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LAS VEGAS, Nev. - UNLV's Omar Clayton threw for 192 yards (17-29-0) and a career-high three touchdown passes, and Frank Summers added 87 yards on the ground to lead the Rebels to a season-opening 27-17 win against Utah State here Saturday night. It is the 11th straight year that USU has opened the season with a loss.
The win was UNLV's first in nine games dating back to the 2007 season and two of its last three victories have come against USU. The Aggies entered 2008 on a two-game winning streak as it ended the 2007 campaign with a pair of road wins at New Mexico State and at Idaho.
Sophomore QB Diondre Borel highlighted Utah State's offense as he gained 70 yards rushing on 15 carries and added 80 yards passing (8-16-0) after entering the game early in the third quarter. Borel also threw his first career TD, completing a six-yard pass to junior WR Nnamdi Gwacham late in the fourth quarter to make the final margin 10 points. It was also Gwacham's first career TD.
Senior QB Sean Setzer started the game by completing nine of his first 10 passes for 114 yards for Utah State and led the Aggies on a 12-play, 82-yard drive that spanned 6:21, culminating with a one-yard touchdown run by Robert Turbin to tie the game at seven-all early in the second quarter.
Utah State dominated the first quarter as it held the ball for 12:38 and outgained UNLV, 114-44, but trailed 7-0 as the Rebels turned an Aggie turnover into seven points on a 5-play, 47-yard drive midway through the opening quarter.
Following the Aggies' first touchdown, UNLV scored 17 straight points over the next two periods to put the game away.
UNLV finished the game with 353 yards of total offense (221 passing, 153 rushing) and Utah State recorded 314 total yards (203 passing, 130 rushing). The Aggies finished the game by possessing the ball for 30:46 and ran eight more offensive plays (70-62), but they also committed two turnovers in the contest that led to 10 Rebel points, which proved to be the difference in the game. UNLV finished the game with zero turnovers.
Senior LB Jake Hutton had a team-high 12 tackles to lead a trio of Aggie defenders with double-digit stops. The 12 tackles for Hutton marks the third-straight game he has record at least 10 tackles dating back to 2007.
Utah State will return to action on Saturday, Sept. 6 when it plays at No. 21 Oregon at 1:30 p.m. (MT).