Video Credit: Mountain West Conference

FSM Essential Recap – UNLV Rebels vs New Mexico Lobos – Week 11 – 2023


Led by Ricky White III, UNLV secured a winning season since 2013 with a resounding bounce-back win over the New Mexico Lobos 56-14.

The UNLV Rebels took on the New Mexico Lobos on Saturday!

UNLV vs New Mexico | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Lucas Peltier/UNLV Athletics

Saturday afternoon, UNLV dominated New Mexico with a 56-14 win. By doing so, they kept pace in the Mountain West Conference title race, just one game behind the Mountain West Conference leader, Air Force.

It was an impressive day for UNLV quarterback Jayden Maiava, who showcased his throwing skills with three touchdown passes while running back Vincent Davis Jr. left his mark on the game with two rushing touchdowns.

UNLV, who is now boasting a record of 7-2 with a conference record of 4-1, bounced back from their previous setback, a narrow 31-24 loss to Fresno State that ended their five-game winning streak last week. The win also secured UNLV their first winning season since 2013, which was also the last time they went to a Bowl game.

Once again, UNLV used a balanced attack on offense. UNLV’s five rushing touchdowns came from four different players: Vincent Davis Jr. (two), Courtney Reese, Donavyn Lester, and QB Cameron Friel. But Ricky White III once again showed why he is one of the best wide receivers in the nation. White III made eye-popping catches and opened with a TD on the Rebels‘ first play from Maiava.

UNLV beat New Mexico on Saturday

UNLV dominated the Lobos from the start with a performance that showed why the Rebels are not satisfied with just going to a Bowl but competing for a Mountain West Conference title.

UNLV Rebels vs New Mexico Lobos was a blowout from the start of the game on Saturday.

UNLV vs New Mexico | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Lucas Peltier/UNLV Athletics

From the very beginning of the game, UNLV asserted its dominance, surging to a 14-0 lead in the early moments of the first quarter. This strong start set the tone for a remarkable performance that would leave fans in awe.

Ricky White III had another standout performance with 165 receiving yards and two touchdowns, while Maiava threw for 247 yards and three touchdowns. The UNLV offense was on fire, finding the end zone on eight consecutive offensive possessions.

However, it wasn’t just the offense that shone brightly for the Rebels. In the second quarter, the defense made its presence felt when Jalen Dixon stripped a New Mexico running back, allowing Jett Elad to recover the fumble and return it an impressive 62 yards down to the Lobo 5-yard line, setting up yet another UNLV touchdown.

Special teams also contributed to the memorable performance, with Jacob De Jesus standing out as he returned two punts for a total of 112 yards. UNLV continued to add to its lead, notching a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter, leaving the visitors with a commanding 49-7 lead with just 15 minutes remaining.

The day proved challenging for New Mexico in all three phases, particularly when Maiava connected with  White III. White III consistently found space behind the defense, showcasing his speed and skill with a spectacular 58-yard touchdown reception midway through the third quarter.

With the clock ticking down in Albuquerque, it was evident that UNLV, with a 7-2 record for the season, was well on its way to another resounding victory, and the Rebels celebrated. For the first time since 2013, UNLV was going to end the season with a winning record and are still in the mix to play for the Mountain West Conference championship.

Receiver Ricky White III led UNLV against New Mexico on Saturday.

UNLV outplayed Fresno State across the board, but the Rebels couldn’t overcome a slow start to the second half.

UNLV took on New Mexico at University Stadium on Saturday

UNLV vs New Mexico | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Lucas Peltier/UNLV Athletics

The dominant performance was precisely what UNLV needed to bounce back from last week’s tough loss against Fresno State. UNLV head coach Barry Odom had emphasized the importance of eliminating mistakes, particularly in the special teams department, following the previous game.

Despite an error in the Fresno State game by Jacob De Jesus, Odom expressed his trust in the talented punt returner, emphasizing that De Jesus had made countless intelligent decisions in the past. Odom acknowledged that the team couldn’t afford repeated miscues but remained confident in their ability to learn and improve.

Red-zone punt, for the returner, that’s a difficult spot,” Odom said. “He’s got to make a split-second decision: Do we make it, [or] do we let it bounce, and then we’re pinned inside the 10-yard line? Jacob has made a million great decisions since he’s been here. That was a bad decision. He’ll learn from it.

But just like he usually does after a game, UNLV head coach  Barry Odom is already onto the next one. This time, it’s Wyoming next Friday night at Allegiant Stadium.

I was excited about what our team did — starting fast — because we knew that was going to be important in getting this game, and we wanted to control it early. We talked about being on the road and bouncing back from last week in an environment that we don’t have any control over other than how we go out and play one snap at a time,” Odom said.

I thought our kids obviously had a terrific start on offense, and the defense complemented that side of the ball. The return game was huge, and on special teams, we knew we had an advantage there, and we wanted to take control of it in the return game. We played good team football, and now the race is on because we’ve got (a game) on Friday night (vs. Wyoming).”

The final score from Albuquerque was 56-14, UNLV over New Mexico.

UNLV will now take on the Wyoming Cowboys on Friday Night at Allegiant Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:45 p.m.


– Joe Arrigo – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Joe on all social media: @JoeArrigoFSM

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