UNLV welcomed the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors into Las Vegas for the battle of the ninth island and a duel for the golden pineapple. UNLV was able to take home this golden fruit behind Charles Williams incredible day, rushing for three touchdowns and 272 yards in a 27-13 win.
Shout out to my OLINE - Charles Williams.
Hawaii started the game off with a Chevan Cordeiro touchdown pass to Nick Mardnier for a 79-yard touchdown on the opening play off the game. UNLV instantly found themselves on the back-foot.
A fumbled snap on the first Rebel drive as the ball was snapped to Cameron Friel in mid audible. Hawaii took over from the Rebel 28 and the Rebels held Hawaii to a field goal that missed wide left.
On the second UNLV drive, Friel found Steve Jenkins for a catch and run all the way down the Hawaii 25. This would set up a Charles Williams touchdown run from 5-yards out, Williams 11th touchdown of the year tied the game up at 7.
Both defenses would then finally show up in the first quarter as Jacoby Windmon busted through the offensive line and found his way to Cordeiro for a sack. Hawaii would end up making a defensive play of their own in response, as Friel rolled right forcing a bad throw across his body that would end up being intercepted by Khoury Bethley.
UNLV would find a way to hold Hawaii to three points, making the score 10-7. But on the very next UNLV drive, Friel would throw his second interception of the day, UNLV found themselves with three turnovers in the first 15 minutes of the game.
The second quarter was much slower than the first, a battle of field position and turnovers was the theme before the half. Back to back punts started the quarter, UNLV pinned Hawaii inside their own 10-yard line and would force a three-and-out.
UNLV would then receive a punt starting their drive at the 50. After three straight penalties, Charles Williams had a huge run bringing the Rebels down to the 12-yard line.
UNLV would then go for it on a 4th and 1 from the 3-yard line instead of kicking for a tie. The Rebels would be stopped short of the first down marker handing the ball over to Hawaii.
With not so great field position once again, starting from their own 3-yard line, Hawaii was able to pick up one first down before Cordeiro forced a tough throw on a comeback route that would be intercepted by Ricky Johnson.
A drive that nearly ended in disaster, ultimately ended up with UNLV tying the game at 10 heading into half. Before finally tying the game up, Friel had been under the most pressure that he had been under all game long, thankfully for UNLV they recovered a Friel fumble helping set up the tying field goal.
UNLV received the ball to start the game and Charles Williams would rip off a 64-yard run to set the Rebels up down to the Hawaii 20. Williams would finish what he started with a touchdown run from 15-yards out, his 12th of the year and his second in the game.
After a three-and-out from Hawaii, Friel would find Kyle Williams who would catch and run for a gain of 47 setting up more Rebel points. Daniel Gutierrezz would extend the Rebel lead to 20-10.
UNLV would carry the 20-10 lead into the 4th quarter, as Hawaii had four straight, three and outs in the third quarter.
Hawaii found themselves in some positive field position to start the 4th quarter. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on UNLV had the Rainbow Warriors start at their own 32.
Hawaii would come down the field and score their first points since the 1st quarter, cutting the Rebel lead down to 20-13.
UNLV had put together a 13-play drive that shaved 7:10 of play clock, a drive that saw UNLV go three for four on third down but a huge gain of 11 by Charles Williams on a 3rd and 9 was called back due to holding. UNLV attempted a 56-yard field goal that was well short, handing Hawaii the ball back with 3:48 remaining.
Hawaii, down by 7, would have to go for it on a 4th and 3, the Rainbow Warriors would not convert and UNLV would get the ball back with 2:04 to play.
On the put away drive, Charles Williams would score his third touchdown of the game, his 13th of the year and 47-yard score that ended his remarkable day of 38 carries, 272 yards and 3 touchdowns.
UNLV has won back to back games for the first time in, well, awhile. The Marcus Arroyo era moves to 2-13, the record moves to 2-8 and the Rebels are victorious inside Allegiant Stadium for the first time ever.
UNLV will host San Diego State on Friday Night at 8:30PM.