The UNLV Rebels produced their second-biggest offensive effort of the season, tallying 530 yards and producing big plays to defeat the New Mexico Lobos 35-7 before a reported 12,845 at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nev.
Redshirt freshman Nick Sherry went 17 of 27 passing for 289 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions while Bradley Randle and Tim Cornett Combined to gain 220 of UNLV’s 241 yards on the ground.
Randle finished with 113 yards on 12 carries, and his only catch of the game was a 17-yard touchdown. Cornett also ran for 107 yards and a touchdown for UNLV (2-8, 2-3 Mountain West Conference). Sherry's other TD was a 75-yarder to Devante Davis, one of two long touchdown passes that pacified the Lobos second half attempt at a comeback.
"Everyone is critical toward us and when we go into a game, like we did today, with a real legitimate chance to match up with someone, we need to win it," said Rebels head coach Bobby Hauck. "There have been times this year where we didn’t. For our guys to go out and finish and play four complete quarters, I’m just proud of them. It shows a lot of character. All the things we have been talking about for two and half years, you can kind of see it being a developed."
New Mexico (4-6, 1-4) top-five rushing offense managed 307 yards but was largely held in check while the Lobos finished with just 43 yards passing. The Lobos' only score came on Carlos Wiggins' 5-yard run in the third quarter to make it 21-7 Rebels. Wide receiver Chase Clayton was UNM's top rusher with 75 yards on 5 carries. New Mexico's leading carriers for the season, Kasey Carrier and Cole Gautsche, only gained 52 ad 35 yards respectively. Jhurell Pressley led the Lobos with 56 yards on 12 carries.Gautsche went 1 of 3 passing for 43 yards and one interception.
"We got whipped," said New Mexico head coach Bob Davie. "We can look at the stats all we want, but they (UNLV) whipped us. I guess it’s life with a freshman quarterback (Cole Gautsche); some of the things that happened.
"Again, we are pretty thin in the secondary, and some things happen where you just say, ‘That didn’t just happen did it?' said Davie. "Overall, that has nothing to do with the outcome. They whipped us. I give them a lot of credit."
Davie said UNLV’s big plays were the key to the game.
"We had them backed up the very first play and we let the ball outside for about a 60-yard run," said Davie. "The very next play, we turn a guy loose in man coverage and they get about a 30-yard chunk. I think about the third down and five and we give up about a 75-yard touchdown pass. I think about the run here at the end (Bradley Randle’s touchdown).
"I appreciate the players’ effort. It’s my responsibility," said Davie. "Those things shouldn’t happen. No way am I using any excuse that we were thin or we were this or we were that, and that’s the reality of it."
The loss puts New Mexico’s bowl aspirations in serious trouble. Because of their 13-game season in 2012, the Lobos need to finish 7-. To do that, UNM must shake off its current three game losing streak and win all of its final three games.