Football: Nevada and Cal agree on three-game deal
RENO, Nev. – The University of Nevada will play host to California at Mackay Stadium for the first time ever next season as the schools have reached an agreement in principle on a three-game series, officials from both schools announced today.
Under the agreement, Cal will come to Reno to play Nevada on Sept. 18, 2010 and the Wolf Pack will visit Berkeley twice in future years. Dates for those games in Berkeley will be announced at a later date. Next year’s game between the Wolf Pack and the Bears will be the 25th meeting all-time between the schools but it will be just the second meeting since 1934 and will be the first-ever matchup to be played in Reno.
“We are very excited to have this preliminary agreement with Cal as it is a natural fit,” Nevada senior associate athletic director Rory Hickok said. “In terms of a regional matchup between two highly competitive teams, this series makes sense. We’ve had on-going discussions with Cal for quite awhile and we’re excited to finally be able to put this together. We look forward to having the Golden Bears and their fans come to Mackay Stadium next season and we know our fans are looking forward to visiting Berkeley in future years.”
Said Nevada coach Chris Ault: “This is exciting news. Cal is a quality opponent and this series will give our program great exposure in the Bay Area.”
The game against Cal in 2010 will begin a stretch of seven straight seasons in which Nevada will play at least one Pac-10 team.
Nevada had been scheduled to play host to San Diego State on Sept. 18 next season but that game has been pushed back to later date after a series of discussions between the schools. Nevada played at San Diego State in 2004 and the Aztecs will return the trip to Reno on Sept. 10, 2016.
“We talked with San Diego State about a variety of options as each school had other opportunities that needed to be explored,” said Hickok, who handles football scheduling. “We’re pleased that we will be able to keep the Nevada-San Diego State game on the books for a future schedule.”
In 2010, Nevada is currently scheduled to open at home on Sept. 11 against Colorado State before hosting Cal the next week. After that, the Wolf Pack is scheduled to go on the road to BYU and UNLV before Western Athletic Conference play begins.
However, because Nevada plays at Hawaii next year, the option to play a 13th game does exist.
“We will explore the option of securing a 13th game for the 2010 schedule and it will be a home game to open the season,” Hickok said. “With the direction our football program is moving and the high-caliber product we anticipate having next season, we feel that we owe it to our fans to play seven home games in 2010.”
Nevada has not played seven home games in a season since 1991, when the Wolf Pack played nine games at Mackay Stadium. Seven of those were regular season games and the other two came in the I-AA playoffs.
Hickok noted that the dialogue between Nevada and San Diego State has led to further scheduling opportunities in other sports.
“I think both schools realized that it is in our best interests to pursue home-and-home scheduling arrangements for men’s and women’s basketball as well,” Hickok said. “We’re excited to continue the discussion and get those deals in place.”
In men’s hoops, the Pack and the Aztecs have played eight times before. San Diego State holds a 5-3 advantage in the series but Nevada has won three of the last four meetings. The last time the teams met was in 1998-99 when the Pack swept a pair of games from the Aztecs.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to schedule a home-and-home series with San Diego State,” first-year men’s basketball coach David Carter said. “It’s great to be able to play one of the quality programs on the West Coast, and I know our fans will look forward to these games in the future.”
In women’s basketball, Nevada last played SDSU in 2007. San Diego State holds a 3-2 all-time series lead.
“I’m elated to start home and home series with San Diego State,” second-year Nevada coach Jane Albright said. “I’ve known Beth Burns a long time and she is one of the best coaches in the country. It’s a wonderful opportunity to be able to schedule a home and home series with a great West Coast school.”
Specific dates for the planned series between the respective basketball programs will be announced at a later date.