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UNLV Rebels vs Fresno State – Game Recap


UNLV starting quarterback Kenyon Oblad went 16-34 for 257 yards with three touchdowns. The bigger problem was that UNLV turned the ball over five times, including his 3 interceptions to Fresno State en route to a bad 56-27 loss, which dropped the Rebels to 2-5 overall and 0-3 in the Mountain West Conference.

UNLV is now the only team in the conference without a conference win.

Photo Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Fresno State earned its first Mountain West victory of the season with the win and the Bulldogs are now 3-3 with a 1-1 record in the Mountain West.

It wasn’t all bad for UNLV. The Rebels started off with a seven-play drive with starting running back, and Fresno-native Charles Williams rushing for 23 yards. Oblad also completed a 45-yard pass to standout-tight end Noah Bean that brought the ball to the Bulldog 13. On the following three plays, UNLV only gained eight yards on the ground and ended up converting a 22-yard field goal.

On the Rebels‘ next drive, backup running back-Chad Magyar, playing in only his third collegiate game of the season, fumbled the ball on his first play of the game. It gave Fresno State the ball at the UNLV 32 yard line. The Bulldogs proceeded to gain three yards in their first three plays and wound up missing a 46-yard field goal.

The Rebels got the ball back, but Oblad would throw his first interception of the game to Bulldog-linebacker Levelle Bailey, who returned it to the UNLV 25-yard line. It only took the Bulldogs five plays to score a touchdown via a Ronnie Rivers seven-yard run. The score was now 7-3 Fresno State, with 5:19 remaining in the first quarter.

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UNLV had an answer on the following drive with Williams running seven times for 31 yards, and Oblad going 3-5 for 44 yards with a touchdown pass to 6-4 receiver Randal Grimes. However, it only took two plays for Fresno State to answer back, with wide receiver Jalen Cropper rushing 82-yards to the UNLV one-yard line. UNLV starting linebacker-RayShad Jackson sprinted down the field to prevent the Bulldogs from scoring in one of the only defensive highlights of the night.

It only took the Bulldogs one more play to punch it in for another touchdown on a one-yard run by Josh Hokit.

On Fresno State’s ensuing drive, the Bulldogs drove 42 yards on 11 plays and attempted a field goal, however it would be another miss from Cesar Silva, his second miss of the day. The Bulldogs would come storming back on their next drive with Reyna rushing 47 yards,  setting up a first-and-ten on the UNLV 11 for the Bulldogs. Rivers would rush 11-yards on the very next play for another Bulldog touchdown. The score was now 21-10 Fresno State.

UNLV had an answer with Oblad finding Bean for a 40-yard touchdown, which pulled the Rebels within five points, 21-17, with 1:44 remaining in the first half.

However, it only took 1:03 for the Bulldogs to answer right back with Reyna going 4-5 for 57-yards, aided by a pass interference call against Rebel defensive back-Jericho Flowers at the UNLV eight-yard line. Reyna punched it in two plays later with a three-yard rushing touchdown to give the Bulldogs a 28-17 lead at the half.

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After forcing the Bulldogs to go three-and-out on their first drive of the second half, the Rebels drove 71 yards to the Fresno State four-yard line, capped by a 22-yard field goal from Daniel Gutierrez.

The Bulldogs would attempt to answer on the next drive, attempting a 20-yard field goal, but kicker Cesar Silva would have his third missed field goal of the night.

On the ensuing drive, Williams fumbled the ball at the Rebels 16 after a four-yard loss and defensive tackle Keiti Lakopo would return the ball 18 yards for a Bulldog touchdown, giving Fresno State a 35-20 lead with 3:49 remaining in the third quarter.

This would be the start of a 28-point scoring streak for the Bulldogs before UNLV scored again.

The next Rebel points came on an Oblad pass to Randal Grimes for a 12-yard TD with 5:16 remaining in the game. These were also the final points of the game and the Rebels wound up losing 56-27.

Rebels vs Fresno State

Oblad ended the game with his worst passing game of the season, completing less than 50% of his passes, going 16-34, for 257 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions.

Williams, who had 15 carries for the Rebels before UNLV was forced to start passing to get out of the deficit, ended up with 25 carries for 82 yards and a fumble. This was also his first game against Fresno State that he ended with less than 100 yards on the ground. Magyar, who ended the game banged up with an injury to his leg, had 10 carries for 44 yards and a fumble.

The top receivers for the Rebels were Bean and Grimes. Bean had 105 yards on two receptions and a touchdown. He is the first Rebel receiver in 2019 to go over 100 receiving yards in a game. Grimes had 4 receptions for 45 yards and two touchdowns.

The key statistic for the Rebels was their five total turnovers. The Bulldogs scored 28 points off of those turnovers.

The next game for the Rebels is this Saturday against San Diego State. Kick-off is at 7:30 PM PST at Sam Boyd Stadium. To be in contention for a bowl game, the Rebels need to go 4-1 over their next five games against the AztecsColorado State, Hawaii, San Jose State, and University of Nevada-Reno.


Kalin Sokell


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