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Barry Odom's Debut as UNLV Football Coach Sparks Excitement

UNLV football coach Barry Odom is excited for the team's first game against Bryant University and believes they are prepared for a strong performance. The team has focused on physicality, conditioning, and hard work during preseason camp under Odom's leadership. The coach is eager to see how his team reacts to a competitive environment and emphasizes the importance of good practice habits translating into game-day success.

On April 8, 2023, at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, quarterback Doug Brumfield found himself in a tense situation. As he looked to pass, defensive backs Daego Albert and Jalen Frazier closed in on him during the UNLV spring showcase game. It was a moment that showcased the intensity and competitiveness of UNLV's football program.

For head coach Barry Odom, this game held great significance. Since being named UNLV's football coach on December 6, he had eagerly awaited this opportunity to lead the team. Odom expressed his excitement about the role and the responsibility he felt to bring the program back to its former glory.

The game against Bryant University marked the first step in this journey. Odom and the Rebels were relying on a mix of experienced players and new additions to make a strong opening performance. Junior quarterback Doug Brumfield, in particular, exuded confidence and felt more prepared than ever before.

Brumfield attributed his readiness to the offseason work the team had put in. Under Odom's leadership, the players had pushed themselves to new limits during preseason camp. The emphasis on physicality, conditioning, and hard work created an atmosphere reminiscent of the Southeastern Conference (SEC), where Odom had previously coached.

Linebacker Jackson Woodard, who had transferred to UNLV after playing for Odom's defense at Arkansas, attested to the impact Odom had already made. Woodard, along with Brumfield, offensive lineman Amani Trigg-Wright, and defensive back Jerrae Williams, served as team captains. Together, they recognized the transformation that Odom had brought to the program.

While Odom was excited for the game, he also looked forward to implementing an in-season, game-week schedule. The team had already simulated parts of their preparation during training camp and spring practices, ensuring a smooth transition as the season began. Odom believed that practice habits would translate into game-day success, emphasizing the importance of developing good habits.

In terms of health and depth, Odom assured that the team was close to being fully healthy and that the depth was progressing as planned. However, the ultimate measure of success for the Rebels would be a victory against Bryant. Odom wanted to see how his team would respond to a competitive environment and encouraged them to stay true to themselves on the field.

As the game approached, Odom's message to his players was clear: approach every opponent as a nameless, faceless entity. By preparing with great energy and enthusiasm, the team would position themselves for success, taking each snap one at a time.

With the anticipation building, the UNLV Rebels were ready to showcase their hard work and determination on the field. The game against Bryant University would be a testament to their preparation and a stepping stone towards their goal of competing and winning championships.

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