There was hope for UNLV as they traveled to Tucson, Arizona, Friday night since the Arizona Wildcats named their starting quarterback, Anu Solomon, just Sunday night over a crowded group of four; plus, the Wildcats no longer have their best running back in school history.
Despite all of that, this was a typical UNLV team which was blown out 58-13 behind Solomon who completed 25 of 44 yards for 425 yards and four touchdowns, the redshirt freshman rushed for another 50 on the ground. The running game was superb despite not having Ka'Deem Carrey on the field any more, and the replacements did not disappoint. Terris Jones-Grigsby rushed for 124 yards and Nick Wilson had another 104 yards, that duo also each scored a touchdown and as a unit the running game averaged 7.4 yards per carry.
The UNLV offense did not perform well with junior college quarterback Blake Decker leading the team, he was not awful but nothing great either. Decker completed 22 of 41 passes for 252 yards with a touchdown and a pick, and he also rushed for 56 yards.
Devante Davis and Devonte Boyd had 14 combined catches and each had over 100 yards each with 202 combined. The rushing game is what really hurt UNLV as they became predictable since the running game averaged just 3.8 yards per carry and 119 yards overall. The Rebels really missed Shaquille Murray-Lawrence who did not suit up Friday night.
While the running game was bad, the defense is what really failed UNLV as they could not stop Arizona in the passing or rushing game. Arizona had short touchdown drives and basically did what they wanted to against this UNLV defense which had a poor night, to be kind. Arizona had five scoring drives on six or less plays.
UNLV will need to fix this defense the rest of the way or a second-straight bowl game is not likely to happen.