No. 17 Fresno State beats UNLV 38-14

All that momentum UNLV built with a strong finish to the first
half was squandered quickly in the third quarter.

Derek Carr threw his fourth touchdown pass of the game to
Davante Adams after UNLV wasted a prime scoring chance on the
opening possession of the second half and No. 17 Fresno State
rolled to a 38-14 victory on Saturday night.

”We had great field position the entire second half and didn’t
capitalize,” UNLV coach Bobby Hauck said. ”That just killed us.
Their defense did a good job. I didn’t think their defense would be
able to handle us like that but they did. They played hard and got
us.”

The Rebels (4-3, 2-1 Mountain West) ran the opening kick of the
second half back to the Bulldogs 45 but failed to get a first down
on that drive. Carr responded with an 11-play, 84-yard drive capped
by the 37-yard TD pass to Adams that gave the Bulldogs (6-0, 3-0) a
35-14 lead.

UNLV failed to score in the second half and was held to 89 total
yards over the final 30 minutes.

”We felt like we had a little bit of momentum after our second
score going into the half,” quarterback Caleb Herring said. ”We
were pretty optimistic. We just didn’t come out and put points on
the board.”

Carr and Adams set the tone with a 75-yard touchdown on the
opening play of the game to the delight of a crowd that included a
few hundred former players on hand for a pregame celebration. The
Bulldogs equaled their start in 2001 when Carr’s older brother,
David, led the team to six straight victories to open the
season.

That streak ended 12 years to the day before this game in an
upset loss to Boise State. Carr and Adams made sure there would be
no similar disappointment this year and have the Bulldogs in their
best position since then to get that long-awaited BCS berth. The
first BCS standings will be released Sunday.

Carr completed 33 of 46 passes for 412 yards, breaking Paul
Pinegar’s career school records for completions and touchdowns with
849 and 85, respectively. He joined Pinegar and Kevin Sweeney as
the only Fresno State quarterbacks with 10,000 career yards
passing.

”When the best quarterback to ever play here is your big
brother and you can have both your names in a book someday that
says you have records together, it means a tremendous deal to me,”
Carr said. ”Not only is he my big brother and the best quarterback
to ever play here, he’s my role model. I want to be just like
him.”

Adams, who had eight catches for 221 yards, tied the school
record held by Charlie Jones (1995) and Jim Molich (1942) for
touchdown catches in a game. He tied the career mark of 25
touchdown catches held by Jones, Bernard Berrian and Henry Ellard
with half of his sophomore season remaining.

”He’s got a lot of natural ability,” coach Tim DeRuyter said.
”He’s a very good player, he works very hard. Tonight they tried
to play some man coverage against him, and when they did he was a
handful one on one. Derek finds him and Davante makes plays. It’s a
nice combination.”

Herring threw one TD pass and Tim Cornett ran for 49 yards to
break Mike Thomas’ career school rushing record with 3,158 yards
before leaving with a lower-body injury. But UNLV had its four-game
winning streak snapped. The Rebels haven’t won five straight since
a seven-game streak in 1984 when Randall Cunningham was the
quarterback.

Fresno State scored touchdowns on the first four drives of the
game starting with the deep pass from Carr to Adams just 9 seconds
into the game.

After converting a fourth down on the second drive, Carr
connected with Adams again from 27 yards out for another score and
Josh Quezada’s 2-yard TD run on a rare play when Carr took the snap
from under center gave the Bulldogs a 21-0 lead early in the second
quarter.

”It’s what he does every week,” Hauck said of Carr. ”He’s
good. We had no allusions about who they were on offense. They made
their plays.”

But UNLV fought back, taking advantage of some questionable
decisions by Fresno State to make it 28-14 at halftime. Shaquille
Murray-Lawrence scored on a 77-yard burst up the middle for the
Rebels’ first score. Herring threw a 13-yard TD pass to Marcus
Sullivan late in the half after Fresno State receiver Isaiah Burse
threw an interception after taking a lateral from Carr.

The Bulldogs missed a chance to add to their lead late in the
half when Carr threw an incompletion from the 12-yard line as time
ran out when DeRuyter passed on a chance at a short field goal with
6 seconds remaining.