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  • Phillip Payne
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UNLV REBELS

Sept. 17 at sam boyd stadium, las vegas, nev.
Stadium capacity: 36,800. Surface: TurfTech

>> Head coach: Bobby Hauck (second year)
>> 2010 record: 2-11 (2-6 Mountain West)
>> Series: Hawaii, 13-7
>> Last meeting: Hawaii 59, UNLV 21
(Dec. 4, 2010, Honolulu)
>> Offense: Multiple
>> Defense: 4-3

OFFENSE

Returning starters: Seven

Primary objective: Develop continuity in the second year after converting from a spread to a pro-style offense.

At the controls: Offensive coordinator Rob Phenicie operated one of the most productive offenses in the FCS while at Montana.

Leading the charge: Sophomore QB Caleb Herring attempted 56 passes in a relief role last season, throwing for 365 yards and four touchdowns with three interceptions.

Key to success: Establish a running game defenses must respect, and provide Herring time to connect with senior Phillip Payne, who is five touchdowns away from tying the UNLV career record.

DEFENSE

Returning starters: Four 

Primary objective: Generate a pass rush after producing only 12 sacks last year.

At the controls: Defensive coordinator Kraig Paulson saw the Rebels surrender yards and points at alarming rates and has another relatively young group.

Leading the charge: Nate Carter is the lone senior in a rebuilt linebacker corps and had 35 tackles last year.

Key to success: Cornerback Quinton Pointer’s return from a knee injury could bolster a secondary that gave up 25 passing touchdowns last season.

NOTABLE

>> The Rebels played 23 freshmen last season, including 14 true freshmen.
>> UNLV opens with road games against Wisconsin and Washington State and will play just five home games.

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