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UNLV Outlasts Lobos 31-20 in Vegas

by Frank Mercogliano

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — UNLV scored 24 unanswered points after UNM zipped out to a 17-0 lead in the second quarter to take a 31-20 win at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.  The Rebels moved to 4-1 on the season and 1-0 in the Mountain West’s West Division while UNM fell to 2-3 and 0-2 overall in the Mountain Division.  The Lobos now return home to face the Wyoming Cowboys on Saturday, October 8 at 5 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.

The Rebels took the lead in the opening moments of the fourth quarter when Aidan Robbins barreled in from three yards out to culminate an 80-yard drive that was benefited by a pair of UNM personal fouls.  That touchdown drive came on the heels of a golden opportunity for UNM to take the lead again after having a 17-0 lead fall into a 17-17 tie, but George Steinkamp pulled a 38-yard field goal attempt wide left with 1:50 left in the third quarter.  That was the end of a 64-yard, 10-play drive that saw UNM eat up 5:05 of the clock.

UNM got three points back when George Steinkamp hit his second field goal of the game, this from 36 yards out to cut the Rebel lead to 24-20 with 12:43 to go in the game.  UNM had three chances to try and take the lead in the fourth quarter, but UNM went 3-and-out twice, and Miles Kendrick threw a pick-six interception by Cameron Oliver that was returned 21 yards for a clinching touchdown with just 28 seconds left.

The Lobos bolted out to a 14-0 lead on the strength of a long opening drive and a short field, both punctuated by Miles Kendrick touchdown runs.  On the first drive of the game, UNM went 71 yards on nine plays with Kendrick scoring from eight yards out on a third-and-six play.  After a UNM punt, UNM got the ball back when Ronald Wilson stripped Nick Williams on the very next play.  The ball fell into the waiting arms of Jerrick Reed, who return it all the way to the UNLV 33-yard line.

From there, UNM punched it in again with Kendrick again scoring from eight yards out to make it 14-0.

From there, the second quarter was filled out field goals.  George Steinkamp hit from 33 yards out to make it 17-0 before UNLV’s Daniel Gutierrez hit from 41, 51 and 47 yards to make it 17-9 at the break.

UNM got a stop to open the second half, and Luke Wysong returned the ensuing punt 72 yards for a touchdown, but a holding penalty nullified that.  UNM then went three-and-out and UNLV drove 76 yards in 12 plays with Doug Brumfield scoring from six yards out.  Brumfield kept the drive alive, rushing for six yards on a fourth-and-two zone read keeper from the Lobo 38-yard line.  A pass from Brumfield to Rocky White in the corner tied the game at 17-17.

Postgame Notes


This was the 26th meeting between the two teams.


UNLV now leads the series 14-12

UNLV now leads the series 8-6 in Las Vegas

The series is tied 7-7 in Albuquerque

UNLV has now won two straight in the series and one straight in Las Vegas


Starting lineup changes for UNM from published two-deep

Offense: Jaden Hullaby started at RB for Luke Wysong (WR) and Joe Maez started at TE for Trace Bruckler.

Defense: Cody Moon started at LB for Syaire Riley, Alec Marenco started at MLB for Ray Leutele, A.J. Haulcy started at Lobo for Tavian Combs


*New Mexico’s captains were Donte Martin, Miles Kendrick, Trae Hall and Jake Saltonstall.

*New Mexico’s Bryce Santana carried the state flag of New Mexico onto the field and George Steinkamp carried the United States flag.

*UNM won the toss and elected to receive and defend the South goal. It marked the 23rd time in 24 games under Danny Gonzales that UNM has received the opening kickoff.



*UNM’s 71-yard opening drive for a touchdown was the first time this year that UNM scored on its opening possession.  The first four opening possessions were three punts and an interception, totaling 11 plays and 15 total yards.

*New Mexico’s 14 first quarter points were more than it had in the first four games combined (10 points).

*UNM’s touchdown after the Jerrick Reed fumble recovery in the first quarter ended a string of seven straight drives in which didn’t score after a takeaway.

*UNLV’s 50-yard field goal by Daniel Gutierrez was the first of its kind against UNM this year and the longest since Cesar Silva of Fresno State hit from 51 on November 13, 2021.

*Friday night’s game was the first time in the Danny Gonzales era that UNM was tied after three quarters.



*The rushing touchdown by Miles Kendrick was the first of his UNM career and the second all-time for him as he had one rushing touchdown at Kansas. He scored two in the first quarter.

*Ronald Wilson forced a fumble for the second straight week, and Jerrick Reed recovered his second career fumble, and first since November 20, 2020 at Air Force.

*Trae Hall picked up his first catch of the season.

*UNM started a true freshman walk-on at tight end in Joe Maez from Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho.

*Geordon Porter had a career-high 117 yards on six catches, including a 38 and 39-yarder.

*The fourth quarter interception by A.J. Odums was the first of his career.