Even though UNLV ended their season with a two-game losing streak after falling to the Air Force Falcons 48-14, senior running back Charles Williams ended his career with one of his best games of the season.
Williams, who was granted an extra year of eligibility due to the coronavirus, is considered a “super senior” being in his sixth year of eligibility. Williams entered UNLV as a freshman in 2016 and has played in 51 games during his time with the Rebels.
Going into the last game of the season against the Air Force Academy, Williams was either at or near the top of many rushing categories for UNLV’s program history.
He finished the game with 16 rushing attempts for 137 yards and two touchdowns. His 8.6 yards per carry was the most in a game this season and his 72-yard rush in the fourth quarter was the second longest run of the season for Williams.
Williams’ 799 career rushing attempts ranks him first all-time at UNLV and third all-time in Mountain West Conference history, trailing only Donnel Pumphrey and Dontrell Moore.
After breaking the UNLV all-time rushing yards record during his game against the New Mexico Lobos a couple of weeks ago, Williams went on to increase his record to 4,196 total rushing yards for his career. He has moved into fourth place on the Mountain West Conference all-time list.
Williams finishes his career at UNLV as the third all-time total touchdowns leader with a combined 35 rushing and receiving touchdowns. This puts him just behind Lexington Thomas (43) and Tim Cornett (38).
Much like the Air Force has done throughout the year, they relied heavily on their rushing attack. The Falcons finished with a season-high of 511 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns.
The Air Force was led by their junior fullback, Emmanuel Michel. Michel finished the day with 12 rushing attempts for 123 yards and one touchdown. He also had a season-long 64-yard run in the third quarter.
This was the first game all season that the Falcons didn’t attempt a single pass on offense. Instead, the offense had 13 different players combine for 69 total rushing attempts.
This was a season-high allowed rushing yards for the Rebels’ defense, who came into the game averaging giving up 141 rushing yards per game.
Quarterback Justin Rogers got the start for UNLV due to Cameron Friel dealing with an injury. Rodgers followed up last week’s 305-yard performance by completing eight of his 18 pass attempts for 127 yards. He was also sacked a career-high five times.
The Rebels will now head into the offseason after failing to qualify for a bowl game for the eighth consecutive season.
Many areas will need to be looked at and adjusted for next season. Head coach Marcus Arroyo will have a lot of changes that need to be made to make UNLV competitive for next year. The first step will be to find someone who can replace the workload that was carried by Williams.
The 2022 season will kick off on Saturday, Sept. 3 when the Rebels host the Idaho State Bengals at Allegiant Stadium. UNLV’s non-conference opponents next year will feature the Bengals, the California Golden Bears, the North Texas Mean Green and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.