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  UNLV wide receiver Nate Turner makes a touchdown reception to tie the game at 14-14. AP

No doubting Thomas

Dazzling QB leads Rebels' rout of Arkansas

John Robinson leaving the field after a rousing bowl triumph -- where have we seen this before? The former USC coach, who took over an 0-11 UNLV team two seasons ago, put the latest stamp on his program's turnaround Thursday night. Deadly accurate QB Jason Thomas led a 31-14 rout of Arkansas in front of a friendly Las Vegas Bowl crowd.

Dec 27 Inside the MWC: After further review...
Dec 22 Player-coach confrontation upsets Arkansas' Nutt
Dec 22 Resurgent UNLV routs Arkansas in hometown bowl
Dec 21 Game Recap: Arkansas at UNLV
Dec 20 Inside the MWC: No party in Vegas
Dec 19 Inside the SEC: League boasts of balance

Arkansas   UNLV
Team Page

Record: 6-5, 3-5 SEC
Houston Nutt (third season, 23-12; 59-34 overall)
Key players:
RB Fred Talley (96.0 yards per game), QB Robby Hampton (55.6 percent completions), LB Ken Hamlin (104 tackles)
Season summary:
The Razorbacks were busy continuing the momentum of two straight New Year's bowls when the Hogs started 3-0. But the loss of star sophomore RB Cedric Cobbs for the season crippled them. Arkansas promptly lost its first home game in three years, to Georgia, and lost five of its next six games. But behind an adequate running game and an overachieving defense, the Hogs won their final two games, over Mississippi State and LSU, to become the SEC's ninth bowl team.
Team Page

Record: 7-5, 4-3 Mountain West
John Robinson (second season, 10-13; 193-122-4 overall)
Key players:
QB Jason Thomas (138.2 efficiency), RB Jeremi Rudolph (1,005 yards), DE Anton Palepoi (8 sacks)
Season summary:
The Rebels quite literally snuck in under the wire. They were the last team in the country to become bowl eligible, beating Hawaii in a late-night Dec. 2 game. The reason Robinson has UNLV in a bowl for the first time since 1994 is partially the arrival of another USC transfer, Thomas, who gave the offense a boost in productivity. In the best sign of the Rebels' competitiveness, they took the SEC's Mississippi to the wire before falling on the road.

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