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ASU Football: UNLV Players to Watch

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Williams offensive duo

Eastern Washington v UNLV Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Coming off a Week 1 loss, UNLV (0-1) comes to Tempe on Saturday night for its first of two Power-Five matchups this season. These are the Rebel players to look out for against Arizona State.

Junior linebacker Jacoby Windmon - Windom is the bright spot in the Rebel defense that matches up horribly against the Sun Devils. Last year, UNLV allowed the most rushing yards per game (255) in the Mountain West. ASU rushed for 222 against Southern Utah last week.

However, the 2021 Rebels held Eastern Washington to just 102 yards rushing last week in a game that needed two overtimes. This was largely due to Windom’s effort, a seven tackle performance with a sack as the cherry on top.

The 6-foot-2, 230 pound edge-rusher converted linebacker is coming off a 39 tackle, five sack season in the Rebels winless 2020 campaign. He will need to be a force on the inside to stunt the Sun Devil run attack led by Rachaad White and Deamonte Trayanum. The former three-star recruit will be wearing number four for the Rebels, and will take most snaps at the second level as inside linebacker.

Sophomore wide receiver Kyle Williams - Sound familiar, Sun Devil fans? No, this is not the same All-Pac-12 Kyle Williams who caught passes for Danny Sullivan for ASU a decade ago.

Williams exploded onto the scene last season, logging 426 yards on 35 receptions, including two touchdowns. Soon enough, he earned Freshman All-American and Mountain West Freshman of the Year honors.

In seven career games, he has reeled in at least three catches, and also has a pair of 100+ yard performances to his name. Last week against Eastern Washington, he logged 87 yards receiving on six catches. It looks like he will be the primary air target on Saturday night in Tempe.

Senior running back Charles Williams - Charles Williams, no relation to Kyle, is the seasoned leader of the Rebel offense, and he made some serious noise in week one. Williams rushed a whopping 27 times for 172 yards (6.4 YPC) and scored twice. For a team with quarterback questions coming into the season, he provides a refreshing (not so much for defenses) alternative option.

In 2019, he led all Mountain West tailbacks in rushing yards, and was at the top of all UNLV rushing stats last season. Southern Utah only combined for 78 yards rushing last week, but Williams provides a much more serious threat against ASU in week two.