No. 14 Iowa St looks to bounce back in Vegas vs. UNLV

No. 14 Iowa State (1-1) at UNLV (0-2), Saturday at 10:36 p.m. EDT (CBS Sports Network).

Line: Iowa State by 31 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Iowa State leads 4-1.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

After a pair of lackluster performances on offense, Iowa State finds itself seeking a dominating win, proving an initial ranking at No. 7 in the AP Top 25 was no fluke. The Cyclones managed just 16 points against Northern Iowa in their six-point win in the season-opener before losing to No. 5 Iowa last week, 27-17. If there were ever a week to showcase a passing game that helped produce 32.9 points per game last season, it would be this week inside Allegiant Stadium near the Las Vegas Strip.

KEY MATCHUP

UNLV defense vs. Iowa State QB Brock Purdy. Purdy needs 105 yards to become Iowa State’s all-time leader in total offense and might get that in the first quarter alone. Purdy, who has 10,317 yards of total offense during his career at Iowa State, ranks second in total offense, career passing yards (9,319), and completions (735) in school history. UNLV’s defense, meanwhile, is allowing 36 points per game, tied for 117th in the nation. The Rebels have been torched for 274.5 yards passing per game, 108th in the country.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Iowa State: DE Will McDonald IV ranks second all-time in career sacks at Iowa State (20.0) and is the NCAA active career leader in sacks per game (0.65). With UNLV missing its starting quarterback, Doug Brumfield, and the question lingering over whether it’ll be Justin Rogers or Tate Martell under center, the Rebels’ offensive front will have its hands full with McDonald.

UNLV: RB Charles Williams moved into third place on the program’s career rushing list during last week’s loss to Arizona State in Tempe. Williams heads into this week with the most career net rushing yards gained on the FBS level (3,152) among all current players. Two current FBS players (Liberty’s Joshua Mack and Hawaii’s Calvin Turner) have more career yards rushing than Williams, with a majority of those gains at the FCS level, before transferring to their current schools.

FACTS & FIGURES

The Cyclones are the 10th-highest ranked team to play the Rebels in Las Vegas, and the highest-ranked opponent to visit since No. 13 UCLA traveled to Sam Boyd Stadium in 2015. … The Rebels are 4-19 all-time vs. teams that currently make up the Big 12 Conference and 3-9 against teams that were members of the league at the time of the game (1-4 vs. Iowa St., 1-2 vs. Baylor, 1-1 vs. Kansas and 0-2 vs. Kansas St.). … In its last seven games dating to 2020, Iowa State has allowed a mere 22 points in the second half (excluding non-offensive TDs) and just one touchdown. … Former UNLV basketball coach T. J. Otzelberger left the school this offseason after accepting an offer to coach at Iowa State.

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