Las Vegas, NV — UNLV place kicker Jose Pizano made all six of his field-goal attempts, including the game winner from 28 yards out with three seconds left, and the Running Rebels beat Colorado State 25-23 on Saturday night.
Pizano made field goals from 42, 43, 25, 34 and 46 yards.
The Scarlet and Gray improve to 6-1 on the season and earn bowl eligibility for the first time in more than a decade.
Jayden Maiava threw for 353 yards and completed 27 of 36 passes for the Rebels (6-1, 3-0 Mountain West Conference). Maiava completed all four of his pass attempts for 50 yards on UNLV’s final march. His last two completions were for 21 yards to Ricky White and 20 yards to Jacob De Jesus.
Colorado State took a 23-22 lead with 44 seconds left when Jordan Noyes banged a long 55-yard field goal. Noyes also made kicks from 33 and 27 yards.
Following a scoreless first quarter, the lead changed hands four times in the fourth.
Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi threw for 235 yards and a touchdown for the Rams (3-4, 1-2).
The Rebels had one final desperation drive, which began at the 34-yard line after a squib kick. Working with 44 seconds and two timeouts, Maiava completed his first two throws to get the ball near midfield; then he went deep, lofting a ball down the left sideline for White and he struck gold.
Reminiscent of the deep ball he caught to set up the game-winning kick against Vanderbilt on Sept. 16, White plucked it out of the air at the 30-yard line.
“We need a huge homefield advantage,” Odom said of Saturday’s date with Colorado State. “We need to create that. We need to continue to play winning football.”
Maiava’s next pass went to De Jesus for 20 yards; UNLV called its final timeout with three seconds remaining to position Pizano for a 31-yarder. He made the kick as time expired and UNLV rushed the field to celebrate clinching a bowl for the first time since the 2013 season.