The Aztecs have won 9 of the last 11 to take over the lead. But the Rebels always are tough at home, with games there split 5-5. The last game the Aztecs lost was at Sam Boyd Stadium, 28-24, in 2009. And here’s a game with a familiar ring to it right now: in 1997, the Aztecs beat UNLV, 20-17, in overtime!
UNLV has laid a trap for the Aztecs more than once. A classic example was Nov.16, 1996. The Rebels had not won a game all season. By contrast, the Aztecs were 6-2 and already had beaten Oklahoma, 51-31, and a ranked Wyoming, 28-24, and ended the season 8-3. But UNLV, who did not win another game, beat the Aztecs, 44-42, when we missed a FG right at the end.
So beware -- and the Rebels are a lot better team this season. Coach Bobby Hauck, who had achieved great success at Montana, is now in his fourth year of building a solid UNLV program, and it is paying off.
They are a bowl-eligible 6-5, with wins over New Mexico, Hawaii, Nevada and Air Force. They lost to Mountain Division leader Utah State by only 28-24. They average 30 points a game; rush for 240 and pass for another 186 per game. So, again, beware!
Walter Kazee gets airborne on his 2nd quarter TD in the Aztecs’ 24-13 win over UNLV in 2012 (photo by Ken Ables)