Video Credit: Mountain West Conference

New FSM Essential Recap: UNLV vs Air Force – Week 13

Franchise Sports Media

UNLV Rebels (2-10)  |  Air Force Falcons (9-3)


The UNLV Rebels traveled to Colorado for their final regular-season game of 2021 and fell to the Air Force Falcons 48-14.


UNLV vs Air Force
Photo Credit: David Zalubowski-AP

Air Force earned the first possession of the game and took advantage early. Kick returner Nohl Williams ran the ball down to the UNLV 14-yard line, giving the Falcons excellent field position right off the bat. The Falcons entered the game with a bold strategy on offense: no quarterback, strictly running plays to pick apart the UNLV defense. Three runs by Brian Roberts resulted in the game’s first score to put Air Force up 7-0 just 1:17 into the game.

UNLV’s first possession started from their own 25 as a result of a touchback. Justin Rogers got the start at quarterback for this game. After being held to what appeared to be a three-and-out, Air Force committed a penalty on the punt for illegal substitution, resulting in a fresh set of downs for the Rebels. Two plays later, a pass interference penalty by Air Force moved the chains to the UNLV 47.

Charles Williams picked up a first down on 2nd and seven from midfield after a 12-yard run got the Rebels into Air Force territory. After an incomplete pass from Rogers on 1st and 10, Jordan Jackson strip-sacked Rogers, forcing a fumble that Alec Mock recovered, giving the Falcons the ball from the UNLV 46. After having possession for 4:19, Roberts rushed for his second touchdown to put the Falcons up 14-0. UNLV regained control with 4:54 remaining in the quarter.

The Rebels began marching down the field as Rogers completed a pass on 3rd and 8 to Giovanni Fauolo Sr. for a fresh set of downs. The two connected again from their own 49 for a 12-yard gain for another third-down conversion. The quarter ended with a 28-yard completion to Killinahe Mendiola-Jensen to set up the second quarter from the Air Force 14.

The red zone defense stepped up for the Falcons, as the Rebels gained no more than three yards before losing seven yards on a sack by Camby Goff. UNLV decided to go for it on 4th and seven after getting those lost yards back on 3rd and 14. Unfortunately, the gamble did not pay off, and the Rebels turned the ball over on downs, their second turnover in as many possessions.

The Falcons took over from their own 18, and the run game continued to play a powerful force as they gained three straight first downs to the UNLV 38. Emmanuel Michel kept the drive alive with a six-yard run on 3rd and 5 for a first down. The Rebels defense stepped up with three stops totaling three yards of offense from the Falcons, limiting them to a field goal by Matthew Dapore to make it a 17-0 ballgame.

As the half drew towards its end, the teams traded punts until the Falcons gained possession with 54 seconds left in the second quarter. Their drive lasted only one play as Brandon Lewis broke loose and ran 41 yards to the house to extend the lead to 24-0 after a Dapore extra point. The Rebels only got two plays off, both being rushes by Williams before the timer hit zero to end the half.


UNLV went into the locker room, trailing 24-0 to Air Force.


UNLV vs Air Force
Photo Credit: David Zalubowski-AP

Air Force started the third quarter with possession at their own 25, picking up where they left off. Roberts ran a 2nd and one play for 24 yards into UNLV territory for a first down from the Rebels 32. Ben Jefferson converted a 3rd and six from the 28 with a 12-yard run to the 16. The run led to another touchdown, a 12-yard run on 2nd and six from Zachary Larrier.

UNLV could not answer once again as they were forced into a three-and-out and punted the ball with the score now sitting at 31-0. The defense struggled yet again as Michel broke free for a 64-yard dash to the UNLV 4. Two plays later, Michel punched in a two-yard touchdown to make the score 38-0 after an extra point from Tevye Schuettpelz-Rohl.

Williams began the next Rebels possession with a four-yard run to their own 29, but a personal foul penalty by Air Force gave the Rebels a first down from their own 44. The offense finally got going as Rogers connected with Zyell Griffin for 55 yards to reach the Air Force 1-yard line for a first down. Wiliams punched it in on the next play to finally put UNLV on the board as they still trailed 38-7.

Air Force ran the ball for over 500 yards without throwing or attempting a single pass. In his final two rushes as a UNLV Rebel, Williams took off the right side of the line for 79 yards and then dove into the end zone for his final carry and touchdown. One of the greatest Rebels finished the game with 137 yards rushing and two touchdowns to cap off an outstanding career.


The final score of the game was Air Force 48 and UNLV 14. The Rebels finish 2-9 and will now focus on recruiting and talent accusation.

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Matt Dobbs – Franchise Sports Media

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