2011 Rebel Uprising [Pre-Season Outlook] The Rebels are coming off of a year in which they surprised many of the experts by going to (and winning) a bowl in addition to winning th MWC championship, beating out SDSU due to the head-to-head match up. While this obviously excited the fans of UNLV, 2011 may be a completely different animal. UNLV will try to replace the 1000+ yard rushing year they received from Omar Clayton last year at quarterback with (RS) Sr Mike Clausen. Though the Rebels led the NCAA in rushing yards last year, their offensive coordinator seems to have changed their attack to be a bit more diverse, opening up the air game some. While Clausen may not need to rush for 1000 yards for the Rebels to be bowl eligible again, he will have to make smart decisions in the option game as well as finding his two senior WRs more often. UNLV's recruiting class added depth to a program that didn't have much but it is a young roster and lacks some of the "top end" starter talent they had in 2010. Their D was hit hard, losing 9 of 11 starters. Coach distrktFIVE has already stated he will be focusing on brining in some talent in the defensive secondary for 2012. If Clausen can run the Wing-T by making smart decisions as well as adding some diversity to the O by hitting on 10 passes a game and if the young defensive squad can be serviceable, you will see UNLV back in a bowl. If Clausen struggles to make the adjustment to being a starter and/or the D gets torched for 30+ points a game, look for UNLV to be in the middle of the MWC and watching TV during December and January. Players to Watch: Senior WR duo Payne and Johnson - With Coach distrktFIVE and his staff hinting at diversifying their game (from 90% run to more like 70%), Payne and Johnson could make a big impact after not seeing the ball much last year. Senior HB CJ Cox - It may surprise people to know that Cox lead the NCAA in Average Per Carry last year. But do to his injury riddled Junior year, he only had 400+ yards. Cox could have a 1500 yard season if he stays healthy. Freshman HB Ben Herman - The true freshman will play the other wing back (most of the time) in the new look UNLV O. It will be interesting to see how he settles in at HB as he played QB, WR, SS in high school. The staff felt the athlete would be most effective at HB. (RS) Senior LB Nate Carrier and (RS) Senior CB Will Chandler - The lone two returning starters on D, Carrier will need to anchor the front 7, while Chandler will draw the assignment of matching up with every teams #1 receiver to try and shut down the passing game.