After what seemed to be a hot start for the UNLV Rebels and freshman quarterback, they could not keep up with the 23rd ranked Arizona State Sun Devils 37-10.
The Rebels came in ready to fight as sophomore cornerback Nohl Williams picked off Sun Devil quarterback (QB) Jayden Daniels in the endzone to begin the first drive.
Doug Brumfield came out onto the field, making his debut start. The freshman quarterback came out fearlessly. In the first drive, he completed three third-down conversions.
After hitting Zyell Griffin for an 11-yard reception, Brumfield got the job done as he took it for a QB run and another first down. Daniel Gutierrez unexpectedly put UNLV on the scoreboard first with a 28-yard field goal.
ASU pushed through an impressive Rebel defense and took the lead with the first touchdown of the game, 7-3.
Brumfield clearly was not worried as he carried his team to the endzone. The play was coming down on third and goal from the 5-yard line. When the freshman could not find anyone to pass to, he did not break a sweat as he somersaulted over a Sun Devil to bring the underdog Rebels back in the lead.
ASU answered late in the second quarter with running back Daniel Ngata taking a double handoff in the endzone to make it 14-10.
The battle seemed to continue between the Sun Devils and the Rebels’ defense. UNLV defended the tight game with a big play, sacking QB Daniels on fourth-and-short to keep this a one-score game heading into halftime.
Brumfield has dominated with his offense thus far, completing six of 11 passes for 60 yards and running five times for 33 yards and a touchdown. It looked like ASU was the one sweating as they walked away from the field into halftime, despite being in the lead.
The Rebels’ promising start was completely reversed in the second half. UNLV’s chance of upsetting a ranked team began to dwindle swiftly. The Sun Devils were quick to score their third touchdown for a larger lead of 21-10.
To take the game into a drastic turn for the worse, Brumfield took a big hit. As he exited the field, the chances of UNLV left with him.
Justin Rodgers, the backup QB, entered the field towards the end of the third quarter and had little success as he was one-of-five for seven yards. With Arizona State competing against an exhausted Rebel defense, they finished the game with a 37-10 lead.
“I was excited about the way our guys’ mindset was coming in here. It was a big opportunity for our group in the infant stages we’re at, to come out here against a ranked opponent to see where we are at,” head coach Marcus Arroyo said. “I thought that we did a nice job in the first half. We’ve got to continue to coach our tails off, be very introspective of ourselves in regards to how we can finish again and put two halves together.”
With an upsetting loss, the Rebels fall 0-2 to start their 2021 season. As fans question if Brumfield will return to the field, the Rebels hope to get their first win next week while returning home to host the ranked Iowa State in Allegiant Stadium Sept. 18 with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.