UNLV makes perhaps its final visit to Brigham Young, hoping to create a memory that's nearly as good as the Rebels' first trip to Provo, Utah.
It won't be easy, however, to match what probably is the greatest victory in the football program's history.
UNLV rallied from 17 points down to beat the eighth-ranked Cougars 45-41 in that 1981 game, still the highest-rated opponent the Rebels have defeated.
"It's a good memory," Sam King, who quarterbacked the Rebels, said this week. "It's always like an anniversary every year with BYU, especially when the game is in Provo."
UNLV (1-7, 1-3 Mountain West Conference) plays at BYU (3-5, 2-2) with similar, though not as lofty, aspirations. The Rebels are 18½-point underdogs for Saturday's 11 a.m. PDT game.
It could be the final meeting because BYU becomes independent next year.
The Rebels have a history of playing well at BYU, having gone 3-5 there, winning in 2002 and 2004. They also came within a field goal in 2000 and within a touchdown two years ago.
Their shining moment in Provo occurred in that still-startling upset 29 years ago.
BYU entered with a 17-game winning streak, but quarterback Jim McMahon didn't play because of a knee injury sustained two weeks earlier.
The Cougars started an unknown named Steve Young, but few expected any trouble against a 3-2 Rebels team. Injuries had decimated UNLV's front seven, and three of its previous four opponents scored more than 30 points.
But the Rebels could move the ball, beating New Mexico 49-42 and Long Beach State 32-31. They spent the week discussing whether to aggressively attack the Cougars or establish a ball-control running game to keep BYU's offense off the field.
The UNLV coaches decided to attack, but they didn't know Rebels star wide receiver Jim Sandusky had broken his right hand in that Tuesday's practice. He told only defensive backs coach Rich Abajian.
So Sandusky took the field without protection on his hand, and he missed a pass early in the game on a curl route that turned into a BYU interception.
"Sam put some juice on it," Sandusky said. "I didn't have the strength to grip it. One or two players on the sideline were cussing me out. That fired me up. I didn't drop one after that."
Even so, BYU appeared to take control late in the third quarter, building a 41-24 lead. Between the Cougars' prolific offense -- Young, a future Pro Football Hall of Famer, was 22 of 40 for 271 yards and a touchdown -- and UNLV's banged-up defense, chances for a Rebels comeback seemed remote.
UNLV, though, shut out the Cougars the rest of the way.
The offense, led by King and Sandusky, did the rest. King set up two short scoring runs with passes of 55 and 19 yards to Sandusky to keep quieting an energized BYU crowd.
Then came the ultimate silencer.
With the ball at BYU's 20-yard line and with 25 seconds remaining, King, coach Tony Knap and wide receivers coach Doug Filan discussed on the sideline what play to call. Sandusky caught Filan's attention and signaled he could run a post pattern to the end zone.
King returned to the huddle and winked at Sandusky. The play went to Sandusky, all right, and he caught the game-winning touchdown pass with 19 seconds left.
"There was total silence on the touchdown catch," King said. "I think everybody was stunned and dejected."
None more than BYU's players.
"Yes we were," said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham, who played linebacker for BYU and made two interceptions that day. "They came in and played very well, and it was not a good day for us."
King finished 31 of 57 for 473 yards and two touchdowns. His yardage total is tied for fourth highest in UNLV history. Sandusky caught eight passes for 161 yards, and running back Michael Morton caught 10 passes for 146 yards, including a 51-yard touchdown.
"We had so many skill guys they had no answer for," said Bill Purcell, who played wide receiver and on special teams for the Rebels.
Purcell walked into Knap's office the following Monday, and the coach showed him a letter he had received from BYU coach LaVell Edwards congratulating the Rebels on their performance.
King played for Edwards after the season in the Hula Bowl all-star game and saw up close how similar BYU's offensive system was to UNLV's. The Rebels showed they not only could play BYU's game but beat the Cougars at it.
Twenty-nine years later, UNLV hopes to make a similar point this weekend.
Contact reporter Mark Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2914.