Rebel football ready to kickoff 2017 season - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Rebel football ready to kickoff 2017 season

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UNLV football players at practice on Aug. 2, 2017. (Armando Navarro/FOX5) UNLV football players at practice on Aug. 2, 2017. (Armando Navarro/FOX5)

With all the excitement this summer surrounding the Raiders' impending arrival to Las Vegas, the Rebels have quietly and confidently gone about their business putting together what they hope is their first bowl season in four years.

"There's a lot of things were excited about, but like everybody else around, you know full of positive thoughts right now. Fifty percent of America is going to change on Saturday, so we'll stay focused,"  UNLV head football coach Tony Sanchez said.

Entering his third year as head of the program, Tony Sanchez said he has more team depth and explosive athletes on both sides of the ball. It's something he said he believes will translate into wins.

“It feels different in the off-season, felt different in the summer. The guys put in their understanding of the culture what's expected the young guys see a model, a whole different level than we have in the past," Sanchez said.

The Rebels won four games in 2016, a slight improvement from the year prior. Senior Co-Captain Mike Hughes said he's happy with the direction of the program, but he is hoping for more urgency in 2017.

"Time is running out for me so I need to go and do whatever I can to help this team. We got a lot coming for us in the future but I want to be here for some of that success is well," said senior, Mike Hughes.

And for all the seniors like Mike their final collegiate season will depend on the right arm and legs of redshirt freshman Armani Rogers who will take his first college snap on Saturday.

"You are you looking up to big brothers, you want to see your big brother go out with a bang, so we're going to give it our all-in order to see our big brothers succeed, just build the stepping stones to the future to go higher in the program," said redshirt freshman, Armani Rogers.

"We're going to take some shots, we're going to be explosive we're not going to be overly conservative, you know we feel comfortable enough with Armani that I believe he can handle a lot more than people think," said Sanchez. "Does our community believe we can win those games? I hope so. Now I hope there is an expectation that you go win those games."

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