Football facing Rebels with a cause

By Frank Gogola

Football prepares to battle the Nevada-Las Vegas Rebels (1-1) and the dry heat when it lands down in Las Vegas in the midst of its three-game, non-conference road trip.

The Huskies (2-0) will take on the Rebels 6 p.m. Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium. The game will be the fourth all-time meeting between the programs, with the Huskies posting a 3-0 record.

In dealing with the dry heat of Nevada, redshirt junior outside linebacker Rasheen Lemon put it best, saying the players have to “hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.”

“The issue with that is it’s such a different heat,” said head coach Rod Carey. “I’ve been out there a few times, down to Phoenix and to Vegas. You don’t sweat out there. You probably do if you really exert yourself, but up here when it gets hot you sweat; you walk outside and you sweat. Out there you don’t. So, it’s different, and we have to really prepare our guys for that with their hydration this week and just knowing what to expect.”

The Huskies head to Nevada on a two-game winning streak, having downed Presbyterian, 55-3, and Northwestern, 23-15.

The Rebels enter the matchup having won their last game, 13-12, over Northern Colorado, after having been blown out by Arizona, 58-13, in their season opener. Even with the low scoring output, the Huskies aren’t taking the Rebels lightly.

“They have a real fast offense,” said senior defensive end Jason Meehan. “Their offensive line is really big, and they do a good job of moving people. So, we’re going to have to do a real good job of being tough up front and matching their intensity and their speed and every part of their game.”

Senior wide receiver Tommylee Lewis said the offense — and recently named starting quarterback Drew Hare — knows it has its work cut out in dealing with the Rebels’ defense.

“They [have] a pretty solid defense,” Lewis said. “They [are going to] come out to play. They [have] a defense that fly around, a lot of [defensive backs] on the field, a lot of little man things like that. So, they have a pretty solid defense.”

In the special team department, Carey said the Rebels “really make you defend everything, so you have to be ready for everything and anything when it comes to them in the kicking game because they’re good at it.”

Even with a 2-0 record, Carey said he’s looking for improvements in “every area” this weekend.

“We are nowhere close to a finished product,” Carey said. “And we [have] to get better, and that’s every area: offense, defense [and] kicking game.”