Mike Dixon

CARSON, CA (UNLVRebels.com) – UNLV football finally opened its 2020 season Saturday night and fell 34-6 to San Diego State in a game staged in front of no fans at Dignity Health Sports Park 110 miles north of the Aztecs’ campus.

The Rebels, playing for the first time under new head coach Marcus Arroyo, used three quarterbacks in the first half but saw the hosts jump to a 27-0 lead at the break. UNLV did not waste time getting on the scoreboard in the second half, however, taking the kickoff and driving 81 yards in 13 plays, capped by Max Gilliam’s four-yard touchdown pass to Steve Jenkins for the visitors’ only points of the evening.


After SDSU won the first down battle 17-1 in the first half, UNLV controlled the ball in the second half and posted 10 first downs to just four for the Aztecs.


“The guys are obviously upset but we played a really, really good football team tonight. Hats off to coach (Brady) Hoke. (With not much time to prepare) we finally got to see some speed and live tackling and it took some time for us to adjust. We calmed down in the second half and did things we were practicing. We’ll do better at that moving forward.”

-UNLV Head Coach Marcus Arroyo


-UNLV wore white helmets in a game for the first time in its 53-year football history. The program started the season as one of just 11 in the FBS to have not done so.

-The Rebels fell to 24-29 all-time in season openers and 6-20 when the happen away from Las Vegas

-Senior quarterback Max Gilliam saw the field for the first time since 2018 by making his eighth career start. He finished 13 of 21 for 105 yards and was sacked four times

-Sophomore QB Kenyon Oblad and sophomore TCU transfer signal-caller Justin Rogers also played in the first half before Gilliam returned. Both completed half of their four pass attempts

-Safety Tre Caine, who sat out after transferring to UNLV from Colgate last year, made his first career start on defense and tied for the team lead with nine total tackles

-Another transfer from TCU, Las Vegas native Adam Plant Jr., made his presence felt on his first series as a Rebel, recording his first collegiate sack

-All-time UNLV head coaches fell to 5-7 in their debut games

-UNLV got its first turnover of the season by recovering a muffed punt by SDSU in the first quarter


UNLV opens its home schedule with a historic first appearance inside its new home at Allegiant Stadium next Saturday. The Rebels host UNR for the annual Battle for the Fremont Cannon starting at 7:30 p.m. PT in a game that will be shown nationally by FS1.