UNLV football looks for 2-0 start on the road against Cal

UNLV quarterback Doug Brumfield goes back for a pass against the Idaho State defense on Aug. 27. Photo by Jordan Anders-McClain.

UNLV quarterback Doug Brumfield has head coach Marcus Arroyo’s full support for their upcoming game against the California Golden Bears Saturday afternoon in Berkeley. 

The Rebels’ starting quarterback had an effective first half in their dominating victory over Idaho State, which earned him Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week honors in Week 0. 

Brumfield, who Arroyo anointed as the team’s starter at his weekley media availability, is looking to lead his team with the same energy into the next game. As well as improve the offense’s, and his own, performance.      

“We’re focusing on being the best version of ourselves each week,” the 6-foot-6-inch quarterback said.

Coming off a bye week, Arroyo and his staff had an extra week to mentally and physically prepare the team for their first-ever matchup with the Golden Bears from the PAC-12 conference. 

“A road-tested team is what you want to build towards,” Arroyo said, “so for our first road test of the season we’ve got to learn to come out and practice and be uncomfortable and know what it’s going to be like to be on the road.”

Defensively, the Rebels held back the Idaho State offense by only allowing them 238 yards of total offense with five sacks. Senior linebacker Kyle Beaudry is confident in the defense after their performance in the season opener and knows keeping up with Cal’s physicality will be key.

“It doesn’t matter who the opponent is or where you play or what time you play,” Beaudry said, “you always have to win the physicality battle of the game.”

While Brumfield and the standout showing from the defense were a huge part of UNLV’s Week 0 win, they will need their teammates to execute, and eliminate turnovers and penalties if they are going to pull off the upset against California. 

The Rebels are looking for the same intensity and production this season from other members of the team, such as sophomore wide receiver Ricky White. The Michigan State transfer hauled in 182 receiving yards and two touchdowns against Idaho State. Another player to keep an eye on Louisville transfer running back Aidan Robbins, who could see more of a role in the offense this weekend. 

As much as executing on offense and defense will be important, special teams could be a big key for a road victory. The Rebels might have to rely on sixth-year placekicker, Daniel Gutierrez, who made 16 consecutive field goals last season. He’s 16 field goals away from making the most in school history, surpassing the mark from UNLV athletics hall of famer Nick Garritano.

Arroyo, whose hometown of Colfax, CA is a couple hours away from the Golden Bears’ California Memorial Stadium, spent two seasons (2011-2012) with California as their passing game coordinator. 

The Rebels also have a few members on their staff that were previously at California, including defensive coordinator Keith Heyward. Going into their game against the Golden Bears, Arroyo knows his team will have to play sound football, saying their opponent’s ability to play smart and communicate well stands out.

Arroyo is looking forward to the second week of football. He said in the preparation of the game, he is looking forward to getting “uncomfortable” to get better. 

“I love the chaos,” he said, “I love it when it gets all crunchy, when it gets all kind of irritable and hot and not feeling good and it gets tough because that’s when you grow.”


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