UNLV vs. UTEP Week 4 Preview

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Jayden Maiava runs out of pocket for 24-yard touchdown against Vanderbilt in 40-37 win. Photo by DJ Cabanlong.

UNLV Football are set to play against the UTEP Miners on the road in Week 4 at the Sun Bowl, in El Paso, Texas, on Sept. 23. 

The Rebels are currently 2-1 after the intense 40-37 win against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Allegiant Stadium. Quarterback Doug Brumfeild exited the game in the first quarter after he hurt his leg on a sack. He was replaced by freshman QB Jayden Maiava. 

Maiava earned Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Week after completing 19-of-33 of his passes for 261 yards with a touchdown and interception. He contributed on the ground game with a 24-yard rushing touchdown. 

On the Sept. 18. press conference, Bary Odom shared the current status of Brumfield.

“I would suggest that tomorrow [Brumfield] will be able to go through more practice than he did today,” Odom said. “I think we’ll see steady improvement each day, and hopefully that we can get him before the end of the week. We’ll get him in position to play really well.” 

Odom is adamant about keeping his southpaw gunslinger on the field once he is cleared to play. As of now, the health of Brumfield will determine who is under center in El Paso.

On the other sideline, UTEP is currently 1-3 coming off of a 31-10 loss to the University of Arizona. 

“They’re tough. They’re physical. They’re big. They’re athletic. They want to run and have success running the ball on offense,” Odom said, “and then they got a couple receivers that are mismatch problems, their quarterback’s playing well.”

Miner’s quarterback Gavin Hardison has thrown for 722-yards, four touchdowns, and four interceptions over the first four games of the season. 

Hardison’s go-to target Tyrant Smith tallied 19 receptions for 191-yards and a touchdown. Smith is coming off of a solid 2022 season, racking up over 1,000 receiving yards. He aims to continue on the same track this season.  

The Miners on the ground have averaged 2.5-yards a carry over the last two weeks. UTEP running back Deion Hankins has faith in his ability to overcome the UNLV defense.

“I do feel like this is a better matchup, but we’re going to approach each week the same as the previous week,” Hankins said in UTEP’s weekly press conference.

UTEP Head Coach Dana Dimel addressed his thoughts about the upcoming game against UNLV in his weekly press conference.

“They put points on the board,” Dimel said. “Defensively, they are a difficult preparation because of the different type of looks they give you, but more than anything, it’s the size and athleticism on the defensive side of the football”

The Rebels head down to El Paso, Texas to finish up the non-conference schedule at the Sun Bowl against UTEP. Kickoff will be on Sept. 23 at 6 p.m.

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