The Lobos looked to string a pair of wins together on Saturday, with the winless UNLV Rebels coming to town on Homecoming weekend.
The Lobos held the Wyoming Cowboys to just three points before the team’s bye, and the Rebels were licking their wounds from a 51-20 beatdown delivered by the Nevada Wolfpack last weekend.
On paper, this game looked like an excellent opportunity for Head Coach Danny Gonzales and the Lobos to notch their second conference win.
In reality, the Lobos played sloppy football, gave up 31 points to a winless team, and struggled to score points against a subpar defense.
To say Saturday’s outcome was a disappointment would be an understatement.
The game started for the Lobos with an impressive 91-yard drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown pass from Isaiah Chavez to Trace Bruckler.
The Lobo defense played well against the Rebels for most of the first period, but gave up a four-yard touchdown run after Chavez fumbled the ball deep in UNM territory. Chavez would fumble again on the next possession, and the Rebels turned that mistake into seven points as well, with Chavez also suffering an ankle injury on the play that would keep him out for the remainder of the contest.
UNLV would go on to convert 17 points on UNM turnovers in the game while holding UNM’s passing offense to just 36 passing yards on the night.
The Lobos did manage 260 rushing yards on 48 carries, but it was not enough production to overcome the 3-1 turnover margin.
Cameron Friel completed 20 of 33 passes for 227 passing yards, with two touchdowns and one interception. Charles Williams rushed for 74 yards on 22 carries, with two rushing touchdowns.
Williams became UNLV’s all-time leading rusher, passing Tim Cornett.
The win snapped a 14-game losing streak for UNLV and was the first for head coach Marcus Arroyo.
The 1-8 Rebels continue their season next week at home against Hawaii.
The Lobos have the difficult task of getting back into the win column against the No. 23 Fresno State Bulldogs next Saturday at University Stadium.