UNLV Wins Battle for Nevada for First Time in 9 Years

Alan BlackAnalyst IIIOctober 27, 2013

Oct 13, 2012; Boulder, CO, USA; General view of the Fremont Cannon during the fourth quarter of the game between the Nevada Wolf Pack agains the UNLV Rebels at Sam Boyd Stadium. The Wolf Pack defeated the Rebels 42-37. Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The UNLV Rebels hate one team in college football more than any other: the Nevada Wolf Pack. As the only two public universities in the state of Nevada, UNLV and UNR have no love for one another. 

The two meet annually in a rivalry game simply titled "The Battle for Nevada," making abundantly clear that in-state superiority is what's on the line when the Wolf Pack and Rebels meet. The trophy for the game is the Fremont Cannon, a replica 19th century Howitzer cannon, which stands as both the heaviest and most expensive trophy in all of college football.

The winner each year not only gets possession of the cannon, but they also get to paint the wooden parts of the cannon their school color.

Unfortunately for UNLV, the cannon has been painted navy blue for the past eight years. The last time the Rebels beat the Wolf Pack was in 2004, and so UNLV has had to endure seeing the cannon painted blue and housed in Reno for nearly a decade.

In the midst of their best season in over a decade, UNLV finally brought the Fremont Cannon back to Las Vegas. Thanks to a 27-22 win in Reno over Nevada, the cannon will once again be painted red.

UNLV's go-to players on offense collectively put forth one of the best performances of their career. Star quarterback Caleb Herring threw for 335 yards and three touchdowns while avoiding interceptions entirely. Workhorse running back Tim Cornett pounded out 122 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries despite sustaining a knee injury last week against Fresno State and being doubtful for this game right up until kickoff. The team's leading receiver Devante Davis had 121 yards and two touchdowns receiving, including a 44-yard TD reception.

UNLV's offense also came through, notching an interception and a forced fumble to help the Rebels win the turnover battle. 

Overall, UNLV had arguably its most complete and most inspired game of the season. The seniors got to experience beating their bitter rivals for the first time in their college careers, and the team appeared to relish every moment of the victory afterwards.

UNLV improved to 5-3 on the season and 3-1 in Mountain West Conference play. The Rebels are just one win away from being bowl eligible for the first time since 2003.

Most importantly, UNLV brought the Fremont Cannon back to Vegas, where it will be proudly housed for the next year.