Kurt Nantkes passed for 255 yards and Dyante Perkins scored on a 29-yard run on fourth down with 12:10 remaining Saturday night to help UNLV come from behind to beat rival Nevada 16-12 for the fourth year in a row.
The raucous contest before only the second sellout in University of Nevada history (31,900) included a fight among fans in the end zone stands and the arrest of a Reno man accused of throwing a beer can that hit UNLV Coach John Robinson as he exited the field at the half with his team trailing 9-3.
Robinson, whose Rebels (4-1) are off to their best start since 1984, was not seriously injured and returned after intermission.
"This is an unfortunate act that mars an otherwise great night of competition on the field," John Lilley, president of the University of Nevada, said in a statement released by the school.
"We do not tolerate this kind of criminal behavior and I have apologized to UNLV President Carol Harter, and we offer our sincere apologies to Coach Robinson."
The 31-year-old man arrested was not a student at the university, Nevada officials said.
Earvin Johnson caught 10 passes for 114 yards and Dillon Pieffer made field goals of 26, 33 and 27 yards for the Rebels, who grabbed two interceptions in the final 4 minutes to seal the victory and maintain possession of the Fremont Cannon.
Jeff Rowe, a sophomore from Reno, came off the bench to pass for 143 yards and moved the Wolf Pack (3-2) as far as UNLV's 43-yard line in the final minute before Adam Seward intercepted at the 37 with 37 seconds remaining.
Chance Kretschmer scored Nevada's only touchdown on a 6-yard run that put the Wolf Pack ahead 6-3 in the first quarter. But UNLV held him to 56 yards rushing, less than half his average.
Nevada's defense forced two turnovers and held UNLV to only 34 yards rushing through the first three quarters as the Wolf Pack took a 12-6 lead into the final 15 minutes.
But Nantkes led the Rebels 91 yards in 12 plays, capped by Perkins' TD run up the middle on fourth-and-one, and threw a 45-yard pass to Michael Johnson to get to Nevada's 19 and set up Pieffer's 27-yard field goal to make it 16-12 with 4:08 remaining.
UNLV defensive end Chris Eagen intercepted a tipped pass to get the Rebels the ball back deep in Nevada territory with 3:55 left and Perkins appeared headed for another touchdown before fumbling into the end zone for a touchback.
Rowe led Nevada on a 74-yard drive in the final 1:13 of the first half, including consecutive passes of 7, 11 and 32 yards to Tim Fleming to set up Damon Fine's 24-yard field goal with 3 seconds left to put the Wolf Pack ahead 9-3. He added a 21-yarder to give Nevada a 12-3 midway through the third quarter before Pieffer hit from 33 yards to cut the advantage to 12-6 with 3:35 left in the third.