RENO, Nev. - The University of Nevada has finalized its 2007 football schedule and has lined up an exciting slate of future games involving schools from Bowl Championship Series conferences.
This fall, Nevada will take on four teams that played in bowl games this past season, including the Wolf Pack's first meeting against Nebraska in Lincoln on Sept. 1. Nevada will then travel Northwestern on Sept. 8, a rematch of the Pack's 31-21 victory over the Wildcats in Reno last fall.
Nevada's home opener will be Sept. 15 against Division 1-AA Nicholls State, and the Pack will have a bye before vying for its third straight victory over UNLV in the annual Battle for the Fremont Cannon on Sept. 29 at Mackay Stadium.
The Wolf Pack's Western Athletic Conference schedule begins at home against Fresno State on Oct. 6, which is also Homecoming. That is followed by a Sunday matchup against Boise State on Oct. 14 that will be televised nationally on an ESPN network. Then come games at Utah State (Oct. 20) and at home against Idaho (Oct. 27) before a Friday night matchup at New Mexico State on Nov. 2 that will likely be televised by an ESPN network.
After the second bye week of the season, Nevada will take on Hawai'i in Reno (Nov. 17) before a trip to San Jose State (Nov. 24). The regular season concludes on Dec. 1 at home against Louisiana Tech.
Also, Nevada has added several games to its future non-conference schedules with programs from BCS conferences.
In the coming years, Nevada will play two-game series against Missouri (2008-09) and Texas Tech (2008, 2011) of the Big 12 Conference and has plans for a two-game series against Oregon of the Pacific-10 Conference (2011, 2013). The Wolf Pack also has single games lined up against Notre Dame (2009 in South Bend, Ind.) and Florida State (2013 in Tallahassee, Fla.).
"We are absolutely committed to bringing high-quality opponents to Mackay Stadium," said athletics director Cary Groth. "I would like to commend Rory Hickok (associate athletic director) for his efforts in scheduling these games."
Nevada's focus on improving the quality of its football schedule became evident last year when the Wolf Pack traveled to Arizona State and also played host to Northwestern, marking the first time a Big Ten school played in Reno. Nevada won that game, 31-21.
"Our fans deserve the opportunity to watch our program compete against first-rate competition," said Hickok, Nevada's associate athletics director who handles football scheduling. "By playing these teams, we get a chance to measure our program on a national level."
Wolf Pack head coach Chris Ault said he is looking forward to meeting the challenge of the future schedules.
"When you add those non-conference games to our existing conference games and UNLV each year, it certainly raises the bar," Ault said. "We are anxious to meet those expectations."
The future schedules represent the toughest slate of opponents to visit Mackay Stadium and will provide plenty of entertainment to Wolf Pack fans in Northern Nevada and around the country.