New FSM Essential Recap: UNLV vs Air Force – Week 8

Franchise Sports Media

UNLV Rebels (4-3)  |  Air Force Falcons (5-2)


UNLV suffers back-to-back blowout losses as Air Force flies through Vegas, picking up a 42-7 win.


UNLV vs Air Force
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

The first half of this game was much like the previous two weeks, with UNLV spotting far too many points in the first half. Seventeen points were given up to New Mexico, and 23 were given to San Jose State. This outing proved no different.

The Rebels would find themselves in some hot water right out of the gate in this match-up. Cameron Friel, in replacement for starter Doug Brumfield, fumbled the ball on a designed run play inside the Air Force 10-yard line. This would then result in a massive 60-yard touchdown run from John Lee Eldridge to jump the Falcons ahead to a 7-0 lead. 

On the ensuing kick-off, Courtney Reese fumbled, and Air Force would recover inside the red zone. The turnover would lead to another rushing touchdown, this time from Mountain West-leading rusher Brad Roberts. 

After the second UNLV drive stalled out and resulted in a punt, the Falcons controlled the ground game on a productive 11-play, 64-yard touchdown drive that saw Roberts score his second of the game. 

On the ensuing drive, in urgent need of a response, Friel would fumble again. It was his third fumble in two games and would ultimately set up the third Roberts touchdown in the first half. 

Up 28-0, Air Force would allow their first points of the game a minute before halftime when Friel connected with Ricky White for a 31-yard touchdown pass. UNLV would trail 28-7 into halftime. 


UNLV was unable to catch up 


UNLV vs Air Force
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

Air Force would open up the second half with another steady 11-play, 75-yard drive that ended up being Roberts’s fourth touchdown. UNLV would attempt to get some production from Friel; instead, he would commit his third turnover of the game with an interception. 

Air Force was unmerciful in this game. As the Falcons rushing attack kept them in multiple fourth-and-short yardage, they decided to consistently keep their offense on the field since UNLV struggled so mightily to stop the rush. Michel Emmanuel would get involved in the scoring action as his one-yard score moved the lead to 42-7. 

Air Force had totaled 406 rushing yards and only threw the ball three times. Mountain West-leading rusher Brad Roberts was dominant in his 144-yard four-touchdown performance.

Harrison Bailey would come in to finish this game for UNLV, yet barely saw the field as Air Force worked maintenance of the clock and rested their efforts on an already lopsided victory. 


UNLV’s red-hot start has hit a wall. 


UNLV vs Air Force
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

In another blowout loss, UNLV’s 4-1 record has now turned into a 4-3 record as the season gears up for the final stretch of games. The Mountain West is not totally out of reach for the Rebels, yet they have now suffered drastic losses to two of the higher end of the conference competition.

It is safe to say after this performance, the Rebels are hurting without Doug Brumfield. Brumfield’s health will be day-to-day, and the Rebels will be counting down the days to get him back under center on Saturdays.

These losses hurt the Rebels and have stalled on what was a historic start, but with five games remaining, UNLV will look to bounce back and relight the fire that they had to start the season.


UNLV travels to South Bend for a first-ever meeting with the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame next Saturday.

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Brandon Steele – Franchise Sports Media

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