Tony Sanchez is not going to be happy with the performance from his team on Saturday night.
The Rebels got the ball first in OT and settled for a 23 yard field goal from Evan Pantels. The Vandals needed 5 plays to cement the upset with a Callen Hightower 11 yard touchdown reception.
Entering the game as two touchdown underdogs Idaho jumped out to a 7-0 lead when Kaden Elliss returned an interception from UNLV quarterback Johnny Stanton 31 yards for a touchdown. A field goal three minutes into the second quarter extended that lead to 10-0.
UNLV got on the board three minutes later when Lexington Thomas punctuated a 6 play, 60 yard drive with a 3 yard touchdown run. Idaho pushed the lead back to two scores when Vandals quarterback Aaron Duckworth ran the ball in from 4 yards out. The Rebels managed to keep things close in a disappointing first half courtesy of Mark Phillipi 4 yard touchdown reception with under a minute remaining.
Field goals were exchanged in the third quarter before UNLV managed to tie things up thanks to a Pantels 32 yard field goal with 8 minutes remaining. Idaho regained the lead when running back Matt Linehan rumbled in from 7 yards out with 6:14 left in the fourth, and one minute later a 55 yard touchdown run from Thomas tied things up and closed out scoring in regulation.
Stanton struggled throughout. The pick six that kicked off scoring was a drive after a defender dropped a sure interception. He’d finish Saturday with 175 yards on 14 of 26 passing, a touchdown, and two interceptions.
One of the lone bright spots for UNLV on Saturday night was Lexington Thomas. Thomas racked up 160 yards on 19 carries and scored twice. Sanchez called a lot of runs for Stanton as well, he’d finish with 130 yards on the ground.
UNLV will look to get back on track next week when they welcome Fresno State to Sam Boyd Stadium for homecoming. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30pm PT.