UNLV Football returned home to Allegiant Stadium Saturday to face off against the No. 14 ranked Iowa State Cyclones, losing 48-3 in front of a record crowd of 35,931.
The Rebels got flattened in the first half by Cyclones running back Breece Hall, who set the tempo of the game netting 86 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the first half alone.
The entire Iowa State offense was on a roll, seeing quarterback Brock Purdy toss one touchdown and 181 yards in the first half, while also legging out 33 yards himself.
UNLV’s defense seemed to have no answer to the Cyclones offense, and would later fall behind 24-0 at the end of the first half.
The Rebels led by freshman quarterback Cameron Friels struggled on the offensive side of the ball throughout the first half, only netting 23 total yards of offense.
The lack of production was largely due to Iowa State’s suffocating defense, who easily got into the backfield to pressure or rush Friels. The coverage in the secondary downfield, and the run defense never let the Rebels get any sort of offense going.
The Rebel offense saw a carousel at QB, with new signing Tate Martell taking his first snaps under center as a Rebel. Martell would be swapped in and out of the game at will, with Friels coming in on third down on most drives.
The QB rotation stems from UNLV’s week two contest against Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz., where freshman signal caller Doug Brumfield was injured. Brumfield was ruled out of the lineup before Saturday’s game.
The second half saw much of the same for Iowa State, albeit at a slower pace. The Cyclones matched their first half point total in the second half, while only allowing three points from kicker Daniel Gutierrez. While the Rebel offense did pick up in the second half, the Iowa State pass rush and run defense provided little opportunity for UNLV to make many plays.
UNLV tight end Giovanni Faugo led the team in receiving for the game, hauling in four passes for 36 yards. Wide receiver Jordan Jakes would come behind Faugo with two receptions for 21 yards in the Scarlet and Gray.
“The growth in our program will come from challenges like this, back-to-back top-25 teams,” Rebel Football Head Coach Marcus Arroyo said. “[We’re] seeing how we can stand up against them and continue to find some good football in there, particularly with a young group and with depth that's different than some of those teams.”
The Rebels now head to Fresno State Friday to play the Bulldogs for their first Mountain West matchup of the season. The game will start at 7 p.m. and will be broadcasted on the CBS Sports Network.