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First quarter collapse doomed Rebels

TUCSON, Ariz. — Arizona failed to score on its first two offensive possessions Friday night, and the UNLV defense had to be feeling pretty good when Logan Yunker pinned the Wildcats inside the 5-yard line on a 60-yard punt with 2:18 remaining in the first quarter.

Terris Jones-Grigsby eradicated whatever sense of satisfaction the Rebels defense had on the next play.

The senior running back, who waited his turn behind star Ka’Deem Carey, busted around the end for 41 yards to flip the field back in Arizona’s favor.

Two plays later, the Wildcats were off to the races.

Anu Solomon completed a 16-yard pass to Trey Griffey, then found Nate Phillips for a 39-yard touchdown to put Arizona ahead 7-0.

UNLV, which had sustained two drives on its first two possessions, followed with its first three-and-out.

The Wildcats followed with another three-play touchdown drive, capped by a 63-yard pass from Solomon to Samajie Grant.

It was all downhill from there for the Rebels defense, which allowed 787 yards in a 58-13 loss.

Things might not have been so bad had the UNLV defense been able to capitalize on the great special teams play late in the first quarter that forced Arizona into terrible field position.

Contact reporter Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj.

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