UNLV rallied from three touchdowns behind, scoring 31 consecutive points to stun Central Michigan 31-21 tonight at Sam Boyd Stadium.
The win tied UNLV’s biggest comeback victory. They beat Nebraska-Omaha 63-42 in 1976 after trailing 35-14.
The Chippewas (1-2) led 21-0 midway through the second quarter before UNLV quarterback Caleb Herring, wide receiver Devante Davis and the Rebels’ defense took over.
Herring completed 24 of 28 passes for 266 yards and three touchdowns. Davis caught seven passes for 140 yards and all three touchdowns.
Tim Cornett rushed for 94 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.
UNLV’s defense held Central Michigan to 105 yards in the second half.
The Rebels (1-2), who next host Western Illinois on Saturday, took the lead for good on Nolan Kohorst’s 34-yard field goal with 13:41 left. Herring’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Davis with 6:40 remaining helped seal the victory.
UNLV scored two touchdowns to rally to tie Central Michigan 21-21 after seemingly being out of the game.
Tim Cornett rushed for a 12-yard touchdown, and Caleb Herring hit Devante Davis with a 42-yard TD to pull the Rebels event.
UNLV’s defense also shut down the Chippewas, who gained only 24 yards in the quarter.
Caleb Herring completed a 12-yard touchdown pass to Devante Davis with 54 seconds left to bring UNLV to within 21-7 of Central Michigan at halftime after being outplayed throughout the first half.
Herring set up that touchdown with a 50-yard strike to Davis to the 25-yard line.
The Chippewas scored two touchdowns to build a 21-0 lead before the Rebels showed life late.
Central Michigan has outgained the Rebels 273 yards to 115.
Central Michigan outgained UNLV 132 yards to 10, and took a 7-0 lead after the first quarter.
Saylor Lavallii’s 3-yard run with 4:23 left gave the Chippewas their one touchdown. That capped an 11-play, 68-yard drive, taking 4:42 off the clock.
UNLV quarterback Nick Sherry was intercepted in his own pass attempt. He played two series, and then was replaced by Caleb Herring.
Rebels starting cornerback Sidney Hodge is not playing because of an undisclosed injury.
UNLV plays what could be its most important football game at 7 p.m. today at Sam Boyd Stadium when the Rebels face Central Michigan.
The Rebels (0-2) are coming off blowout losses of 51-23 at Minnesota and 58-13 to Arizona, and badly need a victory to turn the momentum their way.
They have a chance against Central Michigan (1-1), and in fact are 7-point favorites. This game is the beginning of a four-game set of potentially winnable games the Rebels must capitalize on to save their season.
This one might be the most important because if UNLV loses, that adds pressure to sweep the next three games.
In order to win tonight, the Rebels must cut down on the game-killing mistakes that defined the first two weeks. Five touchdowns were scored by opponents when UNLV’s defense wasn’t on the field, and a sixth TD was set up by a long return of a fumble recovery.
Contact reporter Mark Anderson at email@example.com or 702-387-2914. Follow him on Twitter: @markanderson65.