Holland found Joel Dreessen in the left side of the end zone from 3 yards out with 53 seconds left in the game. Jeff Babcock's extra point attempt was tipped, but still made it over the crossbar to give CSU the winning margin.
Dreessen's score followed a missed 23 yard field goal attempt by UNLV's Dillon Pieffer with 2:38 left that would have made it a two-possession game. Pieffer had made three previous field goals on the day.
The Rams (7-5, 4-3) have won seven or more games every year since 1994, and the win gives them a good shot at getting invited to another post season Bowl game. Utah will represent the Mountain West Conference as League Champion in the Liberty Bowl, and New Mexico will likely return to the Las Vegas Bowl. Colorado State looks like the team that will play a Big East foe - possibly Boston College - in the San Francisco Bowl.
Van Pelt threw for 113 yards on 10-of-16 attempts with two interceptions before leaving with a broken right hand, and Jimmy Green caught 25 passes for 113 yards for Colorado State. The senior signal caller will have surgery on this throwing hand, but hopes to be back for the Bowl game.
UNLV (5-6, 1-5) started freshman quarterback Shane Steichen in place of Kurt Nantkes, who was out with a strained left groin. Steichen threw for 172 yards on 12-of-26 passing.
The Rebels, who were attempting to become bowl eligible for the first third time in 11 years, have lost four straight at home. UNLV finishes the season against Wyoming next Saturday.