UNLV football emerged strong in its first away game and third overall game of the season against BIG 10 university: Northwestern; but unfortunately, the Rebels weren’t successful in acquiring a victory against the Northwestern Wildcats. Despite a tough loss, the Rebels managed to remain strong and fight.
UNLV starting quarterback, Armani Rogers, had 120-passing yards and 57-rushing yards. Rogers ended the night with 16/26 completed passes. Another star asset for the Rebels was junior running back, Charles Williams. Williams had 144-rushing yards and two touchdowns, the only touchdowns scored by UNLV against Northwestern.
The Rebels allowed Northwestern to score early on in the first quarter, a 1-yard rushing touchdown by Northwestern quarterback, Hunter Johnson. The Rebels gained quick yardage on their first few possessions of the ball in the first quarter, leading to a 65-yard rushing touchdown by Williams. Williams led in rushing yards for the Rebels. UNLV only allowed Northwestern another field goal in the first quarter, bringing the score at the end of the quarter to 7-10, Northwestern in the lead. To add on to the surprising first quarter, senior linebacker, Javin White, intercepted Northwestern quarterback, Johnson’s pass, leading UNLV to take coverage of the ball.
Rogers made another terrific play early into the second quarter with a quarterback keeper for a gain of 10 yards, which led to Williams’ 37-yard rushing touchdown. After Williams’ touchdown and a made PAT, the Rebels took the lead against Northwestern: 14-10. UNLV remained in the lead through the quarter though Northwestern kicked a 30-yard field goal to narrow the lead to 14-13. By the end of the second quarter, UNLV started to show frustration, being penalized with 3 personal foul calls, including the ejection of junior defensive back, Drew Tejchman, for targeting. Rebel defense kept Northwestern from the endzone, but the Wildcats made a 44-yd field goal, taking the lead into halftime 14-16.
The Rebels couldn’t seem to score in the second half. UNLV allowed Northwestern a 50-yd touchdown pass from quarterback, Johnson, to reciever, JJ Jefferson. Trailing 23-14, the Rebels’ fourth quarter energy wasn’t the same as the energy earlier in the game. UNLV struggled with turnovers and allowed Northwestern to score once again before the end of the game, a 7-yard rush into the endzone by Wildcat running back, Drake Anderson, which left the final score 30-14.
UNLV Head Football Coach, Tony Sanchez, stated after the game, “The turnovers just killed us.” Sanchez, also voiced his dismay in a post-game interview, “Really disappointed, I thought we gave ourselves a chance to win the game, some of the fundamental things just did not show up”.
The Rebels showed energy and heart in their first half of play; the results may not have been ideal, but this game showed them what they need to focus on in the games to come.
The Rebels (1-2) travel to play Wyoming next Saturday, 9/28.