The UNLV Rebels dropped their opening game on Thursday to the Eastern Washington Eagles, 35-33 in overtime.
Thursday’s game was the season opener for the Rebels. After having a very subpar 2020 season, UNLV was looking to bounce back and get their first win since the 2019 season.
Marcus Arroyo, entering his second season as head coach of UNLV, went 0-6 in his inaugural season with the Rebels. He was looking to make a statement win when the team hosted the Eagles.
Going into the game, there was a lot of uncertainty regarding who would be leading the way at the quarterback position. Arroyo decided to go with a two-QB system for the game.
Justin Rogers, a junior who transferred last year from TCU, got the start for game one of the season. He played the whole first half and the first two drives of the third quarter. In his time on the field, Rogers went 7 for 11 for just 23 yards.
Both teams got off to very slow starts as they were each held scoreless in the first quarter and combined for just nine points at halftime. After two quarters, the Rebels led the Eagles 6-3.
In the second half, the Rebels were led by senior standout running back, Charles “Chuck” Williams. Williams had 172 rushing yards on 27 attempts in the game, while also catching one pass for nine yards. He finished with 181 total yards and two touchdowns.
UNLV fell behind during the third quarter as the Eagles took a 20-6 lead going into the fourth. Eric Barriere, a senior QB for EWU, had a game high 374 passing yards to go along with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He also added 32 yards on the ground.
The Rebels began to find their mojo near the end of the third quarter after making a switch at QB in hopes of gaining some sort of momentum to attempt a comeback.
Doug Brumfield, a sophomore QB from California, led the comeback with the help of Williams. Brumfield threw for 117 yards, while also rushing for another 27 yards, during the fourth quarter and the two overtimes.
UNLV owned the fourth quarter by outscoring the Eagles 14-0 and helped send the game to overtime after the Eagles’ kicker missed a game-winning 32-yard field goal as time expired.
The game would go to double overtime after both teams successfully scored touchdowns in the first overtime. With the new rules put in place this year by the NCAA, teams must go for a 2-point conversion in the second overtime. EWU was successful on their 2-point conversion attempt, but UNLV came up just short, giving the win to the Eagles.
UNLV plays their next game this weekend, Saturday, Sept. 11, when they travel to Tempe, Arizona to take on the Arizona State Sun Devils. That kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.