ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — UNLV has waited a long time for a half like this.
The Rebels dominated New Mexico 21-3, beating the Lobos in just about every way behind two touchdown passes from quarterback Omar Clayton and a TD from tailback Channing Trotter.
It is their first halftime lead since the season opener, a 38-3 victory over Sacramento State, and their largest lead since being up 21-0 on Iowa State on Sept. 20, 2008.
Unless the Rebels implode in the second half, they will end their four-game losing streak and school-record 20-game Mountain West Conference skid. This also will be their first victory in October since 2005.
UNLV started hot, scoring 14 points in the first quarter, the most in 11 periods — since totaling 21 in the second against UNR on Oct. 3.
Clayton completed 11 of 13 passes for 120 yards as UNLV gained 252 total yards compared to 120 by the Lobos.
NEW MAN ON TOP
UNLV’s Ryan Wolfe needed just four catches to become the conference’s career-leading receiver. He got it on a 6-yard swing pass with 4:13 left in the second quarter. Wolfe ended the drive with a 28-yard touchdown reception to give him 264 career catches. The previous record was 262 by San Diego State’s J.R. Tolver.
Rebels defensive tackle Martin Tevaseu recorded a sack late in the first half, a bright moment during a difficult time. His 19-year-old sister, Zsorhzinnia, died in a recent car accident.
TOYING WITH THE LOBOS
UNLV coaches didn’t seem overly concerned New Mexico would rally from a 14-3 deficit, switching out the entire offensive line early in the second quarter. The Rebels drove to New Mexico’s 27-yard line, but kicker Kyle Watson missed a 44-yard field goal.
Malo Taumua, who usually plays defensive end, started at tackle. The ends were Heivaha Mafi and Jason Beauchamp.