Gary Kazanjian / AP
Posted on Friday, September 24, 2021 | 6:00 p.m.
Updated 30 minutes ago
Fresno, CA –
The rebel room
UNLV 0-3 football start
The UNLV football team have started the season 0-3 and are struggling to get consistent play from their quarterbacks. The Rebels have played four signalers this season. We discuss all things UNLV football in this edition of the Rebel Room.
This game seems to go to the end.
First-year quarterback Cameron Friel just led UNLV on a touchdown, and it’s once again a one-possession game as we head into the dying minutes of the fourth quarter.
Jake Haener threw his fourth touchdown of the night (and his third for Jalen Cropper) to take Fresno State’s lead to 29-21 early in the fourth quarter. UNLV appeared to be cooked in his ensuing workout, as Friel fell back on the third and long only for the pocket to collapse around him.
Instead of grabbing his third sack of the night, Friel tripped out of a defender’s grip and made his way forward for a first try. On the next play, Friel went over and hit Steve Jenkins on a 44-yard pass to the goal line. On the second down, Courtney Reese pitched and scored to reduce Fresno State’s lead to 29-27 with 9:57 to go.
The UNLV’s 2-point conversion attempt failed, so they’ll need the defense to pass at least once more.
Fresno State takes 22-21 advantage over UNLV
This game turned quickly.
Fresno State quarterback Jake Haener just led back-to-back touchdowns to give the Bulldogs their first lead of the night, 22-21. The first practice ended with a 4-yard pass to Jalen Cropper, and after UNLV kicked, Haener hit Cropper again for 23 yards to take the lead.
UNLV’s training was led by Cameron Friel, who entered the game again in place of injured quarterback Doug Brumfield. Brumfield is exercising on the sideline in an attempt to break loose, but it looks like a knee injury could keep him out for the remainder of this contest.
Doug Brumfield returns, UNLV leads 21-16 at Fresno State
Talk about love at first sight.
Doug Brumfield returned to lead the UNLV offense to start the second half, and his first play was a screen pass as wide receiver Tyleek Collins took 80 yards into the end zone. The long touchdown extended UNLV’s lead to 21-9, although Fresno State responded with a TD on its possession that followed to make it 21-16 with 7:35 left in the third quarter.
Brumfield is now 6 of 13 for 143 yards and two touchdowns.
UNLV leads at halftime at No.22 in Fresno State
Fresno State scored a touchdown in the final minute of the half to reduce UNLV’s lead to 14-9 at the break, but the biggest concern is Doug Brumfield’s status.
The UNLV starting quarterback played well tonight, completing 5 of 10 passes for 63 yards and a touchdown, but left the field with three minutes left in the half with an undisclosed injury. Cameron Friel led UNLV in his last half-time practice and went to 3 and away, giving Fresno short field for his 2-minute exercise. Bulldogs QB Jake Haener hit Erik Brooks for 18 yards with less than a minute on the clock. The scarlet and gray defense repelled Fresno State’s 2-point conversion attempt.
UNLV should feel good about taking the road halftime advantage against the nation’s No.22 team, but Brumfield’s injury makes it difficult. They’ll get the kick-off to start the second half, so let’s see if head coach Marcus Arroyo can schedule a game to put Friel in the thick of it.
UNLV up 14-3 at Fresno State, Brumfield injured
Things were just going a little too much good for UNLV.
Doug Brumfield has just taken a few hard hits in a row and had to be taken to the locker room after UNLV’s last possession. First-year replacement Cameron Friel is now in the game as UNLV look to strengthen their 14-3 lead with 3:20 left in the half.
Friel started last week’s game against Iowa State and completed 8 of 13 passes for 67 yards, without a touchdown and an interception.
The hope for UNLV is that the defense can continue to play well – they’re currently only allowing 4.6 yards per play – and Friel won’t be asked to do too much.
UNLV takes the lead 14-0 at No.22 in Fresno State
Could this be the night of UNLV football?
Charles Williams has just scored a one-yard touchdown, and suddenly UNLV is left with a 14-0 lead at Fresno State at the end of the first quarter.
Williams’ run capped a 14-play, 95-yard practice that was helped by a pair of defensive penalties. UNLV has scored touchdowns on both of his possessions so far, as Doug Brumfield threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to complete a 7-play, 60-yard run earlier in the first.
Brumfield has 63 passing yards and 38 rushing yards, while Williams has 25 yards on seven carries.
The UNLV defense has done a good job coming off the field so far, but Fresno State has just won a few first tries and will start the second quarter on UNLV territory.
UNLV takes over as head of Fresno State
UNLV couldn’t have dreamed of a better start tonight as the team look to upset five-touchdown favorite Fresno State.
The Scarlet and Gray won the opening pitch and were postponed, and the defense succeeded by forcing a 3-and-out. Doug Brumfield then ran for 37 yards in the UNLV’s first scrum play, then finished the run by hitting Steve Jenkins for a 10-yard touchdown pass.
UNLV managed to force another punt on the subsequent practice of Fresno State, so Brumfield and the offense will take over with a chance to extend the lead. At 8:40 am of the end of the first quarter, it’s UNLV 7, Fresno State 0.
Three Keys to UNLV Football at No.22 Fresno State
UNLV will be looking for their first win of the season at Fresno State tonight (7 p.m., CBS Sports Network), but it won’t be easy. The No.22 Bulldogs are UNLV’s third consecutive opponent, and the Scarlet and Gray have lost the previous two games by a combined score of 85-13.
Can the UNLV pull off the stun and take its first victory since 2019? Three keys to watch out for:
Rivers is wild
Fresno State’s offense is fueled by All-Mountain West back Ronnie Rivers, a running / receiving threat that marked the UNLV defense last season (19 carries, 133 yards, three touchdowns, six catches, 99 yards, one touchdown).
UNLV’s run defense has allowed 5.6 yards per attempt this season, 112e in the nation, but it’s the passing game where Rivers can really hurt. Can UNLV’s reconfigured linebacker corps be able to keep Rivers a secret as he sneaks out of the backfield as a wide receiver?
Brumfield is back
UNLV is happy to have a healthy Doug Brumfield under center after missing last week’s game against Iowa State with injury. The offense looked competent with Brumfield, especially the passing game – Brumfield, a sophomore, averaged 6.8 yards per passing attempt, while the team’s other three QBs failed that 3.5 yards per attempt.
The question now is whether Brumfield is capable of completing a match. He only played in relief in the freshman year, and was knocked out in his first career start (at Arizona State) after taking a big blow out of the pocket. Head coach Marcus Arroyo wants Brumfield to play smart, stay straight and stay on the pitch for all four quarters.
Could this be the game that Charles Williams puts UNLV on his back and carries them across the finish line? The sixth-year senior (and Fresno native) has a long history of outstanding performances against FSU, averaging 111.3 yards in four games against his hometown program.
The Chuck Wagon has been quiet since a big Week 1 performance as it has recorded just 77 yards on 32 carries over the past two weeks. UNLV is hoping he explodes in a big way tonight.
Mike Grimala can be reached at 702-948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Mike on Twitter at twitter.com/mikegrimala.