Iowa State 16, UNLV 10

AMES, Iowa (AP) -- UNLV couldn't believe how it lost to Iowa

State -- and coach Mike Sanford put the blame squarely on the

officials for not reviewing the final play of the game.

UNLV players, angry that officials ruled Shane Steichen's pass

into the end zone on the final play incomplete, refused to leave

the field for about 15 minutes following Iowa State's 16-10 victory

Saturday night.

The Rebels congregated at midfield, yelling at officials and

shaking their helmets before coaches were finally able to convince

them to head to the locker room.

After the game, review official Tom Ahlers said that he "deemed

it a reviewable play, reviewed it, and did not overrule the play."

Problem was, nobody told Sanford.

"I really don't believe we lost, because the play wasn't

reviewed," said Sanford. "It was too controversial to not review


The bizarre sequence of events began on the game's

second-to-last play, when UNLV's Casey Flair dropped the ball on

the Iowa State 11 following a catch. The Cyclones (2-0) asked for a

replay to determine whether Flair had even made a reception, but

the play was ruled a catch and the Rebels (1-1) had one last shot

with 7 seconds left.

Steichen threw the ball into a gaggle of players at the back of

the end zone. The players from Iowa State acted as if the game was

over, but UNLV's Aaron Straiten then came out of the end zone

holding the ball.

Officials ruled that the pass was incomplete, setting off the

protests from UNLV. Iowa State players involved in the final play

said they saw Straiten grab the ball out of bounds.

They also saw UNLV's actions following the game, and weren't too

happy about it.

"I was right there. He was out of bounds," linebacker Tyrone

McKenzie. "They disrespected us by doing that. But if that's what

they want to do, and that's how they take a loss, let it be."

Stevie Hicks rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown for Iowa

State, which nearly blew a 13-point lead as its offense failed to

put an opponent away for a second straight week.

The Cyclones led Toledo by as much 20-8 in the opener, but

needed triple overtime to escape with the win. Against UNLV, Iowa

State's offense -- which returned 10 starters from a year ago --

could only muster a field goal in the second half.

"I'm real disappointed we only put up three points in the

second half...I can't even put into words how disappointed I am,"

Iowa State coach Dan McCarney said. "We need to get a lot better

real fast."

Down by six midway through the fourth quarter, UNLV kept a drive

alive by converting a fourth-and-1 on its own 29 and a

fourth-and-seven to the Iowa State 14 with 1:28 left.

UNLV pulled within 16-10 on a 3-yard TD pass by Steichen early

in the fourth quarter, one possession after freshman kicker Ben

Jaekle missed a 23-yard field-goal try.

Iowa State took a 13-3 halftime lead after scoring touchdowns on

back-to-back possessions to close out the half.

Down 3-0 midway through the second quarter, Iowa State moved

into Rebels territory on a 29-yard pass from Bret Meyer to Walter

Nickel, and Hicks capped the drive with a 1-yard TD run.

Meyer opened the Cyclones' next possession with a 44-yard

completion to Jon Davis, and Ryan Koch ran in from a yard out to

give Iowa State a 13-3 lead. The Cyclones missed the PAT on a

fumbled snap.

Rebels starting quarterback Rocky Hinds, a touted USC transfer

who threw for 322 yards in his first collegiate start last week,

injured his right knee early in the second quarter and did not

return. UNLV officials said Hinds will have an MRI when the team

gets back to Las Vegas.

Steichen finished 19-of-27 for 180 yards. Meyer threw for 203

yards to lead the Cyclones.