Bobby Hauck must feel like he stole from UNLV in the offseason. After leading the program to its first bowl game since 2000, the Rebels head coach got a contract extension and a raise. Six games into the 2014 season, that move looks like a disaster as the Rebels have a one-point win over Northern Colorado as their lone triumph of the season. For Fresno State, playing some more comparable competition has been a godsend, as the Bulldogs have rattled off three straight wins. The Rebels will be at home for the first time in nearly a month when they host Fresno State on Friday night.
Fresno State vs. UNLV College Football Preview
Date/Time: Friday October 10, 10:00 p.m. ET
TV: CBS Sports Network
College Football Betting Odds from WagerWeb
College Football Betting Favorite: Fresno State -10
Tim DeRuyter’s Bulldogs opened the season 0-3 SU/ATS but have won and covered three straight. DeRuyter is now 18-13-1 ATS with Fresno State and he is 6-2-1 as road chalk in his tenure. Bobby Hauck is 1-5 SU/ATS on the season and 25-31-1 at UNLV. The Rebels are just 4-5 ATS in nine games as home chalk under Hauck.
Fresno State Bulldogs:
It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win for Fresno State their last time out against San Diego State. The Bulldogs only managed 315 yards and 24 points against the Aztecs, but it was enough for a win because of their defense. The defense, which allowed 166 points in its first three games, has allowed just 53 points in three straight victories. Without Derek Carr, Isaiah Burse, and Davante Adams, Fresno State just doesn’t have the firepower that they used to and junior college transfer Brian Burrell has completed less than 57 percent of his passes with 14 sacks taken on the season. Lucky for the Bulldogs, they’re facing a terrible UNLV defense and could get on track.
With Caleb Herring and Tim Cornett gone, the UNLV offense has suffered. The Rebels are 119th in both points for and points against per game, losing by an average score of 38.7 to 16.8. The Rebels gave up 33 points and over 500 yards to San Jose State last game, a team that had 30 points over its previous three games combined. The Rebels are averaging just 3.7 yards per carry, so they haven’t given the defense many breaks and a lot of short fields have come as a result of 12 interceptions. Fresno State doesn’t possess a great team on either side of the ball and maybe being back at home will help UNLV stay in the game and at least cover.
Free Pick: Fresno State -10
Does Fresno State deserve to be this heavy of a favorite on the road? No. But, the UNLV Rebels are a mess right now and returning to a bowl game for the second straight season is bordering on impossible. The Bulldogs have the opportunity to get the offense on track and should be able to let Burrell loose without being worried about the consequences. This is a really bad UNLV team and the line clearly reflects that.