LAS VEGAS – In his coaching debut, Coach Mike London and the Howard Football team stunned FBS foe UNLV with a 43-40 victory at Sam Boyd Stadium.
With the victory, HU picked up its first season opening win in more than a decade. Furthermore, Howard earned its first victory over a FBS foe in program history.
The win is also marked as one of the biggest upsets in college football history.
Offensively, the Bison amassed 449 yards, including 309 on the ground.
In his collegiate debut, freshman quarterback Caylin Newton displayed his duel-threat abilities as he rushed for 190 yards while throwing for 140 yards. The Atlanta native also accounted for three touchdowns (two rushing and one passing).
HU scored on the opening drive in five plays, highlighted by a 52-yard run from Newton, 7-0. UNLV answered with two field goals and pulled within one after the first period, 7-6.
Early into the second, Newton connected with Kyle Anthony on a 1-yard touchdown, which capped a 13-play, 75-yard drive, 14-6.
After UNLV's Evan Pantels drilled a 26-yard field goal, the Rebels were looking for more until junior linebacker David Hudson stripped the ball carrier and Devin Rollins picked up and ran for a 75-yard touchdown, 21-9.
UNLV responded, scoring 10 unanswered to close out the half, 21-19.
Anthony Philyaw, the league's Preseason Player of the Year, had 133 all-purpose yards and two rushing touchdowns.
After intermission, the Rebels' momentum continued as they took their first lead with a 25-yard pass from Devonte Boyd to Armani Rogers, 26-21.
With less than seven minutes left in the third, a 1-yard run from Charles Williams ballooned UNLV's lead to double-digits, 33-21.
On Howard's next possession, the Bison manufactured a 14-play, 75-yard drive, capped off by a 3-yard run from Philyaw, 33-28.
Less than a minute into the fourth, HU regained the advantage after Philyaw's 11-yard run. Newton converted the two-point play and gave the Bison a three-point lead, 36-33.
UNLV's Lexington Thomas put the Rebels back in front with a 3-yard run at the 10:12 mark, 40-36.
Midway through the fourth, Newton took HU down the field and scored the go-ahead touchdown, 43-40.
With time running down, UNLV stopped the Bison on 4-and-1. A play later, Drew Tejchman forced the fumble and Tye Freeland recovered to seal the deal.
Defensively, Leland Lassiter recorded a team-best 11 tackles in the victory.
For UNLV (0-1), they amassed 564 total offense. On the ground, Thomas rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns in a losing effort.
On Sept. 9, HU meets another FBS foe in Ohio where Kent State awaits. Game-time is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.