UNLV defensive coordinator Tim Hauck played safety in the NFL for 13 years, coached in the league for three more, and in his first season has the Rebels running some things he picked up along the way.
All of which makes for an interesting challenge for Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr, who on Monday delved deeper into preparation for a high risk-high reward match up with the winner maintaining a hold on first place in the Mountain West Conference West Division.
The Rebels will pressure, bring an assortment of blitzes with different coverages behind it, and it will be up to Carr to first decipher and then execute against them.
"This whole season, especially toward the end of last year, teams want to heat me up, they want to get hits on me, all that stuff, and I welcome it," the Bulldogs quarterback said. "I love when teams pressure because they lighten coverage and all those good things.
"It takes a lot of preparation to pick up their blitzes and to see how they line up and see what blitzes they could run even if they don't run them. What could they bring? I just want to always be ready. They do a lot of good stuff. They have NFL experience so they bring all those kind of pressure. I have to be on my toes and we have to be ready, but I always love challenges, so I'm excited to compete against them."
Getting it right has not been easy for the Rebels' opponents - UNLV is ranked 10th in the bowl subdivision in passing efficiency defense and has allowed only 13 pass plays of 20 yards or longer, tied for 13th in the nation.
But the Rebels have not yet faced an offense like they will see at Bulldog Stadium, where Fresno State is on an all-time run, gaining an average of 525.8 yards per game and scoring an average of 47.4 points per game while going 9-0 in its games under Coach Tim DeRuyter.
Of the bowl subdivision teams UNLV has faced, Central Michigan is ranked 86th in passing offense, Arizona is ranked 112th, Minnesota is 118th and New Mexico is 122nd of 123.
Only Hawaii is in the Top 30 nationally, ranked 27th.
And if the Bulldogs can execute, the Bulldogs' receivers could find a lot of open space in the secondary. UNLV plays a lot of man behind its blitzes, which means Davante Adams, Josh Harper and Isaiah Burse will find themselves in one-on-one matchups.
"Those are the matchups that we want and obviously those are the matchups they want," Carr said. "They feel great about their corners and they should because they're great players.
"It's just one of those games we have to win outside. You hear (offensive coordinator Dave Schramm) say that a lot - we have to win the one-on-ones. We win the on-on-ones, we'll be OK. We know that. We know what we need to do. But, again, they're a great team and we really have to gear up for them.
"They're a good football team. We know what's at stake, we know all those things, we just have to win outside. We need to win the one-on-ones and if we can do that ... I always tell everyone, I think we have the best receivers in the nation, so I love our matchups."
The reporter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @rkuwada on Twitter. Read his daily Fresno State updates at fresnobee.com/bulldogs.