Rebels commit 4 turnovers in 4th straight loss
After four wins in its first five games of the year, the UNLV Rebels lost its fourth straight game to drop under .500 for the first time this season.
UNLV came up short on the road, 14-10, against San Diego State Saturday, Nov. 5 from Snapdragon Stadium in a matchup for third place in the Mountain West West division. The Rebels have now lost four straight meetings to the Aztecs and trail the all-time series, 22-10.
Since head coach Marcus Arroyo took over in 2020, UNLV is 0-8 in one-score games. As a whole, the program is 6-21 during that span.
Overall, the Rebels are now 4-5 on the year and 2-3 in the Mountain West as he prepares to head back home for the first time since Oct. 15. This year’s team is 1-4 on the road this year.
Now, UNLV will return to Allegiant Stadium for a Veteran’s Day matchup against the Fresno State Bulldogs Friday, Nov. 11. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Sophomore quarterback Doug Brumfield (concussion) returned to the field for the first time since Oct. 7 against San Jose State. The time away from the field showed as he accounted for three of the team’s four turnovers.
UNLV kick returner Sammy Green fumbled the game’s opening kickoff which was recovered by the Rebels but served as the perfect omen of things to come. That would be the lone recovery by the team despite three fumbles.
Already trailing 7-0, Brumfield was sacked causing the team’s second fumble of the night. This time turning the ball over to San Diego State near midfield. UNLV allowed three sacks on the night.
The second lost fumble for the Rebels came later in the second quarter when sophomore receiver Ricky White spoiled an 18-yard gain with the mishandle.
Brumfield was responsible for the remaining two turnovers, this time through the air.
Driving in the second half, Brumfield threw his first interception of the night from the SDSU 20-yard line. His second came early in the fourth quarter with UNLV in the red zone again.
Coming into the game, the Rebels were the best team in the Mountain West when it came to scoring touchdowns in the red zone.
By the end of the contest, Brumfield had passed for 207 yards on 17-of-27 throwing with a touchdown and two interceptions. His touchdown pass came in the form of the longest play of the day for either side via a 70-yard scoring strike to senior receiver Nick Williams, who finished with 94 yards on four receptions. White led the team in catches with seven haul-ins for 62 yards.
The only other points were scored off the foot of fifth-year senior Daniel Gutierrez from 29 yards out.
Through the first half, UNLV was 1-for-7 on third downs after being shut out in such situations two weeks ago at Notre Dame. At that time, the Rebels were 1-for-19 on third downs over the last six quarters.
Junior receiver Kyle Williams overcame two early drops to make a crucial 23-yard catch on a 3rd and 4 in the third quarter with the team down seven. He finished with three catches for 41 yards.
Sophomore running back Aidan Robbins also returned from injury, rushing for a game-high 115 yards on 21 carries. He is now one of four rushers in the conference with 700-plus rushing yards.
The UNLV defense was the reason the team had a chance as it kept SDSU out of the rhythm for a vast majority of the game. The Rebel defense sacked Aztec safety-turned-quarterback Jalen Mayden six times including one in the first quarterback that knocked the ball loose.
Despite the big play, UNLV was unable to come up with the recovery. In fact, both forced fumbles went unrecovered by the visiting Rebels.
Sophomore defensive lineman Jalen Dixon had a huge night, picking up two of the team’s six sacks as well as 4.5 tackles for loss. Coming into the game, he had 2.5 tackles for loss in his collegiate career.
For a brief moment late in the game, Dixon left the field favoring his left leg but would later return to action.
Dixon’s effort helped anchor a UNLV defense that gave up 99 yards on 41 carries for an average of 2.9 yards per carry for SDSU.
The lone turnover for the defense came in the form of a first quarter interception from junior defensive back Ricky Johnson, who was making his season debut after missing the first eight games of the year with an arm injury.
Things became contagious as the special teams unit was able to force two field goal misses as well.