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Former UNLV receiver Randy Gatewood remembers record night

The number, even a quarter of a century later, doesn’t seem real.

UNLV receiver Randy Gatewood caught 23 passes on Sept. 17, 1994, against Idaho to set a national record that still stands.

Gatewood, 46, was back in Las Vegas on Saturday as UNLV’s honorary captain for its game against No. 16 Boise State at Sam Boyd Stadium. He lives in a Phoenix suburb of Gilbert and is in the food truck business with the plan of moving into restaurants.

“To break that record, the ball’s got to be thrown your way probably 25, 26 times,” Gatewood said. “Nowadays, there are certain teams that don’t even throw the ball 25 times a game.”

The number of catches wasn’t the only absurd number he posted in a 48-38 loss to Idaho. Gatewood also had 363 yards in catches, which at the time was the national record. Louisiana Tech’s Troy Edwards caught 21 passes for 405 yards in a 1998 game against Nebraska to break Gatewood’s record.

UNLV, under coach Jeff Horton, ran off three consecutive victories after the loss to Idaho. The Rebels ended the season with a 52-24 victory over Central Michigan to finish 7-5.

“I think that (Idaho) game really put us on the map with how our season would go after that,” Gatewood said. “We went on a run after that.

“By the fourth or fifth game of the season, we knew we had something special here. We jelled at the right time. It was a magical run. Everything we did that year seemed to work for us.”

AD monitoring developments

When California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play Act on Monday, it got the attention of athletic directors nationwide, including UNLV’s Desiree Reed-Francois.

The act, which goes into effect in 2023, allows college athletes in California to get paid for doing endorsements.

Other states are considering similar bills, and one could come before the Nevada Legislature in February 2021.

“Let’s find common ground,” Reed-Francois said. “When we looked at the cost of attendance (two years ago), I’m really glad that we got to that space, and we’re going to continue to evolve and continue to look for ways to optimize our student-athletes’ experience.”

Odds and ends

UNLV sophomore running back Chad Magyar played for the first time this season. He was dealing with a personal issue. … Boise State’s touchdown less than four minutes into the game was the first time the Broncos scored first this season. Their 7-0 lead also was their largest in the first quarter.

More Rebels: Follow at reviewjournal.com/Rebels and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

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