LAS VEGAS (AP) — UNLV made a 36-yard field goal with five seconds left Saturday to hand Vanderbilt a 40-37 loss in a wild fourth quarter.
The winning kick was set up when Rebels backup quarterback Jayden Maiava completed a 48-yard pass to Ricky White to Vanderbilt’s 18-yard line. That play came after Vanderbilt missed a 33-yard field goal to the right with 44 seconds remaining.
Vanderbilt (2-2) trailed 30-17 in the fourth quarter and rallied to tie it at 30-all before both teams traded touchdowns in the final 2:23. Then came the final kicks — one that missed and one that split the uprights.
Sophomore quarterback AJ Swann threw for 296 yards, with three touchdowns and an interception. It is the fourth-straight contest that Swann has scored three touchdowns in a game to open the 2023 season.
London Humphreys, the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week, had his second-straight 100-yard performance, as he caught three passes for 102 yards and a TD. Humphreys’ touchdown came on a 56-yard completion early in the second quarter that gave Vanderbilt a 17-0 lead.
The Commodores dominated the line of scrimmage in the first period, as they held UNLV to 11 yards and one first down in that period, setting the tone early with a 37-yard interception return for a touchdown by freshman cornerback Martel Hight.
A trio of miscues by Vanderbilt helped UNLV storm back to take a 20-17 lead into the break. The Rebels scored 10 points in the third quarter to build on the lead before the Commodores staged their own rally with 13 points in the fourth to tie the game at 30-30.
UNLV briefly retook a seven-point lead at 37-30 after completing a 48-yard touchdown pass with 2:23 left to play. The Commodores answered with a long strike of their own, as Swann found Quincy Skinner Jr. for a 34-yard touchdown to set up the thrilling finish at Allegiant Stadium.
Vanderbilt hosts Kentucky this Saturday to open SEC play. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. on the SEC Network.