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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Cannons, casinos, UNLV traditions

UNLV Quarterback Nick Sherry prepares to throw the ball.

Arizona football is set to take on the UNLV Rebels on Saturday, and it’s worth learning some facts about not just about the competition, but the school and its tradition as well.

UNLV football had its first game against St. Mary’s in 1968, under head coach Bill Ireland. The Rebels won 27-20 and UNLV is now an FBS school in the Mountain West Conference.

They play at Sam Boyd Stadium, which was built in 1971 and seats 36,800.

UNLV football is currently led by head coach Bobby Hauck, in his fourth year.

The major source of competition the Rebels have to offer is senior running back Tim Cornett, whose 2012 record of 1,232 yards still doesn’t beat Arizona running back Ka’Deem Carey’s record of 1,929.

Sophomore quarterback Nick Sherry, a Casa Grande (Calif.) High School alum, impressed last year as freshman starter. Against Minnesota last week, he completed 35 of 50 passing attempts.

Without much veteran leadership, the young team will have to play beyond its years.

The Rebels’ in-state rival is the Nevada Wolf Pack, which has had more football success than UNLV. Every year, the two schools hold the “Battle of Nevada,” after which the winner takes home the Fremont Cannon, the heaviest and most expensive trophy in college football, according to Nevada’s website. UNLV has won 15 of the 38 rivalry football games since 1969, its last victory coming in 2004.

According to, Arizona will play both Nevada and UNLV in 2014, then the Wolfpack again in 2015. Arizona beat Nevada last year in the New Mexico Bowl.

The UNLV colors are scarlet and gray, which date back to the 1950s. The Rebels’ mascot is a nod to the school’s intended uprising against the University of Nevada, Reno, as UNLV essentially “rebelled” against its northern counterpart.

With the campus’ convenient location eight minutes from the Las Vegas strip, it makes sense that the school offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality Management with a concentration in gaming management, which teaches the mathematics of slot machines, table games and casino marketing.

Also offered is a minor in Compulsive Gambling. No, it doesn’t teach students to become compulsive gamblers, but instead educates them on the awareness of addiction and ethical issues in the gaming industry.

UNLV’s hotel program in the hospitality management program boasts successful alum who have moved on to manage some of the well-known resorts on the strip. Cynthia Kiser Murphey, president and chief operating officer of New York-New York and Scott Sibella, president of Mirage both graduated from UNLV.

Six UNLV alumni are currently in the NFL, including Eric Wright on the San Francisco 49ers. Former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham also played for UNLV football and returned to the school to finish his degree after retiring from the NFL.

Other recognizable alumni include Food Network star Guy Fieri and ESPN broadcaster Kenny Mayne.

—Follow Megan Coghlan @MeganCoghlan

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