Photo Credit: Mountain West Conference

FSM Essential Recap – UNLV Rebels vs Reno Wolfpack- Week 8 -2023


UNLV beat in-state rival UNR 45-27 to win the Battle of the Fremont Cannon and become a win away from becoming Bowl-eligible after improving to 5-1 on the year.

UNLV Football took on the Reno Wolfpack on Saturday!

UNLV vs Reno | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Lucas Peltier/UNLV Athletics

UNLV took on their in-state rival UNR on Saturday and left the city of Reno with their fifth win in six games with a resounding 45–27 win over the Wolfpack. It’s the first time since 1984 that the Rebels have accomplished that feat. 

The Rebels wanted to exact revenge on the Wolfpack. The last time UNLV went to Reno to play, UNR throttled UNLV 51–28 in a game where they tried to run up the score on The Rebels. This time, it was personal for UNLV, who not only wanted to keep the Fremont Cannon red but also show the Wolfpack, who truly is the premier football university in the state of Nevada.

Twenty-four thousand five hundred seventy-eight fans, including Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo, packed into Mackay Stadium to see the Battle for the Fremont Cannon, and most of them left disappointed, crying blue tears. The cannon will remain Rebel Red as UNLV earned three points in the Silver State Series with the victory. It is also UNLV‘s first four-game winning streak since 2013. Coincidentally, that was their last bowl season.

UNLV head coach Barry Odom became just the second head coach in school history to win his first two conference games, joining Jeff Horton, who started off 4-0 in the Big West in 1994. The last time the Rebels started 5-1, All-American Randall Cunningham was their starting quarterback and punter. 

The Fertitta Football Complex will now be the home of the Golden Pineapple and the Fremont Cannon for a full calendar year. It is the first time that has happened in school history. 

UNLV beat Reno on Saturday

UNLV dominated UNR in every phase. It was the most complete game the Rebels have played all year

UNLV Rebels vs Reno Wolfpack saw a dominant performance by the Rebels on Saturday.

UNLV vs Reno | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Lucas Peltier/UNLV Athletics

The Rebels’ defense came to play early in the game. They forced UNR to punt after they had two sacks in the first series. It took the Rebels just two plays to score. Ricky White III hauled in a Jayden Maiava pass and took it 59 yards for a touchdown. After forcing the Wolfpack to punt again, the Rebels went on a ten-play, 79-yard drive capped off by a Donavyn Lester 1-yard touchdown run. The Rebels lead 14–0 after their first two possessions. The Wolfpack ended the first quarter on a 43-yard touchdown pass from Brendan Lewis to Dalevon Campbell to cut the score to 14–7.

In the second quarter, Lester was at it again. This time, he scored a touchdown from 16 yards out to give the Rebels a 21–7 lead. The Wolfpack had no answer for Ricky White. This time, Maiava connected with him on an 82-yard touchdown pass, and the Rebels extended their lead to 28–7. The score remained the same at halftime.

The Rebels got the ball to start the second half, and it took only three plays to score. Lester, this time, took the handoff and went 66 yards to pay dirt to give the Rebels a 35–7 lead. The Wolfpack answered right back on a Brendan Lewis 6-yard touchdown run to cut the score to 35–14. Jose Pizano kicked a field goal to end the scoring in the third quarter as the Rebels led 38–14.

The Wolfpack answered quickly in the fourth quarter. This time, it was Sean Dollars scoring on a 2-yard touchdown run. The score was now 38–20. After each team’s defense stepped up, UNLV running back Vincent Davis Jr. capped off the Rebels scoring on a 9-yard touchdown run to give UNLV a 45–20 lead. With 151 left in the game, Isaiah Crocker caught a 55-yard touchdown pass from Lewis to make the score 45–27. UNLV ran out the clock and eventually took a knee to earn the win and keep the Fremont Cannon in Las Vegas.

UNLV was led by running back Donovan Lester and wide receiver Ricky White III in their win vs Reno.

This was a big win for the Rebels. They improved to 5-1 overall on the season, but much work still has to be done.

UNLV took on Reno at Mackey Stadium on Saturday

UNLV vs Reno | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Lucas Peltier/UNLV Athletics

Ricky White finished the day with eight catches for 174 yards and two touchdowns. Jayden Maiava, who started his third straight game, finished with 257 yards passing while completing 20–25 passes and two touchdowns. Lastly, the Rebels defense stepped up as they grabbed two interceptions and recovered a fumble to win the turnover battle 3–0. 

UNLV Head Coach Barry Odom was undoubtedly happy with the outcome, but he also knows the job is far from finished.

I’m happy for our team, our athletics department, all of the people that support our program, and the city of Las Vegas. It’s big, it’s huge. There’s momentum. You can feel it. You feel it in the city — not just with our sport, but with all of the UNLV sports, and then you’ve got all the other things in the city. We have to do our part. The guys feed off that, there’s no doubt about it,Odom said.

We’re still not where we need to be, offense, defense, kicking. We did some really good things, enough to win that game. We’ll enjoy this one until we get home, and then it’s on to the next, but I’m so happy for our team. I don’t want to confuse the message. I’m thrilled for our program to be 5-1, 2-0 in the conference, but that’s right where UNLV should be. Now we’ll see how good we can get between now and next Saturday for a home game, which is huge. And we need the home-field advantage that will make such a huge difference for us and for our team.

Next Saturday, the Rebels will host Colorado State. It’s homecoming for UNLV, and it’s also a game where they could clinch bowl eligibility for the first time since 2013. 

The final score from Mackey Stadium was 45-27, UNLV over Reno.

UNLV will return for Homecoming vs Colorado State next Saturday. The kickoff is set for 4 p.m. at Allegiant Stadium.


– Joe Arrigo – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Joe on all social media: @JoeArrigoFSM

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