The two schools have met 39 times since 1969, with the Wolf Pack holding a 23-16 edge in the series, including eight of the last nine games. UNLV won the cannon back last season with a 27-22 decision in Reno, breaking an eight game winning streak by Nevada.
The Wolf Pack are looking to bounce back from its worst game of the season last week at home against Fresno State. On senior night, with the West Division title on the line, the Wolf Pack were soundly drubbed 40-20 by the Bulldogs and knocked out of contention for the Mountain West Conference championship. However, two of Nevada's stated pre-season goals are still within their grasp with a victory on Saturday, possession of the Fremont Cannon and a bowl game.
Standing in Nevada's way is a very angry rival. The Rebels rallied to take a 35-31 lead over Hawaii with 15 seconds left in the game last week in Honolulu, only to watch the Rainbow Warriors drive the length of the field in the closing seconds and score the go ahead touchdown as time expired, thanks to two costly personal foul penalties and a VERY friendly home clock operator. The 37-35 loss dropped the Rebels to 2-10 on the season and put an emphatic note of misery on head coach Bobby Hauck's fifth season at UNLV.
Common Opponents this Season
|San Diego State
|San Jose State
||W 30-27 (OT)
||L 45-38 (OT)
Player's to Watch81 WR Devante Davis
The senior wide receiver has 11 career 100-yard receiving games and was a 1st-team All-MWC selection in pre-season. Has been a little banged up this season, missing five games this season, but will play against Nevada. A bonafide deep threat that the Wolf Pack must contain. Had five catches for 163 yards against Hawaii last week. Had eight receptions for 121 yards and two touchdowns against Nevada last season in Reno.
83 WR Devonte Boyd
Local freshman Las Vegas prospect that is extremely athletic. Currently has 60 recptions for 912 receiving yards on the season which ranks first in the country among freshmen. Last week he had four catches for 91 yards against Hawaii.
5 QB Black Decker
Came off the bench to spark UNLV's comeback against Hawaii, throwing three 4th quarter touchdowns to put the Rebels on top before Hawaii's miracle win. Can be inconsistent but has displayed unmistakable toughness this year, standing in to take some really big hits. He's passed for 2,715 yards on the season on 210-of-362 passing for 13 touchdowns against 15 interceptions.
33 RB Shaquille Murray-Lawrence
Senior running back leads the Rebels in touchdowns this season with eight. Goes by the nickname "Shaq-Mu" as his last name is the longest at 23 letters on the Rebel's roster in UNLV history. Had a career day in the loss to BYU this season, rushing 20 times for 143 yards.
69 OL Brett Boyko
6-7 310 pound offensive lineman from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada. One of the best linemen in the MWC as well as one of the conference's top NFL prospects. Has bounced between tackle and guard. Was a former quarterback in highschool.
92 DT Brandon Willis
Former UCLA transfer is a big interior defensive lineman. Will be a big challenge for Nevada's injury depleted offensive line. Has 41 tackles on the year with three tackles for a loss.
55 WLB Tau Lotulelei
Sophomore linebacker out of Maui, HI. Leads the Rebel defense in tackles with 92 on the season. Also has 10.5 tackles for loss and 3 sacks on the season. Had a season high 15 tackles in a loss to Utah State on Oct. 25th.
Neil Henderson can be reached via Twitter.