UNLV Football Takes a Bittersweet 28-20 Loss to No. 23rd San Diego State on Senior Night

  • November 20, 2021, 10:31 AM
  • Amber Dammier
UNLV Football Takes a Bittersweet 28-20 Loss to No. 23rd San Diego State… Kayla Faasse Senior kicker Daniel Gutierrez kicks the first field goal of the game, putting the Rebels up 3-0 in their final home game against San Diego State on Friday, Nov. 20, 2021. UNLV went on to lose 28-20.

UNLV hosted San Diego State for their final home game of the season at Allegiant Stadium, where the Rebels fell to the Aztecs, 28-20.

The Rebels celebrated senior night, honoring their 14 seniors prior to the kickoff of the game.

“Been in a lot of different places,” head coach Marcus Arroyo said. “The humility and grace, the rest of the group and toughness of the group paid to those guys and the way their efforts have been and the season has been really good to see them. To see them fight like this on a night like this is pretty special. The team fought hard tonight for senior night.” 

UNLV began its first drive with some spark behind them. Rebel quarterback (QB) Cameron Friel took long drives to Charles Williams and Steve Jenkins. However, they were held by the Aztec defense to a 21-yard field goal by Daniel Guiterrez. 

Charles Williams passed another week as the reigning Mountain West Conference (MWC) player of the week. The super senior became the fourth MW player to reach the 4,000 yard rushing mark. 

The first quarter seemed to continue going afloat for the rebels after the defense forced San Diego State to punt. The Aztecs pushed through UNLV to get a 7-3 lead. 

The Rebels had to rethink their game plan as two key players, Friel and wide receiver Kyle Williams were carted off the field with little left in the first half.

QB Justin Rogers came on the field to fill the spot of Friel. As he came onto the field, he completed all three passes and threw a 43-yard pass Zyell Griffin for a touchdown. 

Aztec QB Lucas Johnson and his offense were able to break through an impressive UNLV defense to take back the lead 14-10 with 2:31 left in the first half.

Going into halftime, the Rebels had more yards compared to the Aztecs with 197-180. 

When the Azetcs started the third quarter receiving the ball, UNLV continued to fight for a senior night win with another impressive stop.

“It was phenomenal, all he has been practicing all year long, practiced [Cameron Friel] and showed out in game,” Steve Jenkins said.

Rogers finished the game with 305-yards, going 15-for-21 with two touchdowns. Jenkins had another impeccable night with 176-yards receiving.

In the third quarter, Rogers grabbed the ball and threw a beautiful pass to Jenkins for 82-yards. He then threw another great play to Giovanni Fauolo for an 8-yard touchdown pass, for Fauolo’s first touchdown of the season. 

The Rebels tightened the gap 21-17 with plenty of time in the third quarter.

Jacoby Windmon ended the night with a career high of three sacks, tying a program fourth-highest for a single game.

UNLV settled for a field goal, trailing 21-20 to end the third quarter and entering the final 15 minutes of the night. 

San Diego State came in clutch towards the end of the game, able to claim a 28-20 win. 

“A Lot of stuff you are seeing in the football team you did not see earlier in the year,” Arroyo said. “Now you are getting better. We are close. We got to finish a game and fight and get that done. We want to. These guys are getting better and getting better every week. Just got to close it out.” 

UNLV faces Air Force in their last game of the season, Nov. 26 at 12:30 pm P.T The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.

Amber Dammier

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