BYU Cougars Spoil Senior Night for UNLV Rebels Football

BYU (3-8) improved to 9-0 all-time against UNLV (4-6/3-3) in Las Vegas with a 31-21 non-conference win to spoil the home team's Senior Night on an ESPN2 broadcast Friday at Sam Boyd Stadium.

The Rebels, who were looking to win three straight games for the first time since 2013, dominated offensively early but squandered two scoring situations as the Cougars took a 14-7 halftime lead. BYU scored on its first possession of the third quarter to force UNLV into chase mode the rest of the evening.

UNLV, which closed its home schedule at 2-4, is now forced to win its final two games -- both on the road -- to become bowl eligible for the first time in four years.

Senior quarterback Johnny Stanton completed 20 of 33 attempts, including two touchdowns, as part of a career-high 325-yard night but threw two key interceptions, including one late that sealed it for the Cougars. Darren Woods Jr. led all receivers with a career-high seven catches and 86 yards. Stanton's pair of touchdowns went to senior Devonte Boyd from 16 yards and to sophomore Brandon Presley from 18 yards.

THE TURNING POINT:

With the game scoreless in the second quarter, UNLV faced third-and-seven at the BYU 14-yard line Johnny Stanton was picked off in the end zone to thwart the drive. The Cougars then drove 80 yards for a 7-0 lead.

STAT OF THE GAME:

BYU running back Squally Canada, who came in with 333 yards on the season, rushed for 213 on just 25 carries, marking the first time a player finished with more than 200 yards on the ground vs. the Rebels since Boise State's Jeremy McNichols went for 206 on Nov. 18, 2016.

REBEL OF THE GAME:

Sophomore Darren Woods Jr. set career highs with both receptions and receiving yards.

QUOTABLE:

"The first quarter hurt us, we were able to move the ball down the field and twice we had opportunities for points. We have to put points on the board in those situations because it will come back and bite you in the end."

-UNLV Head Coach Tony Sanchez

REBEL NOTES:

-BYU improved to 17-3 all-time against UNLV in what was its first visit to play the Rebels since 2009

-Johnny Stanton's 325 yards passing were the most for a Rebel since Blake Decker finished with 357 vs. Boise State on Halloween day 2015

-Lexington Thomas' 83 net yards on 16 carries gave him 1,146, which ranks seventh in UNLV single-season history

-Thomas' touchdown meant he has found the end zone in nine of 10 games this season. It was the junior's 15th rushing score of the season, which tied Tim Cornett (2013) for third-most in school history

-Devonte Boyd's 58 yards on four receptions made him the third UNLV player in history to post four seasons of at least 500 yards

-Boyd's touchdown reception tied him with George Thomas in sixth place all-time at UNLV with 18

-UNLV's 19 seniors were recognized on the field before kickoff

NEXT FOR THE REBELS:

UNLV heads to New Mexico for its second straight Friday night appearance on ESPN2. The Rebels and Lobos will kick off at 6:30 p.m. PT November 17.