AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — UNLV came out smoking Saturday, dominating the first half.
Then the second half began.
All the good the Rebels did in the first 30 minutes was quickly forgotten, and they spent the second half trying to survive as Air Force stormed back to stun UNLV 34-30 at Falcon Stadium.
UNLV doesn’t keep the record, but losing the 27-point lead is believed to be the largest in school history. The Rebels led 27-0 late in the first half, but were outscored 34-3 the rest of the way. They also outgained Air Force 248 yards to 76 while building the big lead, but were outgained 397-163 after that.
“We played a good first half,” UNLV coach Tony Sanchez said. “We played a poor second half. We didn’t execute on a high level. Had an opportunity to end the game and win. You’ve got to go back to work. That’s all you can do.”
Air Force quarterback Arion Worthman’s 1-yard touchdown run with 2:14 left provided the winning points.
It’s a crushing blow to the Rebels (2-4, 1-2 Mountain West), who appeared to be well on their way to an easy victory and halfway to bowl eligibility. Instead of dreams about the postseason, this is a loss that could have an impact that lasts well beyond this weekend.
UNLV next plays Utah State at 3 p.m. Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium.
The victory ended a four-game losing streak for Air Force (2-4, 1-2).