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Utah State earns their bowl eligibility with a thrilling 28-24 win over UNLV

  • cfb1fe1ce70bab25420f6a7067007848.jpg

    Utah State quarterback Darell Garretson, left, scrambles to get away from UNLV defensive lineman Tyler Gaston in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) (The Associated Press)

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    UNLV running back Tim Cornett (35) tries to bring the ball through a hole between Utah State defensive end Paul Piukala, left, and linebacker Zach Vigil (53) in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) (The Associated Press)

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    UNLV wide receiver Devante Davis catches a pass for a first down against Utah State in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) (The Associated Press)

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    Utah State wide receiver Travis Van Leeuwen, left, is tackled by UNLV defensive back Matt Vinal (20) after catching a pass in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) (The Associated Press)

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    Utah State wide receiver Shaan Johnson celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against UNLV in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) (The Associated Press)

Bruce Natson's 12-yard rushing touchdown with 3:56 left in the game capped an 11-play, 82-yard drive and gave Utah State a 28-24 victory over UNLV Saturday night.

With the win, the Aggies became bowl eligible for the third consecutive season.

Utah State (6-4, 5-1 Mountain West), which won the Western Athletic Conference last season, has now won 10 straight league road games. The Aggies conclude their season with two home games against Colorado State and Wyoming.

Freshman quarterback Darell Garretson, who made his third career start, led Utah State's offensive attack, completing 16 of 28 pass attempts for 288 yards and one touchdown strike while registering a 155.3 quarterback rating. Receivers Travis Reynolds (7 for 129) and Travis Van Leeuwen (4 for 112) combined for 241 yards on 11 receptions.

After Natson's touchdown, UNLV (5-5, 3-3) used 16 plays in a last-ditch effort toward a comeback and got as close as the Utah State 16-yard line, but fell short when quarterback Caleb Herring's final four pass attempts to the end zone were off target.

Herring completed 17 of his 39 pass attempts for 252 yards and two touchdowns, but also one interception. Running back Tim Cornett ran for 115 yards on 29 attempts and one touchdown. Cornett, who moved up to No. 2 in UNLV's all-time all-purpose yardage list, became only the second running back to rush for 100 yards against the Aggies' 19th-ranked rushing defense this season.

The Rebels suffered their second consecutive home loss and remain one win shy of being bowl eligible. The last time UNLV appeared in a bowl game was in 2000. The Rebels have a bye next week before attempting to become bowl eligible at Air Force on Nov. 21, or at home against San Diego State on Nov. 30.

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