Bowl hopes will be boosted for the Vanderbilt-UNLV winner

Vanderbilt (2-1) at UNLV (1-1), Saturday, 7 p.m. ET (CBS Sports Network)

Line: Vanderbilt by 4 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: UNLV leads 1-0.


Vanderbilt wraps up the non-conference portion of its schedule with this game. A win is a must to help the Commodores’ chances of becoming bowl eligible with eight straight Southeastern Conference games to finish the season. This is a measuring-stick game for UNLV, which opened with a victory over FCS team Bryant and then lost at No. 2 Michigan. Should the Rebels win, it will be a major boost to becoming bowl eligible.


UNLV’s defense against Vanderbilt’s passing game. AJ Swann leads the SEC and is fourth in the FBS with eight TD passes. He ranks fifth with 766 yards passing.


Vanderbilt: WR Will Sheppard. The fourth-year wideout is Swann’s favorite target with at least two TD receptions in each of the Commodores’ first three games. He had eight catches for 87 yards in a loss at Wake Forest and has caught at least six passes or more in four straight games dating back to last season. He leads the FBS level with six TD catches.

UNLV: QB Doug Brumfield. He entered the season as one of the quarterbacks to watch in the Mountain West, but to say he has been underwhelming would be an understatement. He's thrown for just 186 yards through two games and hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass. Maybe this will be his breakout game.


Vanderbilt’s first game in Nevada is a return trip for 2019 when UNLV came to Nashville and beat the Commodores 34-10. … This will cap a two-game road swing for Vanderbilt. … Sheppard is the first Vanderbilt player since at least 1996 with three straight games with two or more TD catches. He’s the SEC’s fifth player with three consecutive games with multiple TD catches in the same season since 2019, joining Tennessee’s Jalin Hyatt, DeVonta Smith of Alabama, Terrace Marshall Jr. and Ja’Marr Chase of LSU. Those four all are in the NFL now. … Vanderbilt has a kickoff return for a touchdown this season, blocked two punts with one recovered for a safety. … Vanderbilt freshman WR London Humphreys ranks sixth nationally and leads the SEC averaging 27.3 yards per reception. He is coming off his first career 100-yard receiving game in last week’s loss at Wake Forest. … UNLV has scored on all seven trips to the red zone this season. … Jacob De Jesus leads the nation with 52.7-yard kickoff return average, including ne that went for 96 yards. … Rebels coach Barry Odom went against Vanderbilt when he coached fellow SEC member Missouri in 2016-19. … UNLV has largely been competitive against SEC teams. In addition to the victory over Vanderbilt, the Rebels beat Arkansas 31-14 in the 2000 Las Vegas Bowl, lost 14-10 to the Razorbacks in Little Rock the following season and lost 43-40 in overtime at Mississippi in 2000. … UNLV has won five of its past seven games at home.


AP college football: and