SAN JOSE, Calif. — Nick Starkel threw two touchdown passes to Bailey Gaither and San Jose State beat UNLV 34-17 on Saturday night.
SJSU (4-0, 4-0 Mountain West Conference) is off to its best start since opening the 1955 season with four consecutive wins.
Starkel was 17-of-28 passing for 274 yards and Gaither finished with six receptions for 94 yards. Nick Nash had 94 yards rushing on eight carries for the Spartans. Nash is listed as the backup quarterback and led San Jose State to a win over San Diego State last week after Starkel left the game due to an undisclosed injury suffered on the first drive.
Gaither took a pop pass and raced past three defenders for a 41-yard touchdown to make it 7-3 with 6:11 left in the first quarter and the Spartans led the rest of the way.
Gaither's diving 2-yard touchdown with 1:28 left in the first half gave San Jose State a 24-10 lead. Isaiah Hamilton made a diving catch for a 27-yard gain on a third-and-11 play and a pair of pass interference penalties against the Runnin' Rebels defense kept the drive alive for the Spartans.
Charles Williams scored on a 4-yard run to trim UNLV's deficit to 24-17 with about four minutes left in the third quarter, but San Jose State responded with a five-play, 71-yard drive capped by Kairee Robinson's 12-yard touchdown run.
The Spartans, who went into the game with six sacks this season, had seven on Saturday, — including three by Cade Hall and two by Viliami Fehoko.
The Runnin' Rebels (0-4, 0-4) went three-and-out five times.