Arizona QB Jason Johnson throws the ball past UNLV's Ahmad Miller during the first quarter of Arizona's 38-21 win over the Rebels the last time the two teams met, on Sept. 22, 2001, at Arizona Stadium.

James S. Wood
  • Date: Sept. 22, 2001
  • What went down: UA quarterback Jason Johnson outplayed highly-touted UNLV quarterback Jason Thomas and the Wildcats rolled to a 38-21 win over the Rebels in front of 47,031 fans at Arizona Stadium. Johnson threw for 247 yards and three touchdowns. Thomas was just 5 of 17 for 123 yards.
  • How it read: Star columnist Greg Hansen was impressed with Johnson’s play, but was still skeptical of a UA team that would go 2-6 the rest of the way in John Mackovic’s first season as coach. “The Rebels trailed Arizona 31-7 entering the fourth quarter, thoroughly dominated on both sides of scrimmage, but the most obvious domination was at quarterback in a game won 38-21 by the Wildcats. For the third game of his starting career, Johnson was not only the best Jason on the field, he was the best player on the field. But suitable gray area exists insofar as the Wildcats have gone 3-0 against a trio of lightweights — San Diego State, Idaho and UNLV — who would have difficulty finishing ahead of Cal in the Pac-10 basement.”
  • Turning point: UA running back Tremaine Cox stretched the lead to 24-7 when he took off for an 80-yard touchdown run with 3:16 to play in the first half.
  • Stats that matter: The Wildcats were hard to stop on offense, running 71 plays for 440 yards. Receiver Bobby Wade hauled in two touchdown passes from Johnson and finished with four catches for 54 yards. Cox’s 80-yard run helped pad his stats. He finished with 111 yards on eight carries.
  • It’s history: Arizona lost its next five games. The Wildcats finally picked up a win in November with a 38-24 win at Cal, but lost by 14 to Stanford before beating ASU in the finale 34-21. UNLV would finish 4-7.