NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Kenyon Olbad threw for 172 yards and a pair of touchdowns, Chad Magyar rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown and UNLV beat Vanderbilt 34-10 on Saturday.
UNLV (2-4) snapped a four-game losing streak, earning its first-ever road win against an SEC opponent. Mountain West schools are 3-2 this season against SEC opponents. It was the first-ever matchup between the schools.
Vanderbilt (1-5) couldn’t generate much after their first drive of the game against the Rebels. The Rebels scored on their first four drives of the first half, with the three drives that resulted in touchdowns all going in excess of 70 yards.
Oblad, a redshirt freshman, was efficient in the opening half, and connected on 5 of 7 seven pass attempts. Two of the completions were for touchdowns, including a 63-yard pass to Randal Grimes early in the second quarter.
The only drive the Rebels failed to score on in the first half was their final one which began with less than two minutes remaining in the half. UNLV ran the ball three times to take a 24-10 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Vanderbilt had a strong start, taking a 7-0 lead after an impressive 8-play, 76-yard opening drive that concluded with a 4-yard Ke’Shawn Vaughn touchdown run.
Vaughn was the lone bright spot for the Commodores, rushing for 140 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown.
Following their first drive, the Commodores struggled to generate much offensively. Starting quarterback Riley Neal was replaced by Deuce Wallace for a couple of drives before returning late in the second quarter.
A pair of Neal second half turnovers on back-to-back drives doomed any chances the Commodores had of mounting a comeback.
Rebels running back Charles Williams entered Saturday 17th in FBS in rushing, averaging 105.8 yards rushing per game. He rushed for 69 yards on 24 attempts and a touchdown.
Quarterback Kenyon Oblad led a balanced Rebels attack. Thanks to a solid running game from Charles Williams and Chad Magyar, Oblad was not called upon often, but when a pass was needed, he was able to spread the ball around to his backs and receivers. Oblad’s big strike was a 63-yard touchdown pass to Randal Grimes in the second quarter, a career long for the redshirt freshman quarterback.
Losing to UNLV damaged Vanderbilt’s already slim chances of making a second-straight bowl game appearance under coach Derek Mason. The Commodores are 1-5 overall and all but one of their remaining six games are against fellow SEC opponents. Three of their remaining SEC games are on the road, including trips to South Carolina and Florida. The Commodores have struggled on both sides of the ball all season, with ineffective play at quarterback and a defense that is allowing over 200 yards on the ground to their opponents.
UNLV: Visits Fresno State on Oct. 18.
Vanderbilt: Hosts Missouri on Oct. 19.