After blowing out Jackson State in their opener 63-13, the UNLV Rebels were eager to take on a UCLA squad and show that they were ready for the big time. As for the Bruins, they were eager to show that their loss to Texas A&M was an aberration and they should still be considered contenders. Although the Rebels stayed in it for most of the night, the Bruins were able to cruise to victory thanks to their run game.
After a slow start to the game by both teams, UCLA struck first after driving down to the three yard line and scoring on a SoSo Jamabo sweep with 8:27 left in the quarter. The score was the culmination of a 71 yard, 14 play drive that saw quarterback Josh Rosen throw on the Bruins’ first six plays.
UNLV did not hesitate to respond. On their following drive, the Rebels drove down the field before finally punching it in with a 12 yard run by Lexington Thomas. Unfortunately, UNLV’s excitement was squashed as Jamabo put the Bruins back on top with an electrifying 23 yard reverse sweep that saw him run to the left before being turned around where he dodged defenders on his way to the house.
UCLA would go on to extend their lead to two touchdowns after Rosen, on second and fifteen, ran a play action and hit receiver Mossi Johnson for 29 yards over the middle, but the Bruins were not done. After safety Randall Goforth intercepted a Johnny Stanton pass, Jamabo scored his third touchdown of the day with a 7 yard run, extending UCLA’s lead to 28-7.
With the game quickly getting out of hand, the Rebels needed a score badly and finally answered the call when true freshman receiver Mekhi Stevenson caught a 14 yard pass from Stanton to bring the game back within two touchdowns before going into halftime.
In the third quarter, the Rebels got off to a rocky start as Goforth once again intercepted Stanton to end UNLV’s drive. The offense didn’t let the turnover discourage them though, as on the next drive, they drove down the field and punched it in with an 11 yard run by Stanton to bring the Rebels within seven.
Entering the fourth quarter, UNLV kept the Bruins on their heels as they stopped Rosen and the offense on multiple drives but UCLA finally gave themselves some breathing room after Rosen threw a 75 yard bomb to receiver Jordan Lasley to get the Bruins to the Rebels’ 1 yard line where running back Bolu Olorunfunmi would extend UCLA’s lead back up to 14.
The Rebels just running out of gas and Rosen put the game away for good with drive that ended on him scoring a rushing touchdown from one-yard out to give UCLA a 42-21 win.