setbacks, I get excited about pulling back and zooming out and making sure we’re set, here in Monday practice,” Arroyo said.
Fresno State enters Friday’s matchup coming off a 55-13 win against Hawaii. In last season’s meeting, the Bulldogs rallied from a 21-9 second half deficit for a 38-30 win.
Arroyo said regardless of whoever the Rebels are playing, their approach doesn’t change much and they take each opponent and challenge on a week-to-week basis.
“Decisions are made in the game, under fire, in duress, in critical situations, and at critical times, you’ve got to find ways to make those fundamentals chaotic,” Arroyo said.
Kickoff between UNLV and Fresno State is set for 7:30 p.m. The game will also be broadcasted live on UNLV’s student radio station, KUNV 91.5 The Rebel HD2.