North Texas Daily

ICYMI: Football falls to Nevada-Las Vegas in tale of two halves

ICYMI: Football falls to Nevada-Las Vegas in tale of two halves

ICYMI: Football falls to Nevada-Las Vegas in tale of two halves
September 19
10:16 2022

A 35-point second half from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas propelled the Rebels to 58-27 victory over football on Saturday.

“The biggest thing was execution today on all three phases,” head coach Seth Littrell said. “When we have critical situations offensively — whether it’s on short yardage or in the red zone — we’ve got to be able to convert and make sure we score touchdowns. Defensively we missed way too many tackles.”

Nevada-Las Vegas (2-1, 0-0 Mountain West Conference) scored on the opening drive of the game with a 23-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Doug Brumfield after converting on fourth and five from midfield. On the following kickoff, junior defensive back Kaylon Horton returned the ball 100 yards for a North Texas (2-2, 1-0 C-USA) touchdown to immediately tie the game. 

Special teams continued to play a role when Nevada-Las Vegas blocked a North Texas punt deep in Mean Green territory for a safety, putting the Rebels ahead 9-7. The Mean Green pulled ahead by one after a 31-yard field goal by senior kicker Ethan Mooney.

Nevada-Las Vegas countered with a two-yard rushing touchdown from junior running back Aiden Robbins. The University of Louisville transfer had a career game, rushing for 227 yards and three touchdowns. Robbins appeared in four games for the Cardinals over his three years there, his best game was against Duke last season when he rushed for 41 yards and one touchdown.

North Texas turned the ball over on downs on its next drive, giving the Rebels the ball on the Mean Green 34-yard line. The first play of the Rebels drive was a 34-yard touchdown run from Robbins, putting Nevada-Las Vegas ahead 23-10. North Texas converted one of four fourth downs and three of 11 third downs in the contest. 

“I felt good about our [play] calls,” Litrell said. “Shame on me I shouldn’t have done it. At the end of the day we’ve got to coach better and we’ve got to execute better. We didn’t do either one of those well today.”

North Texas scored 10 unanswered to end the first half. Senior quarterback Austin Aune threw a seven-yard completion to sophomore running back Oscar Adaway III, who led the team’s rushers with 74 yards. A 20-yard field goal from Mooney cut the Rebels’ lead to 23-20 at halftime. Aune finished the game with 305 passing yards for two touchdowns.  

Both teams scored early in the third quarter. Brumfield scored on a 29-yard rush on the first drive of the second half, which the Mean Green followed with a 54-yard touchdown pass from Aune to redshirt freshman halfback Var’Keyes Gumms with 11:09 left. 

Nevada-Las Vegas pulled ahead in the fourth quarter, scoring 21 points while holding the Mean Green offense scoreless. The Rebels utilized run-pass option plays in the second half, allowing Brumfield to use his legs more.

Brumfield rushed for 100 yards and two touchdowns in addition to throwing for 211 yards for two touchdowns. The combination of Brumfield and Robbins would account for 546 of Nevada-Las Vegas’ 576 total yards.

The Rebels offense scored the most points against a North Texas defense since the 2020 Myrtle Beach Bowl. Appalachian State University scored 56 points in the form of eight touchdowns against the Mean Green.

The Mean Green play the University of Memphis in their next matchup as North Texas tries to get back above the .500 mark. 

Image Source: Mean Green Sports

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James Carroll

James Carroll

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