Minnesota defeats UNLV 30-27 in 3 OTMinnesota's Donnell Kirkwood (20) rushes against the UNLV defense during an NCAA college football game, Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- MarQueis Gray threw two touchdown passes to John Rabe in overtime, and Jordan Wettstein hit a 32-yard field goal in the third extra session to lift Minnesota over UNLV 30-27 Thursday night in the season opener for both teams.
Wettstein's field goal was set up by Derrick Wells' second interception against redshirt freshman quarterback Nick Sherry. In the second overtime, Sherry threw a 6-yard TD pass to Devante Davis on fourth down to tie it at 27-27.
Rabe's first overtime score was from 10 yards down the middle to make it 20-20. Gray found him wide open from 25 yards out on the first play of the second OT.
UNLV's Tim Cornett had 127 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries. He had an 18-yard score in the first overtime.
Gray finished 17 of 30 for 269 yards and an interception.
This was the first-ever meeting between the teams.
The Rebels went ahead 10-7 in the third quarter on Cornett's 1-yard run with 1:52 left. Minnesota answered with two Wettstein fourth-quarter field goals from 32 and 21-yards. The second field goal was set up by Wells' interception return to the UNLV 25. Nolan Kohorst made a 35-yard field goal with 2:46 remaining to set up overtime.
It was the Golden Gophers' first overtime game since a win at Syracuse in 2009. The Rebels went to OT for the first time since a 2008 win over Iowa State at home.
The Rebels scored first on Kohorst's 39-yard field goal with 2:29 left in the first quarter. Minnesota answered with a James Gillum 16-yard rushing touchdown up the middle with 9:26 before halftime.