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As Home Underdogs, UNLV Pulls Out the Win Against a Power 5 School

For the second time this year, a Mountain West squad has beaten a Power 5 Conference team.

Vanderbilt v UNLV
QB Jayden Maiava looks to throw deep in the 3rd Quarter in the battle against Vanderbilt last Saturday.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images


UNLV went into this game against Vanderbilt has 4.5 point underdogs at home. With Vanderbilt being an SEC school, it wasn’t the craziest line that the world has seen. However, that gave the Rebels a bit more fire to get it done on their home turf.

Vanderbilt started off hot scoring 10 unanswered points in the 1st Quarter. The touchdown was from a QB Doug Brumfield interception that was returned for a score.

Brumfield got hurt in the 1st. Backup QB Jayden Maiava sprung into action.

After the Commodores scored another touchdown (their first offensive touchdown) in the early minutes of the 2nd Quarter. However UNLV retaliated with a 4-play touchdown drive of their own. The drive was capped off by a 21-yard touchdown run by RB Jai’Den Thomas.

Vanderbilt started to make mistakes in the 2nd Quarter. Their next possession after the UNLV touchdown, they fumbled on their own 14 yard line leading to a Rebel field goal. And on their next possession they fumbled again, this time leading to a UNLV defensive score. This game was quickly tied up at 17 with still a little over 9 minutes to go in the half.

UNLV took their first lead in the game after an interception by Vandy with less than a minute left turned into a field goal for the Rebels. This was their first lead of the game.

The 1st Half ended 20-17, Rebels lead.

The 3rd Quarter was all Rebels as they put up 10 unanswered points on the Commodores.

In the 4th, the Commodores tied the game up. With the game tied at 30 a piece, Maiava capped off a 5-play, 75-yard drive by throwing a 48-yard touchdown to WR Jacob De Jesus to take the lead once again. The Commodores answered by scoring a long touchdown of their own.

The next UNLV possession could not have gone any worse with the game on the line. Maiava on the first play of the drive with a minute left threw an interception on their own 26 yard line. This is where the UNLV defense stepped up.

The Rebel defense held the Commodores. On 4th & 4 with 0:47 left in the game, the Commodores brought the field goal unit out to kick a 33-yard field goal. The Vanderbilt kicker missed the kick giving UNLV the ball with 0:44 left on the clock. After 3 plays with a gain of 14 yards the Rebels had just 18 seconds to get into field goal range. And they did just that. A 48-yard pass to WR Ricky White put the Rebels within field goal range for K Jose Pizano.

Pizano drilled the 36-yard field goal as time expired and UNLV went on to win with a final score of 40-37.



  • QB Jayden Maiava - 19/33 261 yards 1 TD 1 INT
  • QB Doug Brumfield - 2/4 15 yards 1 INT


  • RB Jai’Den Thomas - 13 att 50 yards 1 TD
  • QB Jayden Maiava - 7 att 29 yards 1 TD


  • WR Ricky White - 12 rec 165 yards
  • WR Jacob De Jesus - 3 rec 62 yards 1 TD
  • WR Senika McKie - 3 rec 26 yards


  • DB Jett Elad - 5 tackles
  • DB Cameron Oliver - 5 tackles 1 sack
  • LB Fred Thompkins - 4 tackels 1 sack
  • DB Jerrae Williams - 2 tackles 1 sack, 1 FR 1 TD
  • DB Johnathan Baldwin - 1 INT
  • LB Elijah Shelton - 1 FF

Next Game

The Rebels go back on the road to visit the UTEP Miners Saturday, September 23rd at 6:00 PM PT or 9:00 PM ET. The game will be played at the Sun Bowl. It will be on ESPN+.