LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Good news for the UNLV football team coming out of its bye week: Doug Brumfield returns.

The sophomore quarterback hasn’t played since Oct. 7 when he was knocked out of a loss at San Jose State, and the offense has struggled some without him. He’s expected to start Saturday when UNLV (4-4, 2-2 Mountain West) visits San Diego State (4-4, 2-2).

Kickoff at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego is 4:02 p.m. (CBS Sports Network).

“Just having him on the field is just really good, good energy,” junior center Leif Fautanu said earlier this week as players returned to practice after getting some time off. “It gives us that swag we need to have as an offense.”

Brumfield missed 11 consecutive quarters – including the losses to Air Force and Notre Dame – with a concussion and a wonky ankle. The offense, which showed stretches of consistency with him under center, wasn’t nearly as effective with Cameron Friel and Harrison Bailey.

Brumfield is 106-for-155 passing (68.4%) for 1,231 yards and eight touchdowns in six games, plus he’s been able to escape some pressure at critical times. He’s rushed for 137 yards and five touchdowns.

The Rebels also could see running back Aidan Robbins (591 yards, eight TDs) return; he’s day to day with a knee injury. Wide receiver Kyle Williams (22 catches, 270 yards, four TDs) also is day to day; he most likely was concussed after taking a huge hit Sept. 24 against Utah State and has not played since.  

The Rebels need two victories to reach bowl eligibility for the first time since 2013; they’ve had eight consecutive losing seasons since falling to North Texas in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on Jan. 1, 2014.

Players say their goals then, including a winning season and a bowl game, can be realized. Especially since they feel energized after the week off and some time away from football.

Coach Marcus Arroyo indicated the break for his players was needed. “That’s the way I was trained,” Arroyo said. “When you get to this part of the season, the monotony … it gets on top of you after a while … you got to put some air under it.

“We all get sick of seeing each other sometimes.”

Linebacker Kyle Beaudry said he used some of his free time to play a new video game and just relax.

“I think the guys took advantage of just being able to go home and kick back,” he said. “Just being able to get your bodies back, it’s really important. I think the guys really enjoyed that.”

The Rebels have four games left, all in the Mountain West, and Fautanu is confident in a strong finish.

“I think everyone’s recharged, getting healthy after going seven, eight weeks straight really hard,” he said. “We’ve dealt with a lot of injuries.

“I think we’re in a good spot.”