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1-0 Nevada off to UNLV for Nevada Day Battle for the Fremont Cannon

Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 9:00 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (Nevada Athletics) - The Battle for the Fremont Cannon is almost here.

It’s the most anticipated matchup in the Silver State and fans can enjoy the in-state rivalry between Nevada and UNLV a little earlier than usual this year. The Wolf Pack and Rebels typically close out the regular season on the weekend following Thanksgiving, but this year fans can tune in to the rivalry on the traditional Nevada Day, Oct. 31. The Rebels painted the cannon red following the 2018 matchup, and have kept it red ever since. On Saturday, the Wolf Pack will be looking to paint the cannon blue for the first time since 2017.

Nevada was victorious in its season opener on Saturday, scoring a 37-34 overtime win over Wyoming in Reno. Sophomore QB Carson Strong threw for over 400 yards and tossed four touchdowns to zero interceptions in the win, including the game-winning strike from nine yards out to junior WR Romeo Doubs. The Wolf Pack had two receivers record over 100 receiving yards in the game with Doubs producing 117 and junior TE Cole Turner recording a career-high 119. UNLV lost its season opener in San Diego, falling to San Diego State 34-6.

ON THE AIR

John Ramey and Mike Edwards will have the call in Northern Nevada on ESPN Radio 94.5 FM with a 60 minute pregame show prior to kickoff. Fans can also tune in to listen to Ramey and Edwards' broadcast online at TuneIn.com or via the TuneIn app.

Fans can watch the game on FS1 (Fox Sports). Alex Faust and Petros Papadakis will have the call on the television broadcast.

THE BATTLE FOR THE FREMONT CANNON

The most anticipated matchup in the state of Nevada will take place this Saturday over Nevada Day Weekend, as Nevada travels to Las Vegas in a battle for the Fremont Cannon. Silver State Series points will be on the line from this match up, and the winner of this football game will win a tie breaker between the two schools at the end of the year. The Pack is 6-4 in its last 10 games against the Rebels. Nevada leads the series with a 26-19 edge over UNLV. The first contest between the two programs in 1969 resulted in a 30-28 victory for the Pack at Mackay Stadium. The Fremont Cannon serves as one of the best awards in college football, as it is the biggest rivalry trophy in the country.

THE FORCE IS STRONG WITH THIS ONE

Sophomore quarterback Carson Strong had taken care of the football pretty well through his last few games of the 2019 season. Strong threw six interceptions in the first six games of his redshirt freshman season, but had just one in the last four. The last time Strong threw a pick was against a nationally ranked opponent as the Pack upset No. 24 San Diego State on the road. Since that interception, Strong has gone 203 pass attempts without a pick, which includes 136 completions and ranks first in the nation. Strong’s streak is the third-longest in Mountain West history.

Consecutive Pass Attempts Without an Interception

1. Carson Strong (Nevada) - 203

2. Jayden Daniels (Arizona State) - 157

2. Zach Wilson (BYU) - 157

4. Dillon Gabriel (UCF) - 133

5. Kedon Slovis (USC) - 126

6. Tyrrell Pigrome (WKU) - 113

MW OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

For the first time in his career, sophomore QB Carson Strong earned Mountain West Player of the Week honors. Strong posted impressive offensive numbers on Saturday as he completed 39-of-52 pass attempts for 420 yards and slung four touchdown passes to zero interceptions. One of his four touchdown passes included the game-winning strike to junior Romeo Doubs in overtime. Strong’s 39 completions, 420 passing yards and four passing touchdowns are all single game career highs. It was one of the top performances across the nation as his 420 passing yards against Wyoming are the 10th-most in a single game in the FBS this season and his

39 completions rank third.

Strong was dynamite from start to finish on Saturday, going 7-for-7 for 68 yards on the Wolf Pack’s opening drive, which resulted in a 26-yard touchdown pass to true freshman Tory Horton. Strong found six different receivers on that opening drive. He finished the first half completing 21-of-27 pass attempts for 253 yards and two touchdowns, which included a 50-yard strike to junior Cole Turner.

Strong also threw for over 400 yards in the Wolf Pack’s last game, the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in January, making him the first Nevada quarterback to throw for over 400 yards in backto- back games since 2002 and the sixth player in MW history to do so.

HAPPY 156th BIRTHDAY, NEVADA

For the first time in the history of the Silver State rivalry between Nevada and UNLV, the Battle for the Fremont Cannon will be played on the traditional Nevada Day, Oct. 31.

TRUE FRESHMEN SHINE IN COLLEGIATE DEBUT

Nevada saw eight true freshmen make their collegiate debuts during Saturday’s season opener against Wyoming, one of whom got the call to start. Jacob Gardner, a 6-4, 300 pound offensive lineman out of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., started at left tackle for the Wolf Pack in his collegiate debut. Gardner became the first Wolf Pack player to start at left tackle in Nevada’s FBS history (since 1992).

There were two additional true freshmen on the offensive side of the ball to make an immediate impact on Saturday. Wide receiver Tory Horton scored a touchdown on his first collegiate reception, a 26-yard catch on the Wolf Pack’s opening drive. Junior Romeo Doubs also scored on his first collegiate touch in 2018, an 80-yard punt return. Running back Avery Morrow also got in on the scoring action in his collegiate debut, scoring on an 18-yard rush in the third quarter.

Other true freshmen to see playing time on Saturday include WR Isaac Jernagin, WR Jamaal Bell, DB AJ King, LB Naki Mateialona and DB Micah Lilo.

NEW KICK RETURNER IN TOWN

True freshman WR Jamaal Bell seems to have found himself a permanent spot as the Wolf Pack’s primary kick returner after a solid performance against Wyoming. Bell, who made his collegiate debut on Saturday, returned six kicks for 116 yards, with a long return of 25 yards. Bell became the first Wolf Pack player to record over 100 return yards in a single game since 2017 when Dameon Baber totaled 139 interception return yards. It was the most return yards by a Nevada kick returner since Sept. 16, 2017 when senior Berdale Robins recorded 105 kick return yards against Idaho State.

RACKING UP RECEIVING YARDS

In the season opening win against Wyoming, Nevada had two post over 100 yards receiving in the game. Junior TE Cole Turner and junior WR Romeo Doubs both went over the century mark in the victory, becoming the first Nevada duo to record over 100 receiving yards in a single game since Kaleb Fossum and McLane Mannix did so in the season opener against Portland State in 2018.

For Doubs this is nothing new, marking his fifth career 100-yard receiving performance. He has posted two 100-yard games in each of the last two seasons. Doubs finished the game with 117 receiving yards on a single-game career-high 12 receptions, which led the team.

For Turner, this is new. Turner, who stands at 6-6, made the switch from wide receiver to tight end in the offseason and the switch already seems to be paying off. Entering the Wyoming contest, Turner had six catches for 88 yards and one touchdown in his career. He posted seven receptions for a game-high 119 yards and two touchdown grabs in Saturday’s game alone.

WATCH OUT FOR BERDALE

Senior DB Berdale Robins is always lurking in the defensive backfield. Robins secured his fourth career interception against Wyoming, coming up clutch late in the fourth quarter to give the ball back to Nevada inside the Wyoming 20, which led to a Nevada field goal. Robins' four career interceptions leads all active Wolf Pack players.

UP NEXT

It’s a quick turnaround for Nevada next week as the Wolf Pack will face Utah State on Thursday, Nov. 5 at 4 p.m. from Mackay Stadium in Reno.

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