The Fremont Cannon’s stay in Las Vegas was short lived.
For the 10th time in the last 12 years, the trophy awarded to the annual Nevada Wolf Pack / UNLV Rebels football rivalry will take up residence in Reno. Nevada rolled UNLV 45-10 at Sam Boyd Stadium on Saturday.
This one was ugly by halftime. Nevada was up 17-0 ten seconds into the second quarter, and built a 27-10 halftime lead thanks to rushing touchdowns by quarterback Ty Gangi and running back James Butler. Gangi also found James Butler from 14 yards out with two minutes remaining in the half.
Scoring in third quarter was limited to a 38 yard field goal from Wolf Pack kicker Spencer Pettit extending the lead to 30-10. Nevada put it away early in the fourth with a 84 yard touchdown drive to make it 38-10 with eleven minutes remaining. Butler closed out the scoring with a 13 yard run with 2:30 remaining.
There aren’t many positive things to say about UNLV after this one. Quarterback Kurt Palandech picked up 98 yards on the ground. That’s pretty good.
The Nevada rushing attack did what it wanted all day. Butler would finish with 196 yards on 32 carries with 3 touchdowns. Gangi had 99 on the ground and 193 through the air.
For Nevada head coach Brian Polian, you could argue that this game made him a little less fireable as the offseason gets underway. For Tony Sanchez, it’s a minor step forward compared to last year when the Rebels won three games, but it has to be frustrating for UNLV fans who began the year with bigger expectations. The overtime loss to Idaho at home was especially discouraging, though the 69-66 win over Wyoming was a signature win in Sanchez’s young career. The UNLV faithful will look for a significant step forward for the Rebels in year three.