Rowe attended the University of Nevada. In his true freshman season of 2002, Rowe played in six games as the backup quarterback, throwing for 138 yards and one touchdown. In 2003, Rowe was named the most improved offensive back during spring drills and became the team's starter before suffering a shoulder injury early in the year. He threw for 259 yards and one touchdown and was redshirted for the season. In 2004, Rowe started all 14 games for the Wolf Pack, passing for 2,633 yards and 15 touchdowns, while rushing for another 129 yards. In his junior season in 2005, Rowe started all 12 games, throwing for 2,925 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also ran 119 times for 244 yards and six touchdowns. He earned second-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors and was his team's offensive most outstanding player. In 2006, his senior season, Rowe missed one game with a hamstring injury, but in his 12 starts he threw for 1,907 yards and 17 touchdowns. Following the season, he was named as the team's most valuable player. He compiled 7,862 yards in his college career, ranking him fifth in the school's history.