2019 will be a season, just like many, that UNLV football fans would like to forget. However, it will be hard to forget the memories and history from Sam Boyd Stadium. For 49 seasons, UNLV has called Sam Boyd Stadium home and 2019 marked its final season hosting UNLV football before the Rebels move to Allegiant Stadium on the Las Vegas strip.
Even though the season has not gone the way many wanted, the Rebels gave its fans one more memory Saturday afternoon as UNLV defeated San Jose State 38-35.
UNLV jumped out early on San Jose State. The Rebels capped off a 1:52 drive with a 14-yard Charles Williams run to put the first touchdown on the board. San Jose State answered with a touchdown later in the quarter, but missed the extra point.
The Rebel offense put the foot on the gas in the second quarter. Kenyon Oblad threw two touchdown passes in the second quarter, one to Shelton Zeon and another to Randal Grimes and UNLV went into the half up 21-6.
The Rebels’ 13-point lead would not survive the third quarter. The Spartans woke up and answered back to UNLV’s scoring, as San Jose State scored three unanswered touchdowns to retake the lead 28-24.
Finding themselves down, running back Charles Williams lead a Rebel fourth quarter comeback. Williams scored twice in the fourth quarter, including one in the final 75 seconds to give UNLV the lead back 38-35.
San Jose State had one last gasp. The Spartans were in the red zone with a chance to win the game. Josh Love lead them down the field, 87 yards in just over a minute. However, the drive would not end with a score, as a Love pass was intercepted by Kolo Uasike to seal the game for the Rebels.
The Rebels, along with their fans and all the UNLV football alums who were at the game, left Sam Boyd Stadium with one final happy memory.
Charles Williams had a day to remember, he had 186 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Oblad had, arguably, his best game. He went 21/36 with 203 passing yards and two touchdowns. Grimes had 130 receiving yards and a touchdown.
UNLV will play another emotional game next week when they head up to Reno to battle UNR for the Fremont Cannon. Not only is it a big rivalry game, it will also likely be the last game for Tony Sanchez as head coach. While there is no official word yet, it is likely that Desiree Reed-Francois will fire Sanchez after the UNR game.
Expect every player to come out and play extra hard for Coach Sanchez. Sanchez had already won the cannon twice, and if he wins on Saturday, would only be the third coach to win at least three times. And it would also be the first time UNLV would win it in back to back years since 2003-2004.
The Rebels are now 3-8 and 1-6 in conference. They are in fifth place in the west division standings and play UNR on Saturday at 12:00pm.