PROVO, Utah (AP) -- UNLV is undefeated on John Robinson's
The Rebels gave the 69-year-old coach a second consecutive win
with a 24-20 thriller over Brigham Young on Friday night, giving
UNLV its first winning streak over the Cougars in the 12-game
history between the schools.
The Rebels (2-4, 1-1 Mountain West Conference) have won two
straight since Robinson announced on Sept. 26 he was retiring at
the end of the season.
"We've been mystified by our four losses early in the season.
We tried to keep our faith in ourselves and our players all played
very hard," Robinson said.
Dominique Dorsey ran for 94 yards and a touchdown, and the
Rebels forced three straight incompletions after BYU had
first-and-goal from the UNLV 10 with 14 seconds remaining.
"For me, the defense overshadowed us this game," said Dorsey,
who had 26 carries. "They did an excellent job."
The defense finished the victory by pressuring John Beck into a
pass over the middle that bounced harmlessly off the grass on a
play that started with eight-tenths of a second remaining.
Despite the victory, Robinson's 132nd as a college coach, he was
still livid after the game over several late calls that went
against the Rebels. UNLV was called for 10 penalties to BYU's six.
"I'm going to do whatever I can Monday -- in the most respectful
way -- to file a complaint with our conference commissioner about
the officiating," Robinson said. "I've coached for some 30
million-thousand years, and 300-some games and it's the worst
officiating I've ever seen."
The Cougars (2-4, 1-1) were trying for their first winning
streak since 2002, but made too many mistakes and couldn't rally
against the Rebels.
BYU had six fumbles, losing four of them. Another would-be
turnover was nullified by an offsides penalty on UNLV.
"Most of the fumbles came from behind as our guys were running
down the field and they came up and knocked it out," BYU coach
Gary Crowton said. "That's one thing we need to work on."
Trailing 21-20 in the fourth quarter, BYU was forced to punt
from its own end zone, setting up the Rebels at the Cougars' 39.
UNLV didn't drive far, but did use several minutes before Sergio
Aguayo kicked a 35-yard field goal with 3:49 remaining.
Down by four, BYU couldn't rely on Matt Payne, who kicked a
50-yard field goal in the third quarter, to tie it.
Beck converted a fourth-and-2 on a screen pass to Curtis Brown.
Then on first down, UNLV defensive lineman Leon Moore was called
for a facemask. BYU kept moving with a long pass from Beck to Todd
Watkins, but Watkins fumbled and Brian Nicholson recovered at the
UNLV 11 with 2:18 remaining.
As the officials tried to figure out who had the ball, Nicholson
was holding it in the air in front of the UNLV bench and the Rebels
started the celebration.
"We had a nice drive there in the fourth quarter," Crowton
said. "Watkins thought he could've scored there but the guy snuck
up and got the ball."
But it wasn't quite over. The Cougars forced a punt and got the
ball back at their own 42 with 1:10 remaining, only to come up
"One of the finest defensive performances I've ever seen,"
Brown had eight carries for 102 yards, becoming the first Cougar
to top 100 this season, but BYU still struggled on the ground and
depended on Beck's passing.
Beck completed 34 of 67 passes for 358 yards, including a 7-yard
touchdown to Watkins with 14 seconds left in the second quarter to
put the Cougars up 10-7 at halftime.
Dorsey scored on a 12-yard run just 1:45 into the third quarter,
but BYU answered with Payne's field goal and a 26-yard interception
return for a touchdown by Cameron Jensen.
UNLV went back ahead with a 76-yard drive. Dyante Perkins scored
on a 12-yard run, making it 21-20 with 1:58 left in the third