The battle for the Fremont Cannon was all UNLV Saturday afternoon. Nevada’s offense found a bit of a stride, but the defense just couldn’t keep up. The cannon will stay red for the second consecutive year, and Nevada’s losing streak has stretched to 16.
UNLV also remains undefeated in Mountain West play, as Nevada stays winless at 0-6. Let’s break down how both sides of the ball for Nevada played in the loss.
12:40- Jayden Maiava 59-yard TD pass to Ricky White (Jose Pizano PAT)
UNLV 7 - Nevada 0
5:54- Donavyn Lester 1-yard TD run (Jose Pizano PAT)
UNLV 14 - Nevada 0
3:01- Brendon Lewis 43-yard TD pass to Dalevon Campbell (Brandon Talton PAT)
UNLV 14 - Nevada 7
13:21- Donavyn Lester 16-yard TD run (Jose Pizano PAT)
UNLV 21 - Nevada 7
5:38- Jayden Maiava 82-yard TD pass to Ricky White (Jose Pizano PAT)
UNLV 28 - Nevada 7
14:00- Donavyn Lester 66-yard TD run (Jose Pizano PAT)
UNLV 35 - Nevada 7
11:15- Brendon Lewis 6-yard TD run (Brandon Talton PAT)
UNLV 35 - Nevada 14
1:43- Jose Pizano 25-yard FG
UNLV 38 - Nevada 14
12:17- Sean Dollars 2-yard TD run ( two-point conversion attempt failed)
UNLV 38 - Nevada 20
3:37- Vincent Davis Jr. 9-yard TD run (Jose Pizano PAT)
UNLV 45 - Nevada 20
1:51- Brendon Lewis 55-yard TD pass to Isaah Crocker (Brandon Talton PAT)
UNLV 45 - Nevada 27
Final: UNLV 45, Nevada 27
In Nevada’s first five games of the season, its offense was only producing 15 points per game. With the bye week, offensive coordinator Derek Sage had plenty of time to kick things on.
The 27 points scored by the offense was the most in a single game so far. Nevada also put up a season-high 474 total yards and scored four total touchdowns.
Brendon Lewis had the best game of his Nevada career, throwing for 287 yards and rushing for 115 yards. Despite throwing two interceptions, Lewis was much more aggressive in the passing game with two passing touchdowns. Both touchdowns in the air went over 40 yards, coming from Dalevon Campbell and Isaah Crocker.
It wasn’t perfect between the two interceptions and a fumble mixed in. In terms of overall offense, however, this was the best performance we’ve seen from Nevada since Texas State and Kansas.
The Wolf Pack will need to continue this type of offensive performance, but an injury is going to put a major dent. Tight end Keleki Latu went down late in the game with a lower leg injury, and there’s concern he could be out for the season.
UNLV’s rushing and passing game pushed through Nevada’s defense with ease. The Rebels have one of the rushing offenses in the Mountain West, and it showed with a 259-yard rushing day. Rebels running back Donavyn Lester rushed for 99 yards and three touchdowns.
Freshman QB Jayden Maiava went 20/25, 257 yards, and two touchdown passes. Wide receiver Ricky White was the standout with eight catches, 174 receiving yards, and two touchdowns.
UNLV killed Nevada on the downs, making most of its big plays on third downs. The Rebels converted 11 of its 18 third-down attempts in the game. UNLV head coach Barry Odom had his game plan set straight, as it produced over 500 total offensive yards against Nevada.
Nevada will hit the road to face San Diego State next weekend. The Aztecs are next to the Wolf Pack in the standings with an overall 2-4 record and 0-2 in the conference. It’s the perfect opportunity for Nevada to pick up its first win, but both the offense and defense will need to click together.