COLUMBUS, Ohio (UNLVRebels.com) – The UNLV (1-2) football team made its first trip to Ohio State (3-1) and was handed a 54-21 loss by the No. 10/9 Buckeyes Saturday.
Playing in unseasonably hot and humid weather at historic Ohio Stadium, the Rebels made only their third trip to the Buckeye State and first since playing at Toledo in 2002. The crowd of 106,187 was the fourth-largest in UNLV history.
OSU, which had six touchdown passes caught by six different players in the first half alone, built a 30-0 lead just two minutes into the second quarter thanks in part to converting two fourth-and-goal situations into scores through the air. The Rebels, who won the turnover battle 3-2, scored on two rushing touchdowns and a pick six. UNLV outscored the Buckeyes 14-10 after intermission.
PLAY OF THE GAME:
Sophomore defender Javin White jumped in front of an OSU pass attempt in the fourth quarter and returned it 65 yards for UNLV’s first defensive touchdown of the season.
STAT OF THE GAME:
After only allowing 11 sacks in the previous 14 games, UNLV allowed three in the first half alone (and four on the day) against the powerhouse Buckeye defensive front.
REBEL OF THE GAME:
UNLV’s offensive scoring came courtesy of junior RB Lexington Thomas, who twice found the end zone. He got his team on the board with a two-yard rushing score in the second quarter and then sprinted for a 55-yarder in the third. It marked the junior’s sixth and seventh rushing touchdowns of the season and the 17th and 18th of his career, which put him into a tie for seventh in school history.
“Proud of my guys. I tell you what, they never stopped fighting. They hung in there and kept playing hard against a high-caliber football team. You make a mistake against a team like Ohio State and they are going to make you pay and they did that a lot of that early on … Saw a lot of growth today and it’s time to rally the troops and get ready for conference play next week.” — Head Coach Tony Sanchez
-Rebel receiver Kendal Keys caught three passes for 20 yard in the opening minutes of the game but was then knocked out of action with an injury
-UNLV senior Devonte Boyd’s three receptions moved him past Phillip Payne (171 from 2008-11) into sixth place on the school’s career list with 173. Earvin Johnson sits at No. 5 on the list with 183 grabs from 2001-04
-UNLV’s defense forced three OSU turnovers, including the first two fumble recoveries of the season. Chauncey Scissum knocked the ball loose and Mark Finau recovered in the shadow of the Rebel goal line and then Javin White forced a Buckeye runner to cough it up on the one-yard line and Jericho Flowersrecovered
-The Buckeyes were the fifth team to play UNLV when they were members of the Big Ten Conference at the time of the game
-UNLV fell to 1-9 all-time vs. top-10 teams
NEXT FOR THE REBELS:
UNLV heads returns home for the first time in 28 days when it hosts San Jose State September 30. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. PT and the game will be televised by ESPNU.