UNLV vs. Utah State Game Notes

Aug. 30, 2008

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UNLV vs. Utah State Game Notes Aug. 30, 2008 at Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas

-UNLV head coach Mike Sanford improved to 3-1 in season-openers with the 27-17 victory over Utah State.

-The Rebels have won three consecutive season-opening games for the first time since 1983-85.

-UNLV improved to 21-20 all-time in lid-lifters, including 16-6 when they came at home.

-The Rebels improved to 10-7 vs. WAC teams since leaving the conference after the 1998 season.

-UNLV snapped a five-game losing streak to USU in Las Vegas, downing the Aggies at Sam Boyd Stadium for the first time since 1987.

-The Rebels have won two straight over USU but still trail the all-time series 12-7.

-UNLV opened the season vs. the same opponent in back-to-back years for the first time since facing Montana in both 1976 and '77.

-UNLV's Omar Clayton started the game at quarterback, which meant the program has now started a different quarterback in five straight season openers.

-Playing their first game for the Rebels were: CB Will Chandler, QB Mike Clausen, WR Phillip Payne, WR Michael Johnson, LB Nate Carter, RB C.J. Cox, RB Imari Thompson, S Chris Jones, DB Deante Purvis, S Beau Orth and LB Bryce Saldi.

-UNLV senior WR Casey Flair's first-quarter catch meant that he has had at least one reception in 36 straight games, or every game of his career. That mark is second in the nation.



-Former running back turned DB Lorenzo Bursey hauled in his first career interception in the second quarter to thwart an Aggie drive. UNLV won the turnover battle on the night 2-0, marking the first time that the Rebels had zero turnovers since Idaho State on Sept. 2, 2006 - a span of 24 games.

-Sophomore quarterback Omar Clayton threw a career-high three touchdown passes. He joins Travis Dixon (3 vs. SDSU in 2007) as the only Rebel QBs to throw at least three scoring passes in a game in the last 19 outings.

-Junior Ryan Wolfe turned in his sixth career 100-yard receiving game with 103 yards, which moved him into a three-way tie for eighth place at UNLV in that category.

-Senior Casey Flair's four catches moved him from seventh all the way into fifth place by himself on the UNLV career list with 157. His 53 yards moved him into ninth place for all-time receiving yardage with 1,873.

-Freshman Phillip Payne, a graduate of Las Vegas' Western High School, made his debut a good one as he caught four passes for 52 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown grab on a fade pattern.

-The Rebels continue to have two punters battle for the starting job. QB/P Dack Ishii kicked three times for a 37.7-yard average and JC transfer Brendon Lamers booted three for a 37.3 mark.

-UNLV also employs a pair of place-kickers. Kyle Watson hit a 20-yard field goal and was good on all three extra-point attempts on the night while long-range specialist Ben Jaekle blasted a 42-yarder and kicked off all six times.

-Junior LB Starr Fuimaono turned in a career-best 14 total tackles while sophomore LB Ronnie Paulo was credited with 12. Junior safety Daryl Forte also posted nine takedowns.

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