football, Boise State
Photo via Pam Davis

Game Preview – Quick Keys For UNLV

It’s incredible to think, but Boise State is possibly playing their final game of the regular season on “The Blue” tonight.  That means for the seniors it’s one last time to play in front of the fans of Boise.  With that said, lets quickly preview game keys against UNLV:


For the Broncos it’s not about what they have to do to score points, it’s more about who’s going to be the focus of scoring those points.  You can bet that Jeremy McNichols will be getting his carries and will be looking to extend his streak of consecutive scoring touchdowns in a game.

A good chunk of key offensive players for the Broncos are slated to return next season however, and with it being senior night we might see more action from players that will have one last game at home.  Expect to see Chaz Anderson and Thomas Sperbeck see a lot of targets come their way in this game.  There may even be carries in the backfield from Devan Demas as well for this game.

For UNLV to go on the road to face Boise on a short week, the defense will have to play even more disciplined if they want to have a shot of upsetting the Broncos.  The pass defense hasn’t been great all year with the only bright point being senior CB Torry McTyer as he was named MW Defensive Player of the Week for his two interceptions against Wyoming.

Boise State will also want to keep an eye on senior LB Tau Lotulelei as he will be keeping tabs on Brett Rypien and trying to provide the pass rush or plugging the holes quickly on rush defense for the Rebels.


The Rebels have been dealt with a major injury bug to their wide receiving core all season and it could not have struck at a worse time then this week. Devonte Boyd, UNLV’s main target at receiver, is out for the season after suffering an injury against Wyoming. Boyd’s injury marks the fourth receiver the Rebels have lost for the season due to injuries.

To highlight how badly this has affected UNLV, they are now moving one of their quarterbacks in Dalton Sneed to the WR position this week to help with their depth issues. The Rebels will probably look to run the ball more in this game with all the injuries to their wide receivers.

They’ll be led by sophomore QB Kurt Palandech as he accounted for 409 yards of UNLV’s total offense in their win against Wyoming. Palendech is another mobile QB, and with as many as four RBs that could touch the ball for UNLV, the Rebels might test Boise’s rush defense in this game.

The Broncos have struggled all year save for BYU against mobile QBs, and they’ll see another one this week.  But fresh off of a focused and business like performance against Hawaii that included two interceptions, and with senior night among them, perhaps this might be where they’ll figure it out.

With defensive seniors including Sam McCaskill, Darren Lee, Chanceller James, Jonathan Moxey, and of course, Tanner Vallejo playing their last home game, the Broncos will need to put together a plan to contain Palandech and refuse him tempo control of the game.  The last thing that Boise fans and coach Harsin wants is another shootout game.  The defense must step up and find a way to stop yet another mobile QB.


The Broncos made an emphasis this year to “Protect The Blue”, and with a win over UNLV, Boise State will finish undefeated at home this season after suffering back to back defeats last season.

Boise State fans will be keeping a close eye this weekend on the San Diego State vs Wyoming match-up. If Boise State defeats UNLV and San Diego State defeats Wyoming, the Broncos will move into sole first place of the Mountain division in the MW. If Wyoming wins however, they’ll still remain ahead of the Broncos with the head to head tiebreaker.

And one fun fact: With a win on Friday night, Boise State can clinch their ninth 10 win season in the last eleven seasons!

Boise State and UNLV will kickoff at 7pm tonight and will be aired on ESPN2.


About Tyler Bates

Some may know him as TB, but his full name is Tyler Bates to be formal. Tyler hails his childhood days just down the road from Boise in Twin Falls. Many Bronco fans may recall him as the "straw hat guy" as he wore it for much of his time during bball games leading The Corral student section at Boise State. Since then he has graduated with a degree in Social Sciences and still spends his football home game days on the field with the marketing crew. When he's not working his day job or talking about and watching sports, you'll find him either on a long run or bike ride, skiing, or playing soccer.

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