Video Credit: Pac-12 Networks

New FSM Essential Recap: UNLV vs Cal – Week 2

Franchise Sports Media

UNLV Rebels (1-1)  |  California Golden Bears (2-0)


After a stagnate start in the first half, the Rebels gave themselves a serious shot at winning this football game yet came up short with a 20-14 loss in their first-ever meeting with the California Golden Bears.


Photo Credit: Jed Jacobsohn/AP

In a sloppy first half, UNLV had plenty of opportunities to make ends meet and saw chances to put points on the board. Yet the UNLV offense sputtered on all but one of their six drives, resulting in only seven points heading into halftime.

From the opening kick, UNLV folded on a three-and-out, and Cal responded with an opening drive touchdown. Cal quarterback Jack Plummer found wide receiver Jeremiah Hunter for a 37-yard strike to set up a Jayden Ott 2-yard rushing touchdown to open the scoring.

Cal would continue to their hot start to this game in the first quarter as on their second drive of the game, Plummer would find Ott on a 12-yard touchdown pass. UNLV would then respond with a nine-play drive for 75-yards that resulted in a Kyle Williams 11-yard touchdown reception for the first UNLV score of the game.

Right before halftime, Cal had churned 85-yards down the field before Plummer forced a ball into tight coverage, and UNLV’s Jerrae Williams intercepted it. Unfortunately, the Rebels could not make the Golden Bears pay for their mistake and would punt the ball away, where Cal would settle for a field goal to head into half-time up 17-7.


  UNLV’s defense keeps the Rebels involved.


Eran Kohen-Behar/The Daily Californian

Cal opened the second half by working a 14-play drive that UNLV’s defense held to a field goal, moving the score to 20-7. In response, Doug Brumfield led his Rebels to a much different effort than was shown in the first 15 minutes of ball.

UNLV looked far more urgent and aware in the first drive of the second half. As Aidan Robbins broke a tackle and rushed his way to a 31-yard touchdown to cut the Cal led to 20-14.

The Rebels’ aggressiveness was on display as head coach Marcus Arroyo drew up an onside kick right after the Robbins touchdown. UNLV would recover the onside kick but turn the ball over on downs.

The Rebels’ defense intensified their efforts in the second half and proved in this game that this defensive unit could be relied upon against high-quality talent. Adam Plant Jr and Eliel Ehimare led a pass rush in this game that was relentless and disruptive. The two combined for seven tackles and two sacks, along with a multitude of pressures on Plummer. 

UNLV’s defense only allowed 102 yards, surrendered only three points in the second half, and gave the UNLV offense two opportunities to take a late lead.


UNLV comes up short in the red zone and can’t keep Brumfield upright in the final drive.


Brumfield led UNLV down the field on a 65-yard drive to the Cal 10-yard-line with 2:46 remaining in the game. On a fourth down, UNLV went to take the lead, and as Scott Daniel pressured Brumfield, he put up a jump ball that fell incomplete.

The defense for the Rebels would force a Cal punt to give UNLV a minute to attempt a game-winning drive. Cal’s final defensive effort was too much for the Rebels’ offensive line as Brumfield was sacked twice and then hurried to the line for a fourth down hail Mary that was intercepted.


UNLV saw some offensive success and more growth in Brumfield’s game. The loss will go down as a game that UNLV had a chance to win. The Rebels will regroup for a home game next Saturday as they host the North Texas Mean Green. 


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Brandon Steele – Franchise Sports Media

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