The UNLV Rebels displayed their dominance against the Idaho State Bengals during their home opener at Allegiant Stadium on Saturday. A UNLV team who just won two games in 2021 welcomes with open arms a commanding win to set the tone for the rest of their season. This is the third victory under coach Marcus Arroyo and their 1-0 record is the first time the Rebels have had a winning record under Arroyo.
Early in the first quarter, Louisville transfer RB Aidan Robbins set off the fireworks, punching in the rock from the one yard line to score the first touchdown of the season for the Rebels.
The Bengal offense had a good drive going as they were trying to match the Rebels, but LB Austin Ajiake read a screen pass perfectly and recorded his first career interception. Ajiake was the first Rebel to earn the rights to use their “turnover slot machine.” The UNLV offense didn’t capitalize on the short field and had to settle for a 39-yard field goal by K Daniel Gutierrez.
The Bengals continued to fight as QB Tyler Vander Waal connected for a 55-yard touchdown with WR Jalen Johnson. The Bengals seemed to have life in this game, but this was their last score of the half.
Robbins caught and ran in a touchdown to up his total to three TDs on the day. WRs Kyle Williams and Michigan State transfer Ricky White caught three combined TDs during this electric run by the Rebel offense in the second quarter.
The offense wasn’t the only thing churning for UNLV in the second quarter as the Rebel defense held Idaho State to 22 total yards on 1.38 yards per play, no touchdowns, and one first down.
A 35-0 run by the offense led by QB Doug Brumfield gave the Rebels a 45-7 lead heading into halftime. This cushion allowed the Rebels to play the second half with their backups.
Arroyo was pleased with Brumfield’s first half performance.
“He has done a nice job settling down, we are trying to make adjustments to see what their packages are and what they are doing,” Arroyo said. “I think he had done a good job.”
The Rebel offense stalled out in third quarter and looked like they couldn’t get anything going until QB Cameron Friel took the field in the middle of the fourth quarter. Friel connected with WR Zyell Griffin for a 14-yard TD to increase the Rebel lead to 52-21. Griffin’s TD would be the cherry on top for the fantastic display from the Rebel offense.
52 points were the most points the Rebels have scored in a game since 2019, when the Rebels defeated the Southern Utah Thunderbirds 56-23. This victory was the first opener the Rebels have won since 2019, also against the Thunderbirds.
- QB Doug Brumfield threw for 345 yards and four TDs on 84% efficiency (all in the first half)
- WR Ricky White caught eight passes for 182 yards and two TDs (all in the first half)
- RB Aidan Robbins finished with 42 scrimmage yards and three TDs (all in the first half)
- LB Austin Ajiake finished with eight total tackles, one interception, one sack, and a TFL
The Rebels get their bye week early and will get an extra week to prepare for the California Golden Bears, who they visit on Sep. 10. It will be the first-ever meeting between the Rebels and Golden Bears.
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