LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Marcus Arroyo isn’t going so far as providing to purchase and distribute tickets, however the UNLV coach would really like nothing greater than a huge crowd Friday evening when his Rebels face New Mexico.
“We’re in a place right now as a program that getting everybody out to the game this week is a huge deal,” Arroyo mentioned of the Mountain West contest at Allegiant Stadium (8 p.m., CBS Sports Network). “Our guys are feeding off this energy right now. … Getting our fans, our students our community and everybody involved out to Allegiant Friday night would be such an awesome thing.”
Arroyo and his gamers are attempting to persuade soccer followers in Southern Nevada that this workforce isn’t the identical outdated Rebels.
At 3-1 total and coming off a 34-24 street victory over Utah State within the convention opener for each groups, Arroyo is pumped.
“Huge win in a lot of ways,” he mentioned of the victory over the Aggies, the defending convention champs. “On the street, in opposition to the defending champs … numerous excessive, feeling good about ourselves.
“To go up there and handle our business that way … it meant a lot.”
For the previous a number of years, the Rebels have been fairly dismal on the sphere and in drawing followers. In 2017, the Rebels averaged 17,499 for their six house video games, the bottom common since 1997. It dropped to 16,823 in 2018 earlier than slight an soar to 19,864 in 2019, maybe as a result of some followers wished to bid farewell to Sam Boyd Stadium
It’s unfair to incorporate 2020; attendance was restricted dramatically due to the pandemic.
Last year, when the Rebels performed at Allegiant with out attendance limitations, the common was 22,357. That’s at Allegiant Stadium, one of the acclaimed new stadiums within the nation, and the place UNLV college students get in free.
This version of the Rebels has extra victories than the final two seasons mixed. UNLV is making an attempt to win 4 of its first 5 to start out a season for the primary time since 2003 when it achieved the feat underneath Hall of Fame coach John Robinson.
It’s the victories, in fact, and likewise how his workforce has received that’s received Arroyo geeked. “A lot of times, I felt that game we would have lost in the past,” he mentioned of the victory at Utah State.
The Rebels stood up when Utah State mounted a comeback, Arroyo mentioned, and when dangerous issues occurred on the sphere his gamers didn’t crumble emotionally.
“For our guys to fight through that like the way they did … it just says a lot about how far our locker room has come,” he mentioned.
Running again Aidan Robbins mentioned the Rebels go into video games with a brand new mindset. “The energy’s kinda shifted around the building,” he mentioned. “We expect to win. The work’s been put in so we’re just receiving the output of what we put in.”
Added linebacker Austin Ajiake: “The buzz around the city, around the campus is definitely there.”
New Mexico (2-2, 0-1 Mountain West) is thought for robust protection — powerful to run in opposition to — and bodily play, however the Rebels are favored in some circles by 14 1/2 factors. Arroyo is telling his gamers to be prepared; this system has miles to go, and opponents nonetheless sit up for taking their pictures.
“We’ve got a lot of scar tissue around here,” he mentioned of UNLV’s string of eight consecutive shedding seasons. Since 2000, the Rebels have two successful seasons and one season at .500. “I don’t let guys neglect that.
“We got a lot to earn here. We got a lot of respect to earn.”