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More second half turnovers doom UNLV Football

For the first time in history, UNLV Football is winless in its first five games of the season.

Following a 45-14 loss to the Wyoming Cowboys Friday, Nov. 27, the UNLV Rebels are staring at a 0-5 record to begin the season.

“I’m excited for some of the young guys that got a chance to get out there today,” head coach Marcus Arroyo said. “To see them step up in the course of this week, my hat’s off to them having to jump in.

“Twelve freshmen plus seven walk-ons having to go in and compete and have to work in the course of a week is something to be proud of in that regard. I think that’s something that even from top to bottom as an organization, we’ve got to make sure that doesn’t get swept under the rug.”

It's the first time since 1999 that UNLV football has lost five straight conference games by 10-plus or more.

In the last two outings against Wyoming, UNLV has been outscored 98-31.

Moreover, this year’s Rebel football team is being outscored 190-83 through its first five games.

UNLV will have one more attempt at getting its first home win of the season Friday, Dec. 4 against Boise State.

The Cowboys came in averaging nearly 30 points per game and used a big third quarter this time around to put a stranglehold on the game.

A 21-0 Wyoming dominated third quarter was the cleanest route to taking control of the game.

The quarter was mainly played with the Rebel defense on the field after the Rebel offense committed the game’s only two turnovers in the third quarter.

However in the team’s first drive of the half, UNLV turned the ball over on downs attempting to go for it on fourth down from Wyoming’s 46 yard-line.

Later in the quarter, senior quarterback Max Gilliam fumbled the snap with more than seven minutes to go in the third, accounting for the game’s first turnover.

About four minutes later, Gilliam was intercepted on a pass that was deflected.

UNLV is -3 in the turnover margin category this season.

The quarterback position was the story of the game for the fifth consecutive week.

And five weeks into the season, Arroyo has played four different quarterbacks.

Gilliam was given the start once again before being pulled late in the first quarter.

Despite being pulled, sophomores Kenyon Oblad or Justin Rogers was not the replacement sent in for Gilliam.

Arroyo opted to turn to freshman quarterback Doug Brumfield, who was named Scout Team Player of the Week back in week two for the program.

While playing in his first collegiate game, Brumfield passed for 93 yards on four completions in his eight attempts. He also rushed for 24 yards on eight attempts, scoring his first college touchdown.

Though inserted as a replacement, Brumfield was later replaced in the third quarter by Gilliam.

Having regrouped on the sideline, Gilliam helped lead UNLV to a 10-play, 98-yard touchdown drive where he found the end zone with his legs rather than his arm.

Gilliam finished the night 11-of-19, passing for 65 yards and an interception. He also rushed for 63 yards on 12 carries and one touchdown.

UNLV did have a problem protecting their quarterbacks all night long, no matter who was under center. Wyoming racked up five sacks on the night while holding UNLV to just one.

Gilliam has been sacked 19 times in five games.

The Cowboys controlled the pace of the game with a dominant running attack that carved up the Rebel defense.

Wyoming rushed for 399 yards of it’s 498 total yards output.

This included an eight-play drive, all runs, that resulted in a touchdown that took the score to 45-14.

On the other hand, UNLV was held to 132 team rushing yards and 290 total yards on the day.

The third down battle was dominated as well by the Cowboys with its powerful running game.

Wyoming converted nine of its 15 third down attempts while keeping UNLV to just 4-of-11.

In the second half, the Cowboys only attempted three passes after only attempting 11 in the first 30 minutes.

The team did, however, call 57 designed run plays.

Senior running back Charles Williams struggled to gain any traction rushing for 24 yards on just nine carries.

Williams currently ranks fourth all-time in career rushing at UNLV.

That’s back-to-back weeks for Williams where he either tied his season-low in carries or set a new one.


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