After falling behind 10-0 very early, UNLV had started to settle in on both sides of the ball when starting quarterback Blake Decker appeared to injure his hamstring while scrambling for a first down on the final play of the first quarter.
It was disastrous for the Rebels.
Sophomore Kurt Palandech struggled mightily in relief, completing just 1 of 6 passes for minus-2 yards in the second quarter as the offense got completely stagnant. It didn’t get much better when he fumbled on his first dropback of the second half. Palandech finished 4-for-15 for 4 yards.
That’s not good.
Winning the game would have been a difficult task even had Decker been able to remain in the game. His departure not only made that an impossible task, it made keeping the contest close a longshot. An extended absence could be crippling for a program hoping to make consistent progress this season.