The best game in the college football universe on Saturday afternoon took place at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The UNLV Rebels pulled off the shocker of the 2016 Mountain West Conference season, upsetting the Wyoming Cowboys in triple overtime, 69-66. The back and forth affair had no shortage of fireworks from the opening kick, as the teams combined for 1,138 yards of offense.
UNLV looked to have the upset wrapped up in regulation. Wyoming took over on its own 3 yard line with 1:06 remaining and out of timeouts. Quarterback Josh Allen then engineered a 9 play, 97 yard drive, punctuated by a touchdown pass to Tanner Gentry as time expired to tie the game at 52 and force overtime.
Both teams swapped touchdowns in the first and second overtime, reaching triple OT knotted at 66-66 in the highest scoring Mountain West Conference game of all time. On the first possession of the third extra period, Allen was picked off by Rebels defensive back Torry McTyer. Three UNLV plays and a snap infraction later the ball was at the 23, and Nicolai Bornand booted a 40 yard field goal to mark the biggest win of the Tony Sanchez era.
It was a career day for Rebels quarterback Kurt Palandech. Spectacular on the ground, and awfully impressive through the air, the junior signal caller rushed for a game high 157 yards and completed 20 of his 32 passes for 252 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Rebels receiver Devonte Boyd topped the century mark in receiving yards for the 11th time in his career, second most in school history. He was Palandech’s favorite receiver on Saturday, racking up 127 yards on 10 catches.
UNLV saw more success with its running back by committee approach against Wyoming than it has all season. Xzaviar Campbell rushed for 83 yards on 19 carries, David Greene contributed 70 on the ground, and Charles Williams chipped in 64.
Offensively, Wyoming did what they wanted to do and then some. Running back Brian Hill, third nationally with just under 1300 yards on the season, rushed for 119 yards and 3 touchdowns on 23 carries. Allen had the most prolific passing day of his career, totaling 334 yards on just 14 completions
Saturday’s historic victory keeps alive UNLV’s slim hopes at reaching bowl eligibility. The Rebels travel to Boise State on November 18th before wrapping up the 2016 season November 26th at home against Nevada. Wyoming will host San Diego State on November 19th.