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UNLV Football misses out on chance at first win, beat by Utah State

A career-night from senior running back Charles Williams was not enough as the UNLV football team lost yet again, this time to Utah State.


The Aggies bested the Rebels, 28-24, Saturday, Oct. 16 from Allegiant Stadium.


The loss drops the team to 0-6 on the season and 0-12 under head coach Marcus Arroyo.


It has now been 685 days since the UNLV football program last won a game.


Homecoming is next for the Rebels as it hosts Arroyo’s alma mater, San Jose State, Thursday, Oct. 21 from Allegiant Stadium.


This loss to Utah State came after another fourth quarter comeback from the Aggies, fourth to be exact.


In addition, the Rebels lost despite two missed field goals, a blocked field goal and two turnovers on down from their opponent.


UNLV jumped out to an early lead behind a field goal from kicker Daniel Gutierrez only to have his kickoff returned 100 yards to the end zone by Utah State’s Savon Scarver.


However, it only took one play from scrimmage for Williams to race 75 yards to paydirt to regain the lead for the Rebels.


Following his score, Williams sprinted toward the out of bounds line in the direction of the program’s new custom slot machine on the team’s sideline.


The first quarter swing continued for UNLV after freshman defensive back Cameron Oliver took an interception 45 yards, down to the Utah State 11 yard-line.


Rebels’ starting quarterback Cameron Friel fumbled but it was recovered by Williams, who finished the drive with a one-yard touchdown run to push the home lead to 17-7.


After posting 114 yards in the opening frame, Williams tallied his 13th 100-yard game of his career, which ranks fourth all-time for the school.


Both Aggie turnovers on downs came in the second quarter but three Rebel punts kept the team from extending the lead.


In fact, a 37-yard touchdown pass cut the deficit from 10 to three for Utah State.


In the third quarter, the visitors would take their first lead, 21-17, since the first quarter on another passing touchdown.


Yet again Williams answered the bell, responding with a five-yard touchdown -- scoring his third touchdown of the night in the process, matching a career-high.


Last season, he had four touchdowns in six games. This year, he has six touchdowns through the first six games of the year.


Williams finished with a career-high 221 yards on 27 carries and three touchdowns.


He became the first Rebel player to rush for 200-plus yards since Tim Cornett did it in 2013.


In addition, Williams passed former UNLV running back Lexington Thomas for second all-time in career rushing yards.


It was all downhill from there as the next five drives produced three punts and two interceptions for the Rebels.


Friel was intercepted and injured on a pass attempt about midway through the fourth quarter. He was later replaced by backup Justin Rogers.


Friel went 11-for-21, passing for 107 yards and an interception.


Still trailing with 2:46 left, Utah State winded the clock down to 35 seconds left before culminating the drive with an 11-yard touchdown run.


It was the fifth lead change of the night.


Rogers was intercepted in his second drive under center on a play pass attempt that appeared to hit the turf, which would deem it incomplete.


Following a brief review, the interception was confirmed and the Rebels’ hopes for a comeback miracle win, fell short.


“It doesn’t come down to one call or one play,” Arroyo said. “We’ve got to do a better job collectively.”


Rogers finished the night 1-for-4 with four yards and an interception.

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