UNLV defensive back Ty’Jason Roberts returned to Sam Boyd Stadium on Friday night, about a month after he suffered a spinal fracture on the same field.
He wore his No. 38 jersey and a neck brace and walked with a cane. Roberts took part in the coin toss before the game against Air Force. He was injured in the first half of a 46-17 victory over Prairie View A&M on Sept. 15.
An Arizona State transfer, Roberts has been going through rehabilitation in Southern California, where he went to high school.
Also, wide receiver Kendal Keys did not play. No reason was given, other than it was related to an injury. Darren Woods Jr. started in his place. Woods made the most of his opportunity, catching two touchdown passes in the first half.
Air Force QB stays home
Air Force quarterback Donald Hammond III did not make the trip. He suffered a high ankle sprain Oct. 12 at San Diego State, according to The Gazette (Colorado Springs).
Hammond is the starting quarterback when healthy, but his replacement, Isaiah Sanders, has started twice this season.
Sanders went into the game having completed 53.3 percent of his passes for 340 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He also had 175 yards and two touchdowns rushing.
Hammond has completed 50 percent of his passes for 224 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also has rushed for 105 yards and five TDs.
Strike of Lightning
Rebels running back Lexington Thomas, also known as “Lightning,” used a great cutback at the line of scrimmage to rush untouched for a 74-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
It was the 10th rush of at least 55 yards in the senior’s career.
Using all four downs
No team nationally has been more aggressive than Air Force on fourth-down conversions. The Falcons used a fourth-down conversion late in the second quarter to set up a touchdown, the 26th time this season they have gone for it.
It was their 16th conversion.
Air Force scored on its first drive to take a 3-0 lead.
It was the first time all season that the Falcons hadn’t trailed at least 7-0 against a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent.
The league was short-lived. UNLV went 92 yards on the next drive to go ahead 7-3.
Fathers, sons playing ball
UNLV has two players on its roster whose dads also played for the Rebels.
Cornerback Alex Perry’s dad, Archie, played in 1991. He also was a defensive back.
Offensive lineman Jackson Reynolds’ dad, Jerry, was a standout lineman from 1990 to 1993.
Father-son combinations aren’t common at UNLV. There have been only six others.