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Rebels embarrassed at home by Arkansas State in crucial game

UNLV left Saturday night’s game against Arkansas State with more questions than answers, including who the team’s starting quarterback will be.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: AUG 31 Southern Utah at UNLV Photo by: Marc Sanchez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The first possession of the game for UNLV lead to a touchdown. For the other team.

Armani Rogers badly overthrew Tyleek Collins on a short crossing route that was intercepted by Arkansas State and returned for a touchdown. That pick-six was an indicator on how the rest of the night would for for the Rebels, as Arkansas State dismantled UNLV 43-17.

The interception by Rogers was also a sign for how his night would go. He finished the night with a 34% completion percentage (8/23) and only 43 passing yards with an interception. Rogers did not look good at all in the game, there were some dropped balls by his receivers, but he was off and the ball completely missed the receivers on his incompletions.

“We got to find some rhythm in the passing game. We can’t just rely on just handing the ball off over and over and over. The thing that frustrates me is the accuracy. There were some dropped balls early, when the quarterback is trying to find himself you got to help him out a little bit,” Tony Sanchez said. “(There were) too many balls below the knees, in the dirt, seems like we were always going down for them.”

Aside from the 16 play, 64 yard drive that lead to a field goal, no other UNLV drive in the first half generated more than 19 yards. UNLV trailed at the half 23-3 and were booed as they went into the locker room at the half.

It was a poor performance for UNLV’s offensive line, as Rogers was sacked six times. On the defensive side, UNLV did not record a sack on the evening, and only forced four tackles for losses. The Rebels did not force a turnover, and have yet to force one through two games this season.

The Red Wolves offense had their way with the UNLV defense. Three of the four Arkansas State offensive drives that lead to touchdowns took less than three minutes in game time.

Arkansas State quarterback Logan Bonner had plenty of time and room in the pocket to throw. He threw for 284 yards and two touchdowns on 22/37 passing. Omar Bayless had 149 receiving yards and a touchdown catch for the Red Wolves.

The lone bright spot for UNLV Saturday night was Charles Williams. He broke off a 78 yard run in the third quarter that got UNLV inside the five yard line, and lead to UNLV’s first touchdown, thanks to a Williams three yard rush, of the game. Williams ended the night with 168 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown.

UNLV tacked on another touchdown late in the game thanks to redshirt freshman Kenyon Oblad. He connected on a 54 yard touchdown pass to Randal Grimes. Oblad only attempted three passes, and completes all of them, and threw for 70 yards.

It appears that there might be a battle at the quarterback position. “We got to get going at the passing game and the quarterback spot. If there’s got to be a little bit of a battle there, then we’re going to talk about that,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez did not put all the blame on Rogers. Saying that there were some breakdowns on the offensive line with pass protection. He also took some blame, mentioning that they need to game plan better and give Rogers better options in the passing game. It will be interesting to see who is listed on the depth chart, and who will start for the Rebels in their next game.

Regardless of who starts for the Rebels, UNLV will have to shake off this horrendous performance and get ready for Northwestern on Saturday.