LAS VEGAS-The University of Nevada-Las Vegas defeated CSU 38-35 Saturday night in Las Vegas.
UNLV scored on a five-yard touchdown run by quarterback Caleb Herring with just over two minutes remaining to take the lead.
CSU then moved the ball to the UNLV 28, but the comeback ended when Pete Thomas threw an interception to Tani Maka.
UNLV then kneeled on the ball to run out the clock for the win.
The loss drops CSU to 3-5 on the season. UNLV is now 2-5.
UNLV scored first on the opening drive when Nolan Kohorst hit a 43-yard field goal.
CSU jumped ahead on the next UNLV drive when linebacker Shaquil Barrett jumped in front of a Sean Reilly pass and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown.
But the Rams immediately gave momentum and the lead away on the ensuing kickoff when Deante Purvis returned it 98 yards for a touchdown to give UNLV a 10-7 lead.
Early in the second quarter the CSU defense got a fourth-down stop at the goal line. The offense then turned it into three points to tie the game at 10.
CSU took the lead with a 23-yard field goal by Chad VanderMolen with just over two minutes remaining in the half. The score was set up by a 38-yard run from Chris Nwoke.
UNLV took the lead late in the half after yet another special teams mistake by CSU.
Momo Thomas went back to return a punt with under a minute remaining in the half. He received the punt and tried to return it with the defense closing in on him.
He was hit hard and fumbled, giving UNLV the ball inside the Rams 20.
UNLV capitalized when Caleb Herring hit Phillip Payne for a touchdown to give UNLV the 17-13 lead.
CSU re-took the lead on the first drive of the second half when Pete Thomas hit Crockett Gillmore on a play-action pass from the one yard line.
The Rams missed a chance to add to the lead when VanderMolen hit the right upright on a 47-yard field goal attempt.
UNLV responded on the ensuing drive, scoring on a busted coverage by CSU.
Payne got his second touchdown of the day when two Ram defenders went to cover an underneath route and left Payne alone in the secondary for a 34-yard catch.
UNLV tacked onto the lead when Dionza Bradford ran in from one yard out. He set up his own score on the previous play with a 45-yard run.
CSU then scored on a 12-yard scramble by Thomas after he evaded what looked like a sure sack.
The Rams then converted the two-point conversion to make it 31-28 UNLV with 7:39 remaining in the game.
CSU looked like it might be done when Nwoke fumbled to give UNLV the ball in CSU territory with about five left.
But after a defensive stop, the Rams blocked a field goal attempt and safety Austin Gray picked up the ball and ran it back to the UNLV four.
CSU then took the lead on the next play when Chris Nwoke ran in on the next play to make it 35-31 CSU.
UNLV then took the ensuing drive straight down the field and took the lead on a five-yard touchdown run by Caleb Herring to take a 38-35 lead.
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