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Five fun facts about the UNLV-UNR football rivalry

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The two Nevada schools battle it out for the coveted Fremont cannon on Saturday.
Rick Bowmer, AP

The Details

UNLV vs. UNR football
October 13, noon, $25-$105.
Sam Boyd Stadium, 739-3267.

• 1. Bill Ireland, UNLV’s first football coach and a UNR alum, hatched the idea to have the two schools play for a replica of John C. Fremont’s 19th century Howitzer cannon. Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation constructed the 545-pound trophy and donated it to the rivalry.

• 2. Fans of the scarlet and gray haven’t had much to celebrate in the series lately. UNR comes into the 2012 game with wins in seven straight meetings (a record), most of them in blowout fashion. Overall, UNR leads UNLV 22-15.

• 3. UNR joined UNLV’s Mountain West Conference this fall, and this is just the fifth time the teams have met as members of the same conference. UNR was a Division I-AA school until the early 1990s.

• 4. In the 1980s, the cannon spent seven of 10 years in Las Vegas. But back then, the rivalry wasn’t an annual affair, so UNLV kept the cannon for a five-year span despite earning just one victory. The Fremont Cannon game has now been played 23 straight seasons dating back to 1989.

• 5. After beating UNR in the 2000 game, UNLV students stormed Sam Boyd Stadium field and spray-painted the cannon Rebel red. Players and students also lifted the cannon above their heads ... and it dropped and broke into pieces. Two weeks later, UNLV paid $1,500 to have it repaired.

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Ray has been covering sports in Southern Nevada since 1996. His work is regularly honored by the Nevada Press Association.

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