After an unruly OT loss to Idaho and a last minute quarterback change, the UNLV, er, freshman quarterback Dalton Sneed came out and got a statement win for UNLV (2-3) at Sam Boyd Stadium behind a monster stat line of 129 passing yards, 147 rushing yards and 2 TDS.
UNLV has had issues covering the deep ball so far in the season along with missed tackles and defensive cues that have cost the Rebels big plays in tight game situations but did a good job getting pressure on Fresno State early on.
After a scoreless first quarter, UNLV’s offense started to pick up with Sneed behind center.
Sophomore back Lexington Thomas had a quite night with just 19 yards but picked up his 7th TD of the season off a 1-yard run to put the Rebels up 7-0 early in the second quarter. Fresno State quickly countered after a four play, 76 yard drive in under two minutes to tie it 7-7 midway through the second.
Freshman RB and Fresno native Charles Williams set up the Rebels for another TD on a 39-yard run on a third-and-2 to put UNLV back up 14-7. Williams finished as the lead carrier with 153 yards on 18 carries. On their following drive, Sneed did a good job in the pocket off a fake pass to find freshman WR Elijah Trosclair for a 61-yard touchdown to push UNLV up 21-7 just before the half.
FYI: Trosclair is another Nor-Cal kid from Sacramento, you’d like to think that Fresno State would try recruiting more local talent to stay in their area.
Fresno State used a 42-yard FG to cut UNLV’s lead to 21-10 midway through the third and then the extraordinary happened, literally.
SNEED pulled a Johnny Manziel circa 2012, juked about three Fresno defenders to avoid a safety and goes 89 yards to the house for the longest rush in UNLV football history.
Coast to coast! @UNLVFootball QB @daltonsneed escapes a safety and runs 91 yards to score a TD, the longest rush in Rebel history! #mwfb pic.twitter.com/hpPewJKWNj— Mountain West (@MountainWest) October 2, 2016
The following possession UNLV kicks a 38-yarder to increase their lead to 31-10 with under 2 minutes to go in the third but in UNLV fashion and lack of coverage, Fresno’s Chason Virgil hit Aaron Peck on an 80-yard pass to cut the lead 31-17. Starting to sound a little too familiar for UNLV fans?
Entering the 4th, Fresno nailed another FG and after some back-and-forth punting, senior RB David Greene did some stat padding with back-to-back TD runs for UNLV to close out their 45-20 win over Fresno State.
The Rebels needed this win as a confidence boost snapping their three-game losing streak and they head to play San Diego State next week.
Also, starting out 1-0 in Mountain West play isn’t too shabby for UNLV.