It had been a long and frustrating six weeks since UNLV’s football team was able to walk off the field to celebrate a victory.
So it was probably understandable that the mood in the Rebels’ locker room was a tad bit on the wild side following a 35-7 blowout of New Mexico on Saturday afternoon at Sam Boyd Stadium.
“It was crazy in there,” junior running back Tim Cornett said. “It was crazy. You’d have thought we’d won the Super Bowl.”
The Rebels (2-8, 2-3 Mountain West) snapped a five-game losing streak with an impressive showing on both sides of the ball against the Lobos (4-6, 1-4).
(STORY CONTINUES BELOW)
UNLV averaged over 10 yards per play while rolling up 530 total yards. Cornett (107 yards on 9 carries, 1 TD) and fellow junior running back Bradley Randle (113 yards on 12 carries, 2 TDs) both topped the century mark, the first time since 2002 that the Rebels had two 100-yard rushers in the same game.
And the Rebel defense, led by senior safety Dre Crawford (11 tackles) and linebacker Princeton Jackson (7 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss), held New Mexico’s potent option attack 22 points below its average.
“We got whipped,” Lobos head coach Bob Davie said. “We can look at the stats all we want, but they (UNLV) whipped us.”
Boy, been a while since those words have been uttered about a Rebel football team, huh?
“Obviously any win for us is great,” Hauck, who improved to 6-29 in his third season at UNLV, said. “That was a great win for our team. Our guys did a great job and I’m proud of them for continuing to fight and improve.”
Cornett got the Rebels started with a 17-yard touchdown run, capping a 9-play, 80-yard drive in the first quarter to make it 7-0.
The Rebels extended the lead to 21-0 by halftime on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Sherry to Randle and a 9-yard touchdown run by Randle that came one play after a 62-yard run up the left sideline by Cornett.
Cornett went over the 1,000-yard mark for the season with the long run, the first Rebel since Dominique Dorsey in 2004 to accomplish the feat and only the eighth in school history.
“It means a lot, especially with the win,” Cornett said. “It would have been devastating if we had lost.”
New Mexico got as close as 21-7 on a 5-yard run by Carlos Wiggins midway through the third quarter but the Rebels pretty sealed the victory when quarterback Nick Sherry hit sophomore Devante Davis on a short hitch that turned into a 75-yard touchdown pass to make it 28-7 heading into the fourth quarter.