SJSU loses heartbreaker on the road against UNLV, 38-35

Photo credit: @SanJoseStateFB

By Ana Kieu

After a bye week, San Jose State football headed to the desert to take on the UNLV Rebels on Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium. SJSU had hoped to bounce back following a tough 42-40 loss at Hawaii on Saturday, Nov. 9. Sadly, that didn’t happen for the Spartans.

UNLV took an early 7-0 lead on a short touchdown run. SJSU’s Bailey Gaither made a nice grab and the Spartans were in the redzone for the eventual touchdown, courtesy of DeJon Packer, who plowed it in for the touchdown. However, the extra point was no good, so the Spartans settled for the 6 points to cut the Rebels’ lead to 7-6.

The Spartan offense made a great scoring drive, but it was soon silenced by UNLV. The Rebels turned a pair of deflected pass interceptions into touchdowns for a 21-6 lead midway through the second quarter.

SJSU trailed 21-6 at halftime. The Spartans looked to mount a second half rally, but came up just short in the end.

SJSU scored 22 points in the third quarter compared to UNLV’s 3 points. DeJon Packer chipped away at the Rebels’ lead using a 65-yard catch and run. The Spartans made it a 1 score game, thanks to a Packer touchdown and a 2-point conversion. The Spartans trailed 21-14 midway through the third. The Rebels tacked on a long field goal, keeping the Spartans down by 6 in the third.

SJSU had the ball, which led to Tre Webb making a huge play and wrestling the ball away from the Rebel receiver for a turnover. The play was under review and the call stood. Spartan ball at the 1st and 10 and the UNLV 23-yard line. The Spartans tacked on another touchdown when Jack Snyder pulled off the catch and score late in the third. Then, the Spartans took the lead over the Rebels.

UNLV, however, scored 14 points in the fourth quarter compared to SJSU’s 3 points. The Spartans trailed by 3 midway through the fourth, but persevered as Tre Walker made an incredible catch in the endzone to help the Spartans to another lead. Then, SJSU was back in front, 35-31, thanks to an amazing pitch and catch from Josh Love to Tre Walker. Walker had himself a day with 11 catches, 123 yards and 1 touchdown.

The defense got a stop late in the fourth, UNLV punted and SJSU looked to add to its lead with a little over four minutes left in the game. A huge gain allowed the Spartans to be in the Rebels’ redzone. The Spartans converted a third down inside the 10 as they trailed by 3. Then, a batted ball led to a UNLV interception so the Rebels kneeled out the clock and won 38-35.

SJSU wraps up the regular season at home versus arch-rival Fresno State on Saturday, Nov. 30 at 7:30 pm PST.

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