Rebels football ready for BYU battle - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Rebels football ready for BYU battle

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The Rebels have won back-to-back games for the first time in two years, putting them on the cusp of becoming bowl eligible. (FOX5) The Rebels have won back-to-back games for the first time in two years, putting them on the cusp of becoming bowl eligible. (FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

The Rebels have won back-to-back games for the first time in two years, putting them on the cusp of becoming bowl eligible.

"People think, 'What did you do different?' We didn't, I think that was the key ingredient," UNLV head football coach, Tony Sanchez said.

Sticking to the plan, after losing five of their first seven games, it seemed the season was lost. But back-to back wins have given the Rebels a golden pineapple trophy along with a golden opportunity.

"Yeah, it's a good feeling,” senior captain and defensive lineman, Mike Hughes Jr. said. “But we don't want to take this game too lightly, (and we) don't want to get caught up in the success. (We need to) just keep that mindset of grinding out the week."

This week starts with BYU. For the first time since 2009, the Rebels host the Cougars, who despite a 2-8 record, have won the last seven meetings with UNLV and have never lost in Las Vegas.

"I think there is an opportunity on Friday night to go out there and get a win,” Sanchez said. “But there is also an opportunity to get a win, have to keep working on the little things, keep playing with energy and go out there and fight for a win."

With three games left, the Rebels need two wins to become bowl eligible for the first time in four years.

"The rest of these games are all winnable games and we're going out there with the attitude that we're going to get wins in these games," senior offensive tackle, Kyle Saxelid said.

Coaches said starting against BYU will be senior Johnny Stanton whose recent play has warranted a start over Armani Rogers, but that doesn't mean Rogers will be stuck on the sidelines.

"If I was a fan or in the media, I wouldn't be surprised to see him at different times throughout the season and every game we play from here on out," Sanchez said.

"It makes me feel good for the program and the future, I know I want to finish out and start off that first year of success in this program so I'm happy about it," Hughes Jr. said.

"We'd love to keep the momentum and stacking the wins all the way through the end of the year. But I think if you try and do it all at once it becomes a big heavy weight, so we're just going to carry the weight of BYU this week and worry about the next one when it comes," Sanchez said.

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