UNLV football players chant before beginning a game at Sam Boyd Stadium in this undated image. (File/FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
For the first time in 13 years, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Rebels are headed to a bowl game. It just so happens that their foe is the same school their president is headed to next year.
The Rebels will take on the Mean Green of the University of North Texas in the Heart of Dallas Bowl at the historic Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas at 9 a.m. New Year's Day.
The Rebels ended the season 7-5 and 5-3 in Mountain West Conference play. UNT ended its season 8-4 and 6-2 in Conference USA play.
"Obviously our program is very excited to be playing in a bowl game - particularly one on New Year's Day," said UNLV head football coach Bobby Hauck. "I'm very excited for our players who have worked so hard to have this experience."
The last two bowl appearances for the Rebels were in 1994 and 2000, when they played in their namesake Las Vegas Bowl. The only other bowl trip for UNLV was in 1984 when the Rebels played in the California Bowl.
The Rebels have played at Cotton Bowl Stadium once before on Oct. 24, 1998.
The face-off takes on a special meaning, not only because of the 13-year drought for the Rebels, but also because UNLV President Neal Smatresk is headed to North Texas next year to become that school's president.
The Heart of Dallas Bowl will be broadcast on ESPNU.
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