Recap: UNLV vs SJSU in Sam Boyd Farewell


The Rebels final game at Sam Boyd Stadium was a tale of two halves. Over 200 former Rebel football players were in attendance, and the Rebels came in with a little added juice. There record stood at 2-8 overall, including being 0-6 in the Mountain West. San Jose State came in at 4-6, including a 1-5 record in the Mountain West and needed to win their last two games to become bowl eligible.

It was UNLV who jumped out to an early 7-0 lead after San Jose State missed a 43-yard field goal. The Rebels took the ball and Charles Williams would scamper down the field for a 51-yard run, followed by a 12-yard touchdown run a couple of plays later. Just as with the first drive, the Spartans drove deep into Rebel territory and scored on a DeJon Parker rushing touchdown. Besides missing the field goal earlier, the poor kicking for SJSU would continue as they would miss the extra point allowing the Rebels to cling to a one-point advantage. The score was 7-6 after the first quarter.

Nicknamed “the Chuck Wagon” by local Las Vegas CBS sports reporter Jon Tritsch, Williams would become the 9th Rebel in school history break the 1,000 rushing yard mark in a season. Williams ended his night having 27 carries for 186 yards to go along with three touchdowns, a career-high. On the season, Williams currently ranks 23rd in the NCAA in rushing and leads the  Mountain West Conference in  with 1,119 rushing yards to go along with ten touchdowns.

The Rebels added two touchdown passes from quarterback Kenyon Oblad, one going to tight end Shelton Zeon III, which was also his first career catch, and the other to the Rebels leading receiver Randal Grimes. Grimes ended his night with six receptions for 130 yards and one touchdown. Oblad finished 15-24 for 136 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception; he added 23 yards on the ground as well. The score going into halftime was 21-6.

The second half was chapter two of the tale that was the final game at Sam Boyd Stadium. The Rebels gave up 22 points in the third while scoring only three themselves. Spartan quarterback Josh Love threw for two touchdowns in this quarter, and Jack Snyder ran one in for his only touch of the game.

There were multiple heroes in the fourth quarter for the Rebels. Grimes had a clutch diving catch while being blanketed by a defender that put UNLV inside the 10-yard line. It also set up Charles Williams for the go-a-head touchdown run, his second of the quarter. This was the last UNLV touchdown in Sam Boyd history.

The Rebels defense also came up clutch. Senior captain Javin White broke up a second down pass with a diving effort, and on the next play senior cornerback, Jericho Flowers, who also had an interception earlier in the game, made a big tackle to force the Spartans to punt.

On the final San Jose St. possession, where they were inside the Rebels 5-yard line, UNLV defensive lineman Kolo Usaike intercepted a tipped pass from Spartan’s quarterback Josh Love on third-and-goal, which ended any hopes of a Spartans comeback.

The Rebels defense balled out with another multi-turnover game, having caused five total turnovers in this one. This gave them eight in the last two games. Besides Flowers interception, defensive tackle Jalen Graves and Javin White each had an interception as well. San Jose’s quarterback, Love, came into the game throwing only four interceptions on the year. Flowers also had a fumble recovery to go along with his interception.

This game was a fitting end to the Rebels 49-year history at Sam Boyd Stadium. It gave UNLV their first conference victory of the season, but more importantly, sent Sam Boyd Stadium out a winner in it’s 299th and final UNLV football game.




unlv vs sjsu     unlv vs sjsu

unlv vs sjsu     unlv vs sjsu

Runnin' Rebels vs SMU Photos

Photography by Terrance Quaites and Trisha LaCoste