Football Steve Guiremand Top News UNLV — 01 October 2017
Rebels streak past San Jose State, 41-13

UNLV scored touchdowns on five of its first six possessions in the first half to build a 35-13 halftime lead and cruised to a 41-13 victory over San Jose State in its Mountain West opener on Saturday night at Sam Boyd Stadium.

The win snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Spartans (1-5, 0-2 Mountain West) for the Rebels (2-2, 1-0) who also improved to 3-0 in conference openers under head coach Tony Sanchez.

Freshman quarterback Armani Rogers and junior running back Lexington Thomas each rushed for two touchdowns and Rogers also threw touchdown passes of 44-yards to sophomore wide receiver Brandon Presley and 1-yard to tight Trevor Kanteman for the Rebels who finished with 548 yards in total offense, including 345 rushing.

San Jose State, which gave up an average of 57 points in three losses entering the contest, finished with 462 yards and 30 first downs and ran 82 plays to just 68 for the Rebels. But UNLV’s defense came up with the big plays with it needed it. Cornerback Jericho Flowers and safety Chauncey Scissum both had third quarter interceptions while linebacker Gabe McCoy helped halt another Spartan drive by forcing a fumble by running back Tyler Nevins at the UNLV 1-yard line that was recovered by defensive tackle Salanoa-Alo Wiley in the end zone.

Rebel special teams also came up big late in the first half with a blocked punt by backup quarterback Johnny Stanton that rolled out of bounds at the San Jose State four. Thomas scored one a 1-yard run two plays later to increase UNLV’s lead to 35-6.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Rogers rushed for 71 yards, including a pair of 7-yard touchdown runs in the first half, and also passed for 203 yards and two more scores to lead the Rebels. The 6-foot-5 freshman was perfect 7-of-7 for 128 yards in the first half, including a 44-yard touchdown pass to Presley as UNLV built a 35-13 halftime lead.

QUOTES TO NOTE:

“Extremely proud of Johnny Stanton. He came to us a couple of weeks ago, said he wasn’t playing quarterback, could he help out in some other areas. We through him on some special teams and he comes in and blocks a punt. That speaks to the kind of person he is.” – UNLV coach Tony Sanchez

“It (being 1-0 in Mountain West) means a lot right now. … For us to get our first victory in conference is a statement. Now we just have to keep going forward.” – UNLV quarterback Armani Rogers

UP NEXT: The Rebels host 19th-ranked San Diego State (5-0, 1-0) at 7:45 p.m. at Sam Boyd Stadium. The contest will be broadcast on ESPN2.

NOTABLE: The 28-point win margin tied for the second largest in Mountain West play by the Rebels. The largest was a 35-pointer over New Mexico in 2010. … Thomas finished with 146 yards on 18 carries, his 10th career 100-yard rushing game. … Wide receiver Devonte Boyd led UNLV with five receptions for 105 yards, his school record 14th 100-yard receiving game. … UNLV tied its school record most points in the first half of a Mountain West game (35) also accomplished against Wyoming in 2002 and New Mexico in 2013. … San Jose State sophomore QB Josh Love finished 30-of-45 for 315 yards and a touchdown but also was intercepted twice. … Despite running 14 less plays, UNLV still finished with a 32:03 to 27:57 edge in time of possession. … Rogers was limping noticeably at times in the second half with a right leg injury but Sanchez joked, “It’s football. We’ll just put some ice on it tonight.”

Click on graphic below for final stats:

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