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    The Rebel HD-2

Football

Rebels Fall Short in Valiant Effort Against Fresno State

todaySeptember 26, 2021 5

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By Alexander Chan

The UNLV Rebels lost to a ranked team for the third consecutive week Friday night against the #22 Fresno State Bulldogs. However, unlike their two previous outings against elite opposition, the Rebels were actually in contention to win this game and were only defeated by a 38-30 margin in a hostile environment at Fresno. The Rebels entered the game as 30.5-point underdogs.

Like their away game two weeks ago against Arizona State, the Rebels jumped to a lead behind the play of quarterback Doug Brumfield. UNLV led the Bulldogs by 14-0 in the first quarter due to Brumfield’s first career passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown from Charles Williams. The Rebels would take a 14-9 lead into halftime.

Unlike the Arizona State game, the Rebels did not melt down in the second-half. On the first play after halftime, Brumfield completed an 80-yard touchdown pass to Tyleek Collins to give the Rebels a 21-9 lead. Unfortunately, Brumfield would soon leave the game after the Rebels’ next offensive possession due to a knee injury that he sustained in the second quarter.

Following Brumfield’s departure, the Bulldogs would score the next 20 points of the game to take a 29-21 lead with around 12 minutes left in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs’ star quarterback Jake Hauner connected on three passing touchdowns during this Fresno State run.

The Rebels did not quit after Fresno State reclaimed the lead. Freshman Cameron Friel took over at quarterback for the Rebels after Brumfield’s injury. Friel looked much more comfortable following a shaky debut against Iowa State last week. Just when the Bulldogs appeared to be on the verge of pulling away after taking a 29-21 lead, Friel connected with Cameron Jenkins on a 44-yard pass to set up a touchdown run from Courtney Reese to pull the Rebels to within 29-27.

The Rebels would actually take the lead with six minutes left in the fourth quarter after intercepting a pass from Hauner. A subsequent 30-yard field goal from kicker Daniel Gutierrez gave the Rebels a 30-29 lead and hope that they would pull off one of the greatest upsets in college football history.

The Bulldogs’ talent advantage took over in the final six minutes of the game as Hauner passed for his fourth touchdown of the game to put the Bulldogs ahead 35-30. Friel then turned the ball over with a fumble on the next possession, which led to a Fresno State field goal. Trailing 38-30, the Rebels had one last chance with just over two minutes left in the game. The Rebels could not capitalize as the game effectively ended when the Rebels failed to pick up one first down in their final offensive possession.

The Rebels will be looking for the first win of the season and of coach Marcus Arroyo’s tenure when they travel to San Antonio to face UTSA on Saturday, October 2nd.

Written by: Ashton Ridley

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