This time, at least, UNLV made it past Texas Christian's 34-yard line.
And even scored.
But the Rebels couldn't point to much else positive in Saturday's 48-6 loss to the nation's fourth-ranked team, the highest-rated school to ever play at Sam Boyd Stadium.
The outcome was as expected, with 35-point favorite TCU (9-0, 5-0 Mountain West Conference) easily taking care of business, sprinkling spectacular plays among a generally methodical approach.
TCU didn't appear to look ahead to next weekend's game at Utah (8-0, 5-0) that will have conference and national implications. Perhaps that's because the Horned Frogs knew they needed a one-sided victory over a Rebels team that now is 1-7 (1-3 in the Mountain West) to avoid paying a price in the polls.
"They've beaten everybody in our league by about 40 (points) ... so we knew going into the game we'd have to have the ball bounce our way almost flawlessly to be able to pull it off," UNLV coach Bobby Hauck said. "Obviously, that didn't happen, and that's probably because they didn't let it happen."
The Frogs, however, played far from mistake-free ball, losing one fumble at UNLV's goal line and another at the Rebels 22. Otherwise, their win would've been more emphatic.
Frogs quarterback Andy Dalton completed 16 of 23 passes for 252 yards and two touchdowns as TCU outgained the Rebels 530 yards to 197. The Frogs also totaled 30 first downs; UNLV had 12.
But it still in some ways was a better showing for UNLV than its trip to TCU last year when the Rebels were beaten 41-0 and failed to advance past the Frogs 34.
UNLV made it to the end zone with 9:02 left in the second quarter, scoring on quarterback Omar Clayton's 10-yard pass to wide receiver Michael Johnson. It was just the second touchdown surrendered by TCU in its past five games.
A holding penalty on center John Gianninoto negated the extra point, and kicker Nolan Kohorst missed the second try, leaving UNLV with six points and down 21-6.
The Rebels never reached the red zone the rest of the game.
"I liked our effort," Hauck said. "I don't think that we're playing smart enough, and certainly against a team like that, you have to play error-free, and we did not."
TCU scored the first 21 points on two runs and a 30-yard interception return by safety Colin Jones. The Frogs also scored right before halftime on Dalton's 1-yard run with a minute left.
Then, to end any doubts, Dalton completed a 54-yard touchdown to wide-open wide receiver Josh Boyce 51 seconds into the third quarter for a 35-6 lead. Dalton added a touchdown pass five seconds into the fourth quarter, a 24-yarder to wide receiver Jeremy Kerley for a 42-6 advantage.
The Frogs shut down UNLV wide receiver Phillip Payne, playing for the first time since serving a two-game suspension for posting negative tweets regarding the coaching staff. He caught just two passes for 27 yards.
Johnson led the Rebels with seven receptions for 67 yards.
Clayton completed 15 of 29 passes for 128 yards and the one touchdown, with two interceptions. Backup Caleb Herring entered late in the game and threw two incomplete passes.
"TCU is one of the best defenses in the nation, and they don't give much up," Hauck said. "You've got to accept the fact that a 4-yard run is a good play.
"We had some things going, but we'd go backwards or not sustain it, which is a sign of youth and maybe a sign of me not doing a good enough job."
■ NOTE -- UNLV starting center Andrew Mack was taken to a hospital with appendicitis. Gianninoto replaced him, Evan Marchal played guard, and sopohomore tackle Yusef Rodgers made his first career start.
Contact reporter Mark Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2914.