Oct. 9, 1999
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - Duane James caught a touchdown pass andreturned a punt for another score as UNLV shocked Wyoming 35-32Saturday for its first conference win on the road since 1994.
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Rebels(3-3, 1-1 Mountain West Conference) and was their most pointsscored since Nov. 22, 1997, when they lost in overtime to San JoseState 55-48.
The loss ended a three-game win streak for Wyoming (3-2, 1-1)and spoiled its homecoming.
UNLV, which entered the contest averaging 15.8 points a game,scored on its first two possessions for a 14-0 lead. They were thefirst points the Rebels scored in the opening quarter this season.
In the first quarter alone, the Rebels rushed for 129 yards,nearly 20 yards more than the per-game average it entered with.
UNLV took the opening kickoff and marched 80 yards with JasonVaughan hitting James from 12 yards out.
After Wyoming went three-and-out on its first possession underquarterback Matt Swanson, who started his first game, UNLV scoredagain when tailback Coury Hankins sprinted through a big hole onthe right side and went 47 yards untouched into the end zone.
After a Wyoming field goal, UNLV drove 83-yards and went ahead21-3 on a 6-yard TD pass from Vaughan to Nate Turner. A 31-yardpass play from Vaughan to Turner sparked the drive.
The Cowboys could manage just three field goals by Aaron Ellingfor a 21-9 UNLV lead at the half. It was UNLV's largest halftimelead since Sept. 27, 1997, when it led Illinois State 31-0.
Vaughan, who entered the game averaging 137.4 yards passing, had106 by halftime and finished with 186 in completing 12 of 27 passesand two TDs.
Wyoming gained momentum early in the third quarter and excitedthe 19,048 homecoming crowd when safety Matt Lehning intercepted apass and the offense capitalized on the opportunity, driving 54yards in four plays and scoring on Jon Jennings' 3-yard TD run.
But Wyoming's next four possessions ended with a fumble, a puntfrom its own end zone that James returned 43 yards for a touchdown,an interception that defensive back Quincy Sanders returned 34yards for a score and an interception at the UNLV 5 yard line.
The result of the third quarter was a 35-16 UNLV lead thatWyoming couldn't recover from despite a 27-yard interception returnfor a touchdown by the Cowboys' Matt Koltz, a 31-yard fumble returnfor a score by Cortney Barnes and a blocked field goal in thefourth quarter.
Jeremi Rudolph led UNLV's ground attack with 149 yards on 39rushes.
Swanson completed 21 of 45 passes for 244 yards but threw fourinterceptions.