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New FSM Recap: UNLV vs North Texas – Week 3

Franchise Sports Media

UNLV Rebels (2-1)  |  North Texas Mean Green (2-2)


The UNLV Rebels are now 2-1 for the first time since 2018 as they defeated the North Texas Green Machine 58-27. Aiden Robbins and Doug Brumfield combine for 335 yards and five touchdowns as the Rebels run their way to victory.


UNLV vs North Texas
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

UNLV’s offense got off to a hot start and showed serious growth in the Marcus Arroyo era. Last week, UNLV couldn’t get off the bus against Cal. This week they drove it.

UNLV head coach Marcus Arroyo would have some early aggressive play calling as the Rebels would go for it on fourth down on the game’s opening drive. Ricky White reeled in a rope from Doug Brumfield between two defenders to keep the opening drive alive. This would set up a short curl route to Kyle Williams, who turned a 3-yard pass into a 23-yard catch and run for his third touchdown. 

North Texas wouldn’t even need to use their high-powered rushing attack to respond, as Kaylon Horton would take the ensuing kick-off 99-yards for a touchdown. Special teams would be a trending topic early in the first quarter as BJ Harris would block the North Texas punt after their first offensive possession of the game, and the ball went through the back of the endzone for a safety. 

As this game began to settle after the special teams’ fiascos, North Texas and the Rebels’ offensive and defensive lines started to battle on the line of scrimmage. It was obvious that both of these teams were looking to see who would take that first step back in what had turned into a heavyweight fight in the trenches. 

This is a team we know that wanted to play physical, they wanted to run the football, and well, we play bully ball too,” Arroyo said, “it was awesome, man, I loved it.


Rebels get behind Robbins early and often.


UNLV vs North Texas
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

A 17-play, 75-yard drive would help the Rebels settle into this game. UNLV would go for another fourth down at the two-yard line, and Aidan Robbins would plow his way in for a touchdown, his fourth on the year, to give the Rebels a slim six-point lead. 

The UNLV defense would showcase more of their improvements as this unit, which has been recording tackles for losses at a rapid rate, would find standout Las Vegas local Adam Plant Jr wrapping up Mean Green running back Oscar Adaway for a loss of yards and a turnover on downs. This shift would then lead to more Rebel points as Robbins would put together his most impressive run of the season thus far, shedding multiple tacklers on the way to a 33-yard touchdown. 

The Mean Green would then put together their best drive of the game right before the half. As 29-year-old quarterback Austin Aune would start to find a rhythm throwing the ball, finding his running back Adaway in the flats for a seven-yard touchdown. 

After UNLV struggled to control the clock to close out the first half, Aune gave the Mean Green a chance for more points. After finding Roderic Burns on a 36-yard strike to set up a chip-shot field goal from 20-yards out to trim the Rebel lead to three.

Guys believe there’s a lot of game left. We got to counter-punch,” Arroyo said, “it’s a game of mistakes, and who makes less.” 

UNLV would come out of the break giving the Mean Green more than one counter-punch than they could deal with.”


Brumfield and Robbins rush Rebels to a monster second half. 


UNLV vs North Texas
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

Doug Brumfield became much more of a presence in this half by scoring two rushing touchdowns. Brumfield, on both the 29-yard touchdown scramble and the eight-yard touchdown run, showed elusiveness and toughness as the sophomore took some severe hits. 

One of the hits flipped Brumfield awkwardly into the endzone, contorting his neck in ways that it shouldn’t be bent. Brumfield’s legs are a crucial part of the Arroyo system, but they saw their starter take some big lumps in this game. 

The support is there no matter if I’m running around, handing it off to Aiden or throwing to Kyle {Williams} or Ricky {White},Brumfield said, “our boys are right behind us.” 

For nearly each Rebel score North Texas was able to fight back with some sort of response. Aune hooked up with Var’Keyes Gumms for a 54-yard touchdown, and then in an attempt to keep Brumfield’s flow out of sync, the Mean Green would go for it on a fourth-and-short where UNLV would push them off the field with another massive tackle for loss by a gang of Rebels. 

In the fourth quarter, up by 10 points, Brumfield looked to keep the ball on multiple read options to manipulate the eyes of the defense to then lead to a third Robbins rushing touchdown. Robbins was relentless in this game, as on a 99-yard touchdown drive, Robbins got loose for a 59-yard carry to set up a Ricky White touchdown, his third of the season. Robbins finish the day with 229-yards on the ground in a statement game from the Louisville transfer. 


UNLV’s defense keeps on improving. 


UNLV vs North Texas
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

For North Texas, rather than finding points on the ground in this game, they turned to Aune’s arm to find holes in the UNLV secondary. Credit the lack of success running the ball to the UNLV defensive front doing enough to make a powerful run game less effective, especially compared to the 348-yard performance they had a week prior. North Texas only ran for 169-yards.

UNLV’s defense had three tackles for loss in this game, all on fourth downs and one coming at their two-yard line to dagger this game at the 10:24 mark in the fourth quarter. Austin Ajiake led the defense with tackles with 10, and Jerrae Williams made an impact again this week. After an interception last game, he picked up a sack in this game.

UNLV’s defense is starting to be noticed as they stack another impressive outing in their early season. Jordyn Morgan and Cameron Oliver both had late-game interceptions. Morgan came across the center of the field to get an incredible takeaway, and Oliver closed the game with a pick-six.


UNLV won the line of scrimmage against a very physical team. Behind a powerful offensive line and defensive front, UNLV is now 2-1 and will have their first match-up against a Mountain West opponent in Logan, Utah, when they face Utah State on Saturday. 


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Brandon Steele – Franchise Sports Media

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