Before Friday night’s Battle for the Fremont Cannon, UNLV’s last four games were all one-possession losses. But the Rebels could not keep up with their in-state rival as the Fremont Cannon will remain blue, in Reno, for another year.
For the second consecutive year, the Wolf Pack dominated the Rebels from the opening drive on their way to a 51-20 victory.
“You could just see we were out of rhythm in all facets…” head coach Marcus Arroyo told members of the media who made the trip to Reno. “We had too slow a start, and that hadn’t happened to us very often, so we’ve got to look at what really caused that.”
The Wolf Pack moved the ball with ease on their first drive of the game, going 73 yards in five plays and just over two minutes, scoring a touchdown on a four-yard pass from Carson Strong to Cole Turner.
After a pair of field goals, Strong threw the second of his four touchdown passes to Romeo Doubs on a 28-yard completion in the second quarter, as the Wolf Pack took its 20-0 lead into halftime.
The Rebels had a chance to make things interesting before the half when defensive back Phillip Hill intercepted Strong. But on the ensuing drive, Cameron Friel was intercepted to end the half.
UNLV began the second half with the ball and proceeded to give it right back to Nevada, as Friel’s pass was intercepted by Tyson Williams and returned 49 yards for a touchdown. Another Strong touchdown to Turner in the third quarter pushed the Wolf Pack lead to 34-0.
The Rebels managed to get their first points late in the third quarter when Friel connected with Kyle Williams for a 23-yard touchdown reception.
The Wolf Pack quickly answered on a three-play, 65-yard drive in 61 seconds, with Strong finding Tory Horton for a 31-yard touchdown.
UNLV did not wave the white flag as they scored two more touchdowns. One was a four-yard Charles Williams run and the other an 18-yard pass from Friel to Steve Jenkins, who hauled in 133 receiving yards on the night.
Strong completed 37 of 49 passes for 417 yards to nine different receivers. The Wolf Pack averaged 11.3 yards per reception against the inexperienced and banged up UNLV secondary.
Cameron Friel only threw for 283 yards two touchdowns and three interceptions, two of those were returned for touchdowns. Charles Williams only rushed for 30 yards on 17 attempts. He is 44 yards away from becoming the school’s all-time leading rusher.
UNLV falls to 0-8 on the season and 0-14 under Marcus Arroyo. The Rebels have not won a football game since Nov. 30, 2019, when UNLV defeated UNR in Reno, 33-30 in overtime.
“Obviously disappointed to come in here and play the way we played,” Arroyo said. “They are an experienced group and we didn’t play well enough or consistently enough to beat a team like that. We’ve got to go back and make sure we get some things cleaned up.”
Prior to the game, quarterback Doug Brumfield, who has not played since Sept. 24 at Fresno State, was fully dressed and warmed up with the team. And the Rebels were without defensive back Nohl Williams who did not dress for the game.
The Rebels will have some extended time off before their next game against New Mexico on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 4:00 p.m. PT, the game will be broadcast on Stadium.
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