LAS VEGAS — Jake Haener on Friday night showed why he won the latest Offensive Player of the Week honor in the Mountain West.
The senior quarterback passed for 313 yards and three touchdowns — including 33- and 65-yarders to Jalen Moreno-Cropper — as Fresno State held off UNLV 37-30 at Allegiant Stadium.
“Disappointed we couldn’t finish it off, playing a really good team,” said UNLV coach Marcus Arroyo, whose team has dropped five straight after a promising start. “But the resiliency and the toughness of our football team, I couldn’t be prouder of, and we have two games left here to continue to hit the pedal and go.”
The Rebels, trying to get to six victories overall to achieve bowl eligibility, got a strong effort by quarterback Doug Brumfield for a 16-14 halftime lead.
Brumfield ran 5 yards for a touchdown and engineered drives that led to field goals of 43, 48 and 27 yards by Daniel Gutierrez for the intermission advantage.
It was a school-record performance from Gutierrez, whose five field goals were a record. He also matched a UNLV record with 16 points. He kicked a PAT after the Rebels’ first touchdown.
Gutierrez became UNLV’s all-time leading scorer among kickers with 258 points, passing Nolan Kohorst (247 points from 2010-13).
Fresno State (6-4, 5-1 Mountain West) got Moreno-Cropper’s first TD catch, the 33 yarder, and Jordan Mims’ 5-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs grabbed a 17-16 lead on their first drive of the third quarter when freshman Dylan Lynch capped a 12-play, 67-yard drive with a 26-yard field goal.
Haener added a 2-yard touchdown toss to Zane Pope before Gutierrez booted his fourth field goal to leave UNLV (4-6, 2-4) trailing 24-19 heading to the final period.
Lynch kicked a 23-yard field goal to stretch the Bulldogs’ lead to eight with 10:57 remaining, but Aidan Robbins answered with a 66-yard touchdown run and UNLV added the 2-point conversion to tie the game at 27 with 9:53 left.
Fresno State needed just three plays to regain the lead for good, scoring on Haener’s 65-yard scoring strike to Moreno-Cropper.
Haener completed 28 of 36 passes for Fresno State. Moreno-Cropper finished with eight catches for 164 yards. Mims carried 21 times for 70 yards.
Brumfield completed 18 of 34 passes for 172 yards for the Rebels. Robbins totaled 144 yards on 26 carries, while Brumfield ran 10 times for 60.