UNLV football:

Blog: Rebels’ comeback bid falls short in 34-24 loss to San Jose State

The Spartans ran all over the Rebels and made enough key plays down the stretch to get out with a victory

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

San Jose State running back Jarrod Lawson gets by the UNLV defense for a touchdown Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 at Sam Boyd Stadium.

Updated Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 | 4:22 p.m.

UNLV vs. San Jose State: Nov. 2, 2013

UNLV quarterback Caleb Herring is sacked by San Jose State linebacker Sean Bacon Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 at Sam Boyd Stadium. Launch slideshow »

UNLV made it a game in the second half but there was too much work to do to complete the comeback as the Rebels fell to San Jose State 34-24 today at Sam Boyd Stadium.

The Rebels trailed 24-3 at halftime and then controlled the entire third quarter to make it a game. However, San Jose State had a good cushion plus it made enough key plays down the stretch to hold on for the victory. UNLV drops to 5-4 overall and 3-2 in league play. The Rebels' next chance to become bowl eligible is next weekend at home against Utah State.

The Spartans offense was rolling for most of the entire game, but it wasn't the way they normally play. Quarterback David Fales was pedestrian with 15-of-30 passing and two interceptions, but the team ran for 312 yards.

On the opposite side, UNLV couldn't get its running game going at all. Caleb Herring finished with the most yards (55) while Tim Cornett averaged only two yards per carry.

Check lasvegassun.com later tonight for a full report from today's game.

 

It’s November, and many fans today will turn to UNLV football to pick them up after the basketball team’s exhibition loss Friday night. Everything is backward in Las Vegas right now, which makes it seem almost appropriate for the Rebels to end the day bowl eligible.

That’s what will happen if the Rebels (5-3, 3-1) pull off the home upset against San Jose State (4-3, 3-1) at Sam Boyd Stadium. The game kicks off at 1 p.m. and will stream online via the Mountain West Network and Campus Insiders.

The Spartans are at least minus-4 at most local sports books. They’ve piled up more than 600 yards in each of their past two games, and they come in on a three-game winning streak after erasing a 16-point deficit in a win last week against Wyoming.

UNLV’s offense can probably go shot for shot for a while, but if SJSU quarterback David Fales gets on a roll, the Rebels could be in trouble. Fales is averaging nearly 400 passing yards over the past five games.

One of UNLV’s recent strengths has been really good second-half performances, particularly from the defense. If the game is still close at halftime, let’s say 10 points or less, then the Rebels will likely feel very confident about their abilities to make corrections.

The danger is that Fales catches fire in the first half and creates a large gap. However, even its recent victories, San Jose State has had to come from behind at some point in the game, so it would take a unique start for that to happen.

If this game plays out like it does on paper, we’re in for a shootout. Although UNLV is far more balanced, both offenses put up some big numbers and both defenses occasionally leak like a sinking ship. Whichever side stays afloat the longest will have the upper hand.

Bern’s prediction: It would be exciting to see UNLV clinch bowl eligibility at home, but I still think the Rebels’ best chance to hit that benchmark comes in three weeks at Air Force. The Rebels certainly could win today, but I’m expecting an emotional letdown after last week’s victory. San Jose State 40, UNLV 30

Season: ATS 5-3, O/U 5-2-1

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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