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Fremont Cannon

The Fremont Cannon is the trophy awarded to the winner of the Battle for Nevada, an American college football rivalry game played annually by the Nevada Wolf Pack football team of the University of Nevada, Reno (Nevada) and the UNLV Rebels football team of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). The trophy was built in 1970 and is a replica of a 19th century Howitzer cannon that accompanied American explorer and politician John C. Fr mont on an expedition to Nevada in the mid 19th century. Originally fired following a touchdown by the team in possession of the cannon, it has been inoperable since 1999. The wooden carriage is painted the school color of the team in possession, blue for Nevada and red for UNLV. The trophy is the heaviest and most expensive in college football.

The first game between the teams was in 1969 with Nevada defeating UNLV. The following year the cannon was built and UNLV became the first team to win the cannon. Since then the cannon has changed hands twelve times with the current holder being Nevada, following a 37-0 victory in 2011 at Mackay Stadium in Reno. The 37-0 Nevada win in 2011 was the first shutout in the history of the rivalry. Nevada has held the cannon for seven years straight, following a five year reign by UNLV. Nevada has won 22 out of the 37 games played between the two teams for the cannon.


History of the trophy

John C. Fr mont,the namesake of the cannon
John C. Fr mont,
the namesake of the cannon
In 1967 Bill Ireland was hired by Nevada Southern University (the predecessor to UNLV) to coach their new football team,[1] and by 1969 came up with the idea to have a trophy as a symbol of the rivalry between the two schools.[2] Ireland was the first football coach of the UNLV Rebels,[3] and an alumnus and former coach of Nevada.[1] The cannon was donated by Kennecott Copper and is a replica of a howitzer cannon that explorer John C. Fremont used on an expedition in 1843, and allegedly left in a snowdrift in the Sierra Nevada mountains.[2] The cannon contains a barrel, weighs , and cost $10,000 to build, making it the heaviest and most expensive trophy in college football.[4] The cannon is painted the winning team's color, red for UNLV,[5] and blue for Nevada.[6]

The two schools first played each other on Thanksgiving Day, 1969, with the Wolf Pack winning 30-28, however construction of the cannon had yet to be completed. The first competition for the cannnon was in 1970 when the Rebels won 42-30 in Las Vegas.[4] In 1978, following Nevada's first victory over UNLV in four seasons, Chris Ault convinced security at McCarran International Airport to allow the team to disassemble the cannon and take it as carry-on luggage back to Reno.[4] The team had to figure out how to break down the cannon, a task that was usually done by the Reserve Officers' Training Corps, which Nevada did not have in 1978.

The Fremont Cannon was refurbished by the UNLV athletics department at a cost of $1,500 in 2000 following damage after a UNLV victory celebration wherein fans and players attempted to lift the cannon and dropped it.[7] While being refurbished, UNLV officials found inscriptions inside the cannon, including "University of Notta Lotta Victories." Traditionally, the team possessing the cannon would fire it each time they scored a touchdown during the rivalry game;[3] however, the cannon has not been fired since 2000 due to the damage it received when it was dropped.[7]

History of the rivalry

Students of Nevada's two public universities share a mutual disdain for each other, as evidenced by the numerous blue "FUNLV" and red "FUNR" shirts (UNR being shorthand for University of Nevada, Reno) at the stadium on rivalry days. Many Nevada students hail from Las Vegas and view UNLV as a glorified community college; UNLV students see Nevada as an overrated, stodgy institution in an uncultured part of the state.[8]

In 1993 Wolf Pack coach Jeff Horton left Nevada after one season to coach for UNLV in what is referred to as the "Red Defection".[9]

The rivalry is heated inside the stadium as well. Sam Boyd Stadium and Mackay Stadium are two of the few NCAA institutions to sell alcohol on game day. This, combined with the heated nature of the rivalry has resulted in numerous fights in the stands. In 1995, UNLV players allegedly started a pre-game brawl, which prompted the Wolf Pack to run up the score in their 55-32 victory against UNLV. After the game, UNLV player Quincy Sanders threw his helmet in the direction of Nevada head coach Chris Ault. [10]

In 2003 a Nevada fan was charged with battery for throwing a half full plastic beer bottle at UNLV head coach John Robinson, striking him near his head.[11]

On August 18, 2010, Nevada announced that they will join the Mountain West Conference starting in either 2011 or 2012; their entry was later confirmed for 2012. Since UNLV has been in the Mountain West Conference since 1999, the annual rivalry game will once again be a conference game. The last meeting of the two schools as conference rivals was in 1995, when both schools were members of the Big West Conference.[12]

Game results

Nevada victories are colored blue. UNLV victories are colored scarlet. Ties are white.

# Date Location Winner Score Series
1 November 22, 1969 Reno, NV Nevada 30–28 Nevada 1-0
2 November 21, 1970 Las Vegas, NV UNLV 42–30 Tied 1-1
3 November 20, 1971 Reno, NV UNLV 27–13 UNLV 2-1
4 November 18, 1972 Las Vegas, NV Nevada 41–13 Tied 2-2
5 November 17, 1973 Reno, NV Nevada 19–3 Nevada 3-2
6 November 26, 1974 Las Vegas, NV UNLV 28–7 Tied 3-3
7 November 22, 1975 Reno, NV UNLV 45–7 UNLV 4-3
8 November 20, 1976 Las Vegas, NV UNLV 49–33 UNLV 5-3
9 November 19, 1977 Reno, NV UNLV 27–12 UNLV 6-3
10 September 16, 1978 Las Vegas, NV Nevada 23–14 UNLV 6-4
11 September 15, 1979 Reno, NV UNLV 26–21 UNLV 7-4
12 September 3, 1983 Las Vegas, NV UNLV 28–18 UNLV 8-4
13 November 16, 1985 Reno, NV Nevada 48–7 UNLV 8-5
14 October 3, 1987 Las Vegas, NV UNLV 24–19 UNLV 9-5
15 November 11, 1989 Reno, NV Nevada 45–7 UNLV 9-6
16 October 20, 1990 Las Vegas, NV Nevada 26–14 UNLV 9-7
17 September 7, 1991 Reno, NV Nevada 50–8 UNLV 9-8
18 October 17, 1992 Las Vegas, NV Nevada 14–10 Tied 9-9
19 October 2, 1993 Reno, NV Nevada 49–14 Nevada 10-9

# Date Location Winner Score Series
20 November 19, 1994 Las Vegas, NV UNLV 32–27 Tied 10-10
21 October 28, 1995 Reno, NV Nevada 55–32 Nevada 11-10
22 October 5, 1996 Las Vegas, NV Nevada 54–17 Nevada 12-10
23 September 6, 1997 Reno, NV Nevada 31–14 Nevada 13-10
24 October 3, 1998 Las Vegas, NV Nevada 31–20 Nevada 14-10
25 October 2, 1999 Reno, NV Nevada 26–12 Nevada 15-10
26 October 7, 2000 Las Vegas, NV UNLV 38–7 Nevada 15-11
27 October 6, 2001 Reno, NV UNLV 27–12 Nevada 15-12
28 October 5, 2002 Las Vegas, NV UNLV 21–17 Nevada 15-13
29 October 4, 2003 Reno, NV UNLV 16–12 Nevada 15-14
30 October 2, 2004 Las Vegas, NV UNLV 48–13 Tied 15-15
31 September 17, 2005 Reno, NV Nevada 22–14 Nevada 16-15
32 September 30, 2006 Las Vegas, NV Nevada 31–3 Nevada 17-15
33 September 29, 2007 Reno, NV Nevada 27–20 Nevada 18-15
34 September 27, 2008 Las Vegas, NV Nevada 49–27 Nevada 19-15
35 October 3, 2009 Reno, NV Nevada 63–28 Nevada 20-15
36 October 2, 2010 Las Vegas, NV Nevada 44–26 Nevada 21-15
37 October 8, 2011 Reno, NV Nevada 37–0 Nevada 22-15


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