The annual Battle for the Fremont Cannon takes place Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium, where the UNLV Rebel football squad hosts the rival Wolf Pack from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Since the gridiron series began in 1969, the Wolf Pack leads 22 to 15 and has won the last seven contests. Last year's game, held in Reno on Oct. 8, 2011, resulted in a 37-0 Wolf Pack victory. That was the first shutout in the series.
Despite losing their last three home games in the rivalry, the Rebels are 9-9 in Las Vegas versus their northern rivals. Here is a look at the last eight times the Rebels defeated the Wolf Pack in Las Vegas, with a tip of the hat to the Associated Press, United Press International and UNLV's 2012 football guide.
1. Oct. 2, 2004 -- The Rebels cruised to a 48-13 victory for the team's fifth straight win over the Wolf Pack. UNLV broke the game open in the second half by reeling off 35 straight points. Stars of the game for the Rebels included Dominique Dorsey, who rushed for 141 yards, receiver Earvin Johnson, who caught two touchdown passes, and runners Erick Jackson and Dyante Perkins, who also each scored twice.
2. Oct. 5, 2002 -- UNLV edged UNR 21-17, giving John Robinson his 200th victory as a head coach in both the college and professional ranks. Quarterback Jason Thomas passed for 262 yards and ran for 64 more, and Larry Croom hauled in two touchdown passes for the Rebels. The crowd of 28,341 was the largest to witness a Rebels victory over the Wolf Pack at Sam Boyd Stadium.
3. Oct. 7, 2000 -- UNLV thrashed the Wolf Pack 38-7, thanks to heroics from quarterback Jason Thomas. He threw two touchdown passes and ran for two more scores to give UNLV its first victory over UNR since 1994. The Rebels gained 321 yards on the ground, with running backs Kevin Brown and Jeremi Rudolph each going over the 100-yard mark. Receiver Nate Turner also found the end zone twice.
4. Nov. 19, 1994 -- The 32-27 victory was sealed when UNLV rusher DeJohn Branch scored on a 4-yard run up the middle with only 58 seconds left in the game. The victory gave UNLV a three-way share of the Big West Conference title and earned the team a spot in the Las Vegas Bowl against Central Michigan. As reported by the Associated Press, fans swarmed the field after the UNR contest, tearing down one goal post and tilting the other one.
5. Oct. 3, 1987 -- The Rebels escaped with a 24-19 victory as UNLV running back and future National Football League star Ickey Woods gained 114 yards and scored on a 1-yard run. Defensive back Sean Blunt also intercepted two passes for UNLV, returning one for a 62-yard touchdown. Woods would go on that year to lead the nation in rushing with 1,658 yards, and was rewarded the following spring when he was drafted 31st overall by the National Football League's Cincinnati Bengals.
6. Sept. 3, 1983 -- Rebels quarterback Randall Cunningham led UNLV to a 28-18 victory by passing for 148 yards and two touchdowns. Cunningham, who earned All-American status as a punter that season, would go on to have a rewarding career as a quarterback in the National Football League. Selected to four Pro Bowls, he threw 207 touchdown passes and retired as the NFL's all-time leading rushing quarterback.
7. Nov. 20, 1976 -- The 49-33 victory gave the Rebels a perfect 8-0 record at home. The team also earned an appearance in the Division II playoffs that season in the first year under coach Tony Knap. Knap, whose six-year tenure as head coach at UNLV was matched only by John Robinson, would go on to guide the Rebels to Division I football in 1978. He compiled a 47-20 record with two ties at UNLV, earning the school's second highest winning percentage among head coaches. He died last year at age 96.
8. Nov. 16, 1974 -- UNLV secured a 28-7 victory over the Wolf Pack on the way to a perfect 11-0 regular season under coach Ron Meyer. The Rebels would go on that year to defeat Alcorn State in a Division II playoff game before losing to Delaware in the Grantland Rice Bowl in Louisiana. Meyer wound up with a 27-8 record as head coach, and his .771 winning percentage is highest in UNLV history. Meyer later graduated to coaching positions in the NFL.