UNLV Comeback Falls Short in Loss to Washington State
By Joe Buda
Las Vegas Informer
The game came down to the final seconds, again, when the UNLV Rebels (0-3) fell to the Washington State Cougars (2-1) at Sam Boyd Stadium.
The game looked as if it was getting out of hand quickly as Washington State jumped out to a 14 – 0 lead in the first quarter.
But UNLV rebounded and closed the score to 14 – 7 with a 37-yard touchdown pass from Nick Sherry to Marcus Sullivan.
UNLV continued to battle in the game, even after being down 28 – 10 late in the second quarter. Sullivan scored his second touchdown of the evening on a pass he turned into a 75-yard score, narrowing the gap to 28-17.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Cougars struck early in the fourth on a Leon Brooke 3-yard run.
Down 35-20, with less than two minutes remaining, Sherry threw to Jake Phillips for a 4-yard score.
After the Rebels attempted, and lost, the onside kick, Washington State got the ball back with 1:44 left on the clock. But the Cougars play calling and penalties kept the Rebels in the game. After two running plays, one in which ended with a 15-yard penalty against Washington State, they attempted to pass. When that fell incomplete, they went for it on fourth and four. Their rush fell one yard short and UNLV got the ball back with favorable field position, at the UNLV 36 yard line.
At 35-27 it was a one possession game.
Sherry then completed passes to Phillips for 9 yards and Anthony Williams for 13 yards to reach the Washington State 42 yard line.
With seconds left to go, Sherry attempted a pass to former-starting quarterback (and current backup) Caleb Herring at the end zone. This pass was incomplete and the game ended.
UNLV may have lost the football game, but for the third straight week we had a close game at Sam Boyd Stadium. They have lost by a total of 14 points so far this season. In comparison, most of their losses last season were by 20 points or more each game.
Sherry showed poise and progress this week, throwing for 351 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Sullivan showed that he is the receiver the Rebels can count on, having caught 6 receptions for 136 yards and two touchdowns. His 75-yard score came as he battled with the defender and pushed him away as he ran for the touchdown.
Herring had an impressive start at wide receiver, accumulating 68 yards on 5 receptions. He is too athletic to sit on the bench.
Tim Cornett was the top rusher for the Rebels, with 89 yards of output. UNLV had four penalties in the game for a total of 60 yards.
Washington State looked sloppy by comparison. They accumulated 12 penalties for 128 yards for the game.
Cougars’ quarterback Connor Halliday finished the game with 378 yards passing, four touchdowns and two interceptions.
The announced attendance for the game was 17,015.