Up next for UNLV: West Virginia

Noel Devine could pose problem for porous Rebels rush defense

UNLV is allowing nearly 200 rushing yards per game. That doesn’t bode well heading into next week’s game at West Virginia (3-1).

The Rebels travel to Morgantown, W.Va., to play the Mountaineers at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Fresh off of dealing with UNR’s rushing attack, the UNLV defensive front seven will be tested once again by West Virginia running back Noel Devine.

Devine, a senior who has received significant playing time since his freshman year, is averaging 97 yards per game. An NFL team will likely select the speedy Devine in the early-to-mid rounds of next year’s draft.

But West Virginia is far from one-dimensional. Sophomore quarterback Geno Smith has found plenty of success through the air.

Smith is averaging 235 passing yards per game and has nine touchdowns compared with two interceptions.

Smith’s favorite targets are sophomore Tavon Austin and senior Jock Sanders, who each have 24 catches out of the backfield this season.

The Mountaineers should be well rested for their contest against the Rebels after a bye week. It came at the perfect time, as West Virginia engaged in a physical battle with LSU two weeks ago.

The Mountaineers played tough the entire game, but couldn’t escape the bayou with a victory. LSU won 20-14 to hand West Virginia its first defeat of the season.

The Mountaineers have looked vulnerable at times this season. They trailed in-state rival Marshall (1-3) for the entire game despite being two-touchdown favorites, but pulled out a win in overtime.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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