RENO, Nev. - The University of Nevada has completed its 2012 non-conference football schedule with the addition of a home game against the University of South Florida, a member of the Big East Conference, the schools announced Tuesday. The matchup is part of a two-game series between the teams as Nevada will play at South Florida in 2015.
Nevada will travel to face California on Sept. 1 to open the season and the Wolf Pack will then come home to Mackay Stadium to play host to South Florida (Sept. 8) and Northwestern State (Sept. 15). After a bye week, Nevada will play at Texas State (Sept. 29) before beginning the Pack's first ever Mountain West slate.
"USF has an outstanding football team that will present us with some unique challenges," Nevada coach Chris Ault said. "They are well coached and have some quality players. This is a game our fans won't want to miss."
This marks the sixth time since 2005 that Nevada has played host to a BCS conference school at Mackay Stadium. Nevada has four wins against BCS schools since the inception of the BCS in 1998.
"We are committed to continuing to bring quality opponents to Mackay Stadium for our fans and our football program," athletics director Cary Groth said.
This will be the first meeting between Nevada and USF. The Bulls went 5-7 in 2011 -- their first non-winning season since 2004 -- and are 13-12 under head coach Skip Holtz, who will be entering his third season in 2012. This will mark just the third time in USF history that the Bulls have played west of the Rockies.
"Nevada offers a difficult test for us," Holtz said. "Offensively, they've been very productive under Coach Ault and they've had a lot of success as a team over the last few years. Going on the road and playing in a tough environment early in the season will give us an opportunity to see where we are and could help us as we move deeper into the schedule."
The trip to Reno in 2012 will mark the third time in USF program history that it will play west of the Rocky Mountains. The Bulls traveled to San Diego to take on San Diego St. in 1999 and they also visited Utah in 2001.
The Mountain West portion of the schedule will be released in the coming months. Nevada will have four home games in league play as Boise State, Fresno State, San Diego State and Wyoming will come to Mackay Stadium. The Wolf Pack's conference road games will be against Air Force, Hawaii, New Mexico and UNLV.