UNLV Football: Can Marcus Arroyo turn things around in 2020?

Kenyon Oblad, UNLV football (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Kenyon Oblad, UNLV football (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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After a 4-8 finish in 2019, UNLV football turns to Marcus Arroyo to turn things around. Will we see success in Las Vegas in 2020?

UNLV finished 4-8 a season ago, prompting Rebel brass to move on from head coach Tony Sanchez, who compiled a 20-40 record over five seasons in Las Vegas. Former Oregon assistant Marcus Arroyo is the new head man, but that isn’t the only change that 2020 brings in Vegas.

The Rebels will move into the $34.8 million Fertitta Football Complex this season, and they’ll play home games at the new home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, Allegiant Stadium. With an upgrade in facilities and an injection of attention to football in the city, this could be an important turning point in this program’s history.

The benefits have already shown themselves. Marcus Arroyo’s 2020 recruiting class is ranked second in the Mountain West by 247Sports, and with signees from Tennessee, Washington and Louisiana, the Rebels reach is encouraging.

Additionally, right at home is one of the nation’s best high school football programs in Bishop Gorman. If Arroyo can make this program cool, that’s just another asset for the Rebels.

However, for a team that has found themselves at the bottom of the conference for a significant amount of time, this positive change won’t happen overnight. The defense has to be almost completely overhauled, and an offense that finished just 97th nationally in scoring will need to see growth with nine returning starters.

Make no mistake, it’s an exciting time in Las Vegas for the sport of football. At the college level, however, this is a season in which the seeds of the future will be planted. The fruits may not be seen in 2020, but things are looking up for UNLV.