Wolf Pack looks to defend Fremont Cannon; Silver and Blue hosts UNLV Friday night

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 5:47 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (Nevada Athletics) -

Nevada (5-2, 2-1) vs. UNLV (0-7, 0-3)

Friday, Oct. 29, 2021 – 7 p.m.

Reno, Nev. – Mackay Stadium

TV: CBS Sports Network (PBP – John Sadak; Analyst – Randy Cross; Sideline – Desmond Purnell)

Radio: 94.5 FM (PxP - John Ramey; Analyst - Mike Edwards)

Nevada (5-2, 2-1), following a 34-32 loss at Fresno State, hosts rival UNLV (0-7, 0-3) for a 7 p.m. (PT) kickoff at Mackay Stadium. Friday’s contest will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network, with John Sadak (play-by-play), Randy Cross (analyst), and Desmond Purnell (Sideline) on the call. The Wolf Pack faces the Rebels for the 47th time in rivalry history with the Pack holding a 27-19 series lead. Nevada won last season’s matchup 37-19 in Las Vegas. The winner gets the largest rivalry trophy in college football, the Fremont Cannon. Nevada owns the longest win streak of the series, eight games, from Sep. 17, 2005, to Oct. 13, 2012. The Wolf Pack Radio Network will call the game as well on 94.5 FM with John Ramey (play-by-play) and Mike Edwards (analyst) in the booth, with the 60-minute pregame show to begin at 6 p.m. PT.


Nevada and UNLV meet for the 47th time in on Saturday with Nevada holding a 27-19 series edge over the Rebels. The two programs met in Las Vegas in 2020. Nevada downed UNLV, 37-19, in Allegiant Stadium. UNLV defeated the Pack back-to-back years in in 2018-19. The Pack has won six of the last 10 meetings. The first contest between both programs dates back Nov. 22, 1969, when Nevada defeated UNLV 30-28.


For the remainder of the season, the Nevada football team will have a Sparks Fire Department decal on the helmet to honor the dedication, bravery, and service during the devastating fire season that impacted those around Nevada, California, and Lake Tahoe. Sparks deployed more than 50 firefighters this year to more than 20 separate fires in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, California, Idaho, and Colorado. A photo of the helmet sticker can be made available upon request.


Nevada has select football tickets remaining for the Wolf Pack’s Nevada Day game with UNLV on Oct. 29. There are less than 2,000 tickets remaining to see the Battle for the Fremont Cannon. Tickets for UNLV can still be purchased for $20 and fans are encouraged to use the mobile ticket delivery option. Tickets can be held in Will Call for pick up or can be obtained during regular ticket office hours (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday) in the Lawlor Events Center, or on gameday near Jensen Plaza at Mackay Stadium beginning four hours prior to kickoff.


Nevada holds a 28-18 all-time series lead over UNLV including the largest margin of victory (50-8) in 1991. Nevada and UNLV have been playing for the biggest rivalry trophy in college football (Fremont Cannon) since 1969, with the Pack owning the longest winning streak of eight games from Sep. 17, 2005, to Oct. 13, 2012.


The trophy was built in 1970 and is a replica of a 19th-century Howitzer cannon that accompanied American explorer and politician John C. Frémont on an expedition to the American West and Nevada in the mid-19th century. The original cannon had been abandoned, due to heavy snows, in the Sierra Nevada in 1843. The replica cannon was originally fired following a touchdown by the team in possession of the cannon, it has been inoperable since 1999.


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Nevada opened its 2021 season with a 22-17 victory over the California Golden Bears in Berkeley on Sept. 4. Prior to the win over Cal, Nevada’s last road win at a Power 5 team also came at Cal when Nevada defeated the Golden Bears 31-24 on Sept. 1, 2012. After Cal opened the game with a 14-0 lead, Nevada scored 22 unanswered points to lead the remainder of the game. Carson Strong threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns, posting his ninth 300- yard passing game of his career. Kicker Brandon Talton recorded his 12th multi-FG game of his career after going 3-for-4 for Nevada. Romeo Doubs finished with six catches for 83 yards and a touchdown, Cole Turner led all Pack receivers with seven catches (for 75 yards), and WR Tory Horton led the Pack with 94 receiving yards on three catches. Elijah Cooks recorded his first touchdown since the 2020 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Jan. 3, 2020. The Pack defense came up clutch to secure Nevada’s victory. Cornerback Isaiah Essissima, a transfer from Wake Forest, made his first interception in a Nevada jersey in his Wolf Pack debut, stopping a late fourth-quarter Cal drive with a pick. Sam Hammond and Daniel Grzesiak tallied sacks for the Pack, including Hammond’s 13-yard loss which resulted in a missed Cal field goal attempt. JoJuan Claiborne led the Pack defense with 10 tackles (eight solo), and shared a tackle-for-loss. Nevada handled business on Sept. 11 in its first home game of the 2021 season. The Pack defeated Idaho State, 49-10. Carson Strong powered the Pack offense, throwing for 381 yards and four touchdowns. Strong completed 34 of 43 passes, including two touchdowns to Elijah Cooks, who finished with seven receptions for 89 yards. Devonte Lee recorded a 2-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter and caught a 15-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth. Cole Turner had a touchdown catch. Backup quarterback Nate Cox stepped in the game in the fourth quarter, delivering a 43-yard touchdown to Harry Ballard.

Nevada dropped its first game of the season to No. 25 Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan., on Sept. 18. Despite the 38-17 final score being in favor of the Wildcats, the Pack and Kansas State began the fourth quarter tied at 17. WR Romeo Doubs made 7 catches for 121 yards for a season high in yardage. His previous season-best was 83 yards on six receptions against Cal on Sept. 4. It marked his most receiving yards since he gained 133 yards on 5 receptions at Hawai’i on Nov. 21, 2020.

Nevada secured its first conference win of the season in Boise, Idaho, on Oct. 2. The Pack defeated the Broncos, 41-31, in a packed Albertson’s Stadium. Carson Strong threw for 263 yards and a touchdown while running back Toa Taua rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns. Nevada snapped its six-game losing streak to the Broncos, dating back to 2010. Nevada last won in Boise in 1997. Tristan Nichols forced a fumble on Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier. Then, five plays later, Taua punched it into the end zone from 12 yards out to give Nevada a permanent lead. Placekicker Brandon Talton had a strong game, going 4-for-4 in field goal attempts and 3-for-3 on PATs.

Nevada picked up its fourth win of the season after cruising to a 55-28 victory over New Mexico State on Saturday. Carson Strong threw a career-high six touchdown passes — four in the second quarter — and Nevada cruised to a 55-28 win over New Mexico State on Saturday night.

Strong, who did not play in the fourth quarter, finished 25-of-32 passing for 377 yards with one interception. His six touchdown passes were one shy of Nevada’s single-game record, and were the most by a Wolf Pack quarterback since Mike Maxwell twice tossed seven touchdowns in a game, against UNLV and Louisiana-Monroe, in 1995.

Nevada took the opening kick of the second half and Turner’s 3-yard scoring catch capped a seven-play, 75-yard drive that made it 38-3. Strong connected with Henry Ballard for a 33-yard touchdown about four minutes later and cornerback BerDale Robins ripped the ball from New Mexico State’s Jared Wyatt and raced 25 yards for a score to give Nevada a 52-3 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Carson Strong passed for 395 yards and two third-quarter touchdowns and Nevada pulled away after halftime to beat Hawaii 34-17 in Mountain West Conference play on Saturday. The Wolf Pack (5-1, 2-0) scored first on a Brandon Talton 23-yard field goal midway through the first quarter, but the lead lasted just one play after Dae Dae Hunter took a first-down handoff and raced 75 yards to the end zone for Hawaii (3-4, 1-2). Nevada went up 10-7 on Toa Taua’s 6-yard TD run with 12:58 left in the second quarter, but again the lead lasted one play after Hunter took a first-down handoff 81 yards for a TD. The Wolf Pack answered with a 10-yard TD run by Taua for a 17-14 lead. Both teams added field goals before halftime.

Strong took over in the third quarter for Nevada, throwing scoring passes of 28 yards to Romeo Doubs a 3-yarder to Tory Horton as the Wolf Pack upped their advantage to 34-17 with 2:25 left in the period. Strong completed 34 of 54 passes. Cole Turner had a career-best 12 catches for 175 yards.

Fresno State defeated the Pack 34-32 on Saturday. Down 34-26, Nevada’s Carson Strong threw a 12-yard scoring pass to Cole Turner to cut the deficit to two points with two seconds left, but the 2-point conversion attempt was caught out of the back of the end zone. The Wolf Pack recovered the onside kick but time expired in the scramble for the ball.

Ronnie Rivers’ 64-yard touchdown run with 5:08 left in the first quarter gave the Bulldogs (6-2, 3-1 Mountain West Conference) a 7-3 lead and they led the rest of the way. The game featured the two-highest scoring teams in the conference. The teams combined for 984 yards of total offense. Strong completed 49 of 61 pass attempts for 476 yards and four touchdowns for the

Wolf Pack (5-2, 2-1).


Senior tight end Cole Turner was named the Reese’s Senior Bowl Offensive Player of the Week after a career-best performance against Hawai’i. Turner hauled in 12 receptions for a career high 175 yards against the Rainbow Warriors.


The Wolf Pack lead the nation in sacks after accumulating 28 for a total of 200 yards through seven games. Nichols leads Nevada with eight, while Dom Peterson (4.5), Sam Hammond (4.0), Daniel Grzesiak (2.0), Chris Love (2.0), Lawson Hall (1.0), Trevor Price (1.0), AJ King (1.0), Tyson Williams (1.0), and Jack Powers (2.5) have all chipped in.


Nevada is in its 115th season of collegiate football, seeking win No. 568 in the program’s strong history. The Wolf Pack sports an all-time record of 570-499-33. Since joining the FBS in 1992, Nevada is 195-165 overall and 127-90 in conference play. Nevada has posted winning seasons in 11 out of its past 14 campaigns.

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