Rebels looking to rebound from first loss of the season

By Kirk Kern

So far this season, the UNLV football schedule has played to form, a solid win against a team they should beat at home and a close loss against a team that posed a big challenge on the road.

This week, the Rebels will host a team that probably about the same level in North Texas. The Mean Green are 2-1 on the season, having lost a road game against a team expected to be a notch above them, but winning on the road against a conference foe in their opener and then adding a home win against a lower division squad last week.

UNLV coach Marcus Arroyo during season-opener against Idaho State (UNLV photo)

North Texas opened with 31-13 win at UTEP in a Conference USA game, followed by a 48-10 loss at SMU. Last week, the Mean Green scored a 59-27 win at home against Texas Southern.

“The biggest thing I’m focused on is each week after Sundays is to make sure we go make the right corrections and know what we did well and make sure each player takes coaching well and is mature enough to handle it and go get better,” coach Seth Littrell said after the game last week. “It’s about 1-0 weeks. That’s college football. You can’t look behind and you can’t look ahead, and that’s what we’re trying to accomplish. Hopefully we can do that again next week.”

The Rebels, on the other hand, played a tight game against Cal last week, losing 20-14 with a chance to score a game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

“We were disappointed to not finish that game off,” said UNLV coach Marcus Arroyo. “There was a lot of disappointment in the locker room. It’s good to see. I’m not afraid for our guys to express their disappointment in wanting to win those games.”

Against Cal, starting quarterback Doug Brumfield recovered from a slow start to finish with 206 yards on 18-of-33 passing with one touchdown and one interception. Running back Aiden Robbins had a solid game with 84 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown.

The Rebels fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter and trailed at the half, 17-7. Cal extended the lead to 20-7 early in the third quarter, but the Rebels answered midway through the third on a Robbins 31-yard run to pull within six.

Late in the fourth quarter, the Rebels drove to the Cal 8 yard line, but couldn’t get it into the end zone on four tries.