Rebels’ slide continues, up to 3 straight losses
A beaten up UNLV team got battered even more in a recent trip to South Bend, the first in program history.
UNLV was thrashed, 44-21, by Notre Dame Saturday, Oct. 22 from Notre Dame Stadium in Indiana. This marked the first game in the Eastern Time Zone for the Rebels since playing the Ohio State Buckeyes in 2017.
With the loss, UNLV closes its non-conference schedule 2-2 while dropping to 4-4 overall after a fiery 4-1 start to the year.
The Rebels will now get an idle week before returning to the road for a conference matchup against the San Diego State Aztecs. That game is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 5 with kickoff set for 4 p.m.
With starting quarterback Doug Brumfield missing his second straight game due to concussion, head coach Marcus Arroyo opted to use both Cameron Friel and Harrison Bailey in his absence.
With fellow starter, Aidan Robbins, out of the game battling a knee injury, backup Courtney Reese alleviated some of the pressure on his quarterback with a 74-yard run on the first play of the team’s second drive of the game.
Reese broke a 47-yarder in the second half on his way to 142 yards on 11 carries.
Not much else was going for the Rebels in the early going through the air as Friel opened the game 0-for-3 on his pass attempts before Arroyo handed the keys to Bailey. The passing game didn’t improve drastically as the tandem of Friel and Bailey combined to go 1-for-8 to start the contest as Arroyo alternated snaps.
While the offense did get receiver Kyle Williams back from injury, the moments for success for the unit were far and few.
Fellow receiver Ricky White reeled in a 27-yard pass on 4th and 2 early in the second quarter only to have it called back due to offensive pass interference. Later in the quarter, he caught a 26-yard pass across the middle but would have the momentum killed on a fumble.
That would serve as the only UNLV turnover on the night while Notre Dame committed two.
The Rebels had more success in the second half, much of which was led by the Tennessee transfer Bailey. He got things going in the most crucial moments on offense with his legs, converting on a 4th and 2 to keep a drive alive. A drive that was capped off by a two-yard touchdown run from his QB position.
Bailey finished the game 9-for-18 with 73 yards through the air to go along with 25 rushing yards on five attempts. Friel went 8-for-15 for 80 passing yards.
Bailey was at the helm of an 11-play fourth quarter scoring drive that was punched in on the ground by running back Jordan Younge-Humphrey, his second of the day.
In terms of stopping the run, UNLV had troubles all night long continuing a several week-old trend.Notre Dame ran for 223 total yards and three rushing touchdowns.
Over the last three weeks, the Rebels have allowed 832 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground.
The Fighting Irish raced out a 23-7 lead in the first quarter behind a strong passing attack, mainly to tight end Michael Mayer. He racked up 115 yards and a touchdown on six catches, all of which came in the first half.
UNLV also compounded its own issues in the opening quarter, having two punts blocked as well as being whistled for kick-catch interference.