(Saturday, October 10th)
Final Score: (18) BYU 59, UNLV 21
Las Vegas, NV (Sports Network) - Harvey Unga ran for 149 yards and a season- high three touchdowns, leading 18th-ranked BYU in a 59-21 rout of UNLV at Sam Boyd Stadium.
Max Hall added 320 yards passing and two touchdowns on 21-of-27 passing before being pulled for Riley Nelson, who had a rushing score for the Cougars (5-1, 2-0 MWC), winners of three straight games by double-digits since losing to Florida State.
The BYU offense was dominant throughout the contest, accounting for 611 yards of total offense. Four different Cougar receivers had over 50 yards, and J.J. Di Luigi added two touchdowns -- one rushing and one receiving -- to win the Battle for the Fremont Cannon for the fifth straight time.
Omar Clayton completed 20-of-32 passes for 253 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for UNLV (2-4, 0-2), which has dropped its last three games and has given up 152 points in that span.
"Obviously it is a very difficult situation and we have to dig ourselves out," said UNLV coach Mike Sanford. "That is what I told our team, is that we have to dig ourselves out."
Michael Johnson had six receptions for 113 yards and a score, but the Rebels' rushing attack garnered just 45 yards in defeat.
The Cougars raced out to a big lead and never looked back.
Mitch Payne capped BYU's first drive of the game with a 28-yard field goal, and, following an interception, Unga ran for a 33-yard score for a 10-0 lead with 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the opening quarter.
The next Cougars drive bridged the first and second quarters, and Unga capped the eight-play, 64-yard series with a one-yard score.
UNLV quickly answered with its first points of the game on Deante Purvis' 94- yard kickoff return for a 17-7 game.
But BYU kept giving the ball to Unga, and he kept finding the end zone, racing in from 52 yards away on the ensuing possession to give the visitors a 17- point lead with 11:12 remaining in the half.
The game remained 24-7 at halftime, but the Rebels came out firing, as Johnson hauled in a 75-yard touchdown pass on the team's first offensive play of the third to cut the deficit to 10.
Brigham Young once again answered on its next possession. Hall went quickly down the field, needing only four plays to go 69 yards, with a 35-yard pass to Dennis Pitta restoring the 17-point cushion for the Cougars.
Mike Clausen was intercepted on the next UNLV drive, leading to Jo Jo Pili's one-yard touchdown run to give BYU a 38-14 advantage with just under five minutes remaining in the third. Two minutes later, on the Cougars' next drive, Di Luigi caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Hall for a 45-14 lead heading to the fourth quarter.
Clayton hit Rodelin Anthony on a four-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth for UNLV, but O'Neill Chambers returned the kickoff 97 yards to the two-yard line, and Nelson's quarterback draw resulted in a touchdown on the next play to keep BYU ahead by 31.
Di Luigi's two-yard touchdown run with 8:17 left capped the scoring.
BYU leads the all-time series, 14-3...The Cougars are a perfect 8-0 in Las Vegas...UNLV had 337 total yards of offense.
10/11 02:46:43 ET