The Nevada Wolf Pack football team starts conference play in a big way this weekend, facing off against its southern adversary in the annual Battle for Nevada. Reno Public Radio’s Marcus Lavergne reports.
The last time the UNLV Rebels entered Mackay Stadium was in 2013 when they beat the Pack shattering a nearly decade-long winning streak and sending the coveted Fremont Cannon Trophy back to Las Vegas.
The Wolf Pack reclaimed that trophy last season. Nevada’s Athletic Director Doug Knuth says that behind the cannon, there's a rivalry fans relish.
“The reality is what happens on the field, what happens on the basketball court, whenever we play against UNLV, it kind of heightens the intensity for our teams,” Knuth says.
Saturday night, the Pack won't have star linemen Rykeem Yates, a top defensive tackle in the Mountain West conference, who was suspended after last week's game. But, Knuth has high hopes for another team leader, quarterback Tyler Stewart who took the starting job this season.
“Tyler went to practice every day, went to weights, went to workouts, and did everything he had to do to be ready,” Knuth says. “Now, he’s got his chance to perform and shine and become the guy and he’s doing it.”
Stewart debuted in last year’s Battle for Nevada as the No. 2 quarterback behind alumni and four-year starter Cody Fajardo.