MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- On the surface, it appears that UNLV is not facing anything Saturday at Mountaineer Field that the Rebels have not gone up against several times already this football season.
A quality opponent? UNLV has already played three Top 25 teams in the first five weeks of the season. West Virginia can't even be counted in that number after the Mountaineers dropped from the rankings.
A hostile environment? The Rebels played at No. 10 Utah a week after Pitt went to the same venue and found out how tough it is, losing in overtime.
Still, there are a few things that do make Saturday's trip to Morgantown rather unique.
For starters, it's a trip across three time zones, something the Rebels have not done since 2004 when they played at Tennessee. Geographically, UNLV hasn't been this far east since playing at Miami in 1972, 38 years ago.
"Certainly the travel is difficult, especially when you go west to east,'' said first-year UNLV Coach Bobby Hauck, who brought his team East on Thursday instead of Friday to help acclimate to the time difference.
"They're three time zones away. There are some things that play into making this a hard game. The number one thing is that they're pretty darn good, too."
As for the quality of competition, well, UNLV has faced what is statistically one of the toughest schedules in the country so far.
In addition to Utah, the Rebels have also lost to then-No. 12 Wisconsin and now-No. 21 Nevada at home. Throw in Idaho and the four opponents who have beaten UNLV are a combined 16-3.