ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — UNLV’s Armani Rogers set a school rushing record for quarterbacks with 193 yards and completed two big passes in the final minute to give the Rebels a 38-35 victory over New Mexico on Friday night.
Rogers hit Kendal Keys for a 14-yard touchdown pass with 25 seconds left, one play after finding Darren Woods Jr. for a 50-yard strike to give UNLV (5-6, 4-3 Mountain West) a come-from-behind victory.
“We had plenty of opportunities to pull away with the game and we didn’t,” UNLV coach Tony Sanchez said. “You have a minute left on the clock and it doesn’t look real hopeful. Our guys just kept fighting.”
Rogers had a touchdown run of 83 yards and also passed for 211 yards, while Lexington Thomas rushed for 127 yards and two touchdowns for the Rebels. Evan Pantels converted three field goals, including a go-ahead 40-yarder with 6:11 remaining in the fourth quarter.
“When it mattered at the end, he stayed calm and collected,” Sanchez said of Rogers. “They stayed in cover-one and gave us some opportunities there and he made three great throws in a row. He made some great throws.
New Mexico quarterback Lamar Jordan did not complete a pass, but finished with 116 yards and had two long touchdown runs, including a 41-yarder with 1:11 left to put the Lobos (3-8, 1-6) up 35-30.
“A tough loss,” New Mexico coach Bob Davie said. “We were down by 10 twice in the game and came back, and to take the lead like that with a minute left, and then to give it up, that was a dagger right there. There are some stunned players and some stunned coaches in the locker room.”
Tyrone Owens rushed for 164 yards for the Lobos and Daryl Chestnut added 145 yards.
Woods had 114 yards receiving for UNLV.
“Tonight was huge for these guys to find a way win,” Sanchez said. “They didn’t quit, they stayed energetic. It would have been real easy to throw a couple of incompletions and take a flight home and they didn’t.”
UNLV: The win gives the Rebels three straight conference wins for the first time since winning four in a row in 1994. The win also means the Rebels have increased their total victories for three straight seasons for the first time.
New Mexico: It is a big step back for a program that last season went 9-4 last season and won a bowl game for the first time in 10 years.
With no yards passing Friday, New Mexico now has a total of 5 passing yards against UNLV in the past two games.
New Mexico: Finishes its season on the road at San Diego State to face former coach quarterback Rocky Long on Nov. 24.
UNLV: Seeks its first bowl appearance since 2013 when it travels to face in-state rival Nevada on Nov. 25. The visiting team has won each of the last four meetings in the series.