UNLV upends Vanderbilt in wild finish

Sep 9, 2023; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; UNLV Rebels Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Mike Scherer slaps hand with defensive back Johnathan Baldwin (3) after a fourth down stand against the Michigan Wolverines during the first half at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

Despite an early game-ending injury to starting quarterback Doug Brumfield that led to a 17-0 deficit, UNLV scored 30 straight points to beat Vanderbilt, 40-37, at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nev., on Saturday night.

Redshirt freshman Jayden Maiava stepped in and threw for 260 yards, rushing for 29 more, setting up Jose Pizano to win the game with a 36-yard field goal with five seconds left.

Maiava’s 47-yard touchdown throw to Jacob DeJesus with 2:23 left put UNLV up 37-30.

Vandy’s AJ Swann answered 1:11 later with a touchdown throw to Quincy Skinner.

Maiava then threw an interception to Vandy’s Nick Rinaldi. But Vanderbilt’s Jacob Borcila missed a chip-shot field goal.

Maiava then hit Ricky White with a 48-yard toss with nine seconds left to set up the winning field goal.

UNLV spotted Vanderbilt the first 17 points, had Brumfield knocked out on the game’s second drive, lost linebacker Jackson Woodard (ejected for targeting), and somehow managed to lead 20-17 at half.

Vandy freshman Martel Hight had a pick-6 on the first possession, racing 37 yards with the ball after teammate Jaylen Mahoney hit Brumfield.

The Commodores tacked on a 30-yard Borcila field goal and then Swann found London Humphries with a 56-yard bomb to make it 17-0.

The Rebels, though, pushed back quickly with Jai’Den Thomas’s 21-yard scoring run.

UNLV quickly added three more after a Vanderbilt punt hit an up-back, leading to a Rebel recovery at the Vandy 14 and then Pizano’s 27-yard field goal.

The Rebels then hit Swann from the backside, jarring the ball loose (and giving Swann an elbow contusion) for Jerrae Williams to scoop and scamper 41 yards to tie it.

Swann threw a pick just before half, which Johnathan Baldwin returned to the Vandy 28, setting up Pizano’s 31-yarder with three seconds left.

UNLV’s Pizano started the second half with a short field goal.

Then, after Vanderbilt backup quarterback Ken Seals fumbled away the Commodores’ first possession at the UNLV, Maiva gave the Rebels a 30-17 lead, scoring on a 24-yard option keeper to the right.

–Field Level Media

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