Idaho upsets UNLV in overtime, wins 33-30

Idaho never trailed in this game, and that was part of the issue for UNLV.  The Rebels came into this game as 15-point favorites, a sure sign that coach Tony Sanchez was turning things around.  Even more so, a sign that people were starting to believe in this team, and the words that the coaches and players were saying.

Lies, all lies.

You can not lose to Idaho if things are supposedly turning around.

You can not lose to a lowly Sun Belt team, who by the way is getting kicked out of the Sun Belt because of their poor play.

If the Fertitta’s pull the $10 million dollar donation tonight, I will not be surprised.

Where did everything start to go wrong?  Was it the pick-6 that Kaden Elliss jumped on to rattle Johnny Stanton? Or was it the soft excrement of a zone defense that allowed Idaho to score that winning touchdown?

Credit Matt Linehan and the Idaho offense, this is a veteran squad who wants the taste of a winning season before they’re kicked to the side like some unwanted orphan puppies.  Linehan, who was 17/35, 249 yards and 1 TD on the night, did not make any major mistakes and smartly threw the ball too high or too low when nothing was open.  While his stats were far from great, he did what he needed to do to make sure Idaho held on.

Johnny Stanton, managed to show his inexperience, but settled after the first half, finishing 14/26, 175 yards, 1 TD and 2 INT, along with an extra 131 yards rushing on the night.  Lexington Thomas continues to be UNLV’s dominating strength, carrying the ball 19 times for 160 yards and 2 TD, staking his own claim as a top-tier Mountain West running back (perhaps behind Pumphrey, McNichols and Brian Hill).

While UNLV played the comeback game for the majority of the game, despite the two early interceptions, the offense provided the play required to score points…until a Stanton pass to Darren Woods, Jr. got broken up in overtime, forcing UNLV to settle for a field goal.  It was the play call to a zone defense that provide Linehan the tools needed to connect with Callen Hightower, who strolled into the end zone to end the game.

The Mountain West is in mass hysteria right now after today: Wyoming fell to Eastern Michigan, Nevada and Colorado State all fell closely to their Big 10 opponents, Fresno State tripped over themselves to lose in overtime to Tulsa, and San Jose State is looking like pre-McIntyre form with an ugly loss to Iowa State.  UNLV’s loss tonight might have topped all of those.

The primary question is: how does Tony Sanchez respond?

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