LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - Playing at home for the first time in 28 days, the UNLV (2-2) football team evened its overall record by defeating San Jose State for the first time since 1994, 41-13, Saturday night at Sam Boyd Stadium.
The Rebels, who had lost seven straight games to the Spartans through three different conference memberships, opened league play with a win for the third straight year since Tony Sanchez took over the program.
Freshman quarterback Armani Rogers ran for two touchdowns and threw for two more to lead the offensive attack, which scored five first-half touchdowns. Junior Lexington Thomas posted his 10th career 100-yard rushing game with 146 yards and two scores while senior Devonte Boyd added to his school record with his 14th 100-yard receiving game, finishing with 105 yards on five grabs.
UNLV's defense forced three turnovers and cornerback Jericho Flowers led the squad with 11 total tackles to go with his first career interception.
PLAY OF THE GAME:
In the second quarter, Lexington Thomas made a sensational juke move to spring himself free for a 56-yard touchdown sprint and give his team a 21-6 lead. For "Lightning" it marked the third consecutive game with at least one 55-yard rushing touchdown.
STAT OF THE GAME:
Senior quarterback Johnny Stanton saw his first action of the season -- on special teams -- and on just his second play of his collegiate career as a member of a punt return team, the former Nebraska signal-caller blocked a SJSU punt and set his team up for a short touchdown drive.
REBEL OF THE GAME:
Freshman quarterback Armani Rogers not only rushed for his team's first two touchdowns in the first quarter but he completed all seven pass attempts in the first half en route to an efficient night of 11-16 passing for 203 yards and two scores through the air. He also posted 71 net rushing yards.
"Armani (Rogers) is a great kid and has done a great job. I'm really proud of his maturation. For him to come out in that first half and go 7 for 7 (passing) and execute that offense the way he did and run the ball and extend plays was good. Every week he's becoming a better and better football player and that's why we recruited him." -- Head Coach Tony Sanchez
-The 35 points scored in the first half tied for the most by UNLV vs. a Mountain West opponent. The Rebels also scored 35 before halftime vs. Wyoming in 2002 and at New Mexico in 2013
-UNLV safety Chauncey Scissum, who transferred to UNLV as a graduate student this summer, had his team-leading second interception of the season to thwart the Spartans' opening drive of the third quarter
-The 28-point win tied for the second-biggest victory by UNLV over any conference opponent. The Rebels also won by 28 over New Mexico in 2010 and San Diego State in 2001. The program record is a 35-point victory over the Lobos in 2010
-UNLV's previous largest win over SJSU came in 1984 when it won by 15 (30-15)
-UNLV sophomore receiver Brandon Presley scored his first touchdown since 2015 when he took a short pass down the sidelines for a 44-yarder into the end zone. Presley received a medical redshirt in 2016 after suffering an injury in the season opener
-UNLV improved to 13-23 all-time in conference openers and 6-13 in the MW
-The Rebels notched a second win through four games for only the second time in the last eight years and first time since 2013
-Lexington Thomas rushed for his eighth and ninth touchdowns of the season and 19th and 20th of his career, which ties him with quarterback Glenn Carano (1973-76) and running back Michael Morton (1978-81), who both ran for 20 in the Scarlet & Gray.
NEXT FOR THE REBELS:
UNLV is right back at home next Saturday, hosting nationally ranked and undefeated San Diego State. Kickoff is set for 7:45 p.m. PT and the game will be televised by ESPN2. Single-game and mini-plan tickets are available by calling (702) 739-FANS or visiting unlvtickets.com.