Rebels heading to Heart of Dallas Bowl
UNLV and North Texas to meet in Cotton Bowl on New Year’s Day
At 7-5, sources confirm Sunday that UNLV will be heading to the Heart of Dallas Bowl to take on North Texas on Jan. 1. An official announcement by the university is expected to happen at around 5:30 p.m.
The Rebels will end their 13-year-long bowl drought against the Mean Green in the Cotton Bowl at 9 a.m. PT, with the game televised on ESPNU.
Certainty around UNLV’s bowl future has been clouded since the Rebels won 45-19 against San Diego State on Nov. 30. That was their only win of the season against a team with a winning record, but it was against an Aztecs team that won six of their last seven conference games heading into that matchup.
Athletic Director Tina Kunzer-Murphy told The Rebel Yell on Friday at the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents meeting that while she was still working the phones to get UNLV to a bowl game, either the Heart of Dallas or Armed Forces Bowl were likely possibilities.
Middle Tennessee announced that it would take the Mountain West’s spot in the Armed Forces Bowl, and will play Navy. That could more than likely mean there’s one Mountain West team that could be left out.
As of this moment, these are the Mountain West teams who will be in a bowl game:
Fresno State – Las Vegas Bowl
Colorado State – New Mexico Bowl
Utah State – Poinsettia Bowl
Boise State – Hawaii Bowl
San Diego State – Idaho Potato Bowl
The last remaining bowl eligible team, San Jose State, could be the team left out, despite a season-making win over Fresno State that knocked the Bulldogs out of the running for a Bowl Championship Series game.
The Rebels have been hoping for the thought of going to Texas, solely based on the recruiting aspect. Two of UNLV’s top players, Tim Cornett and Devante Davis, both came from the same high school in Texas.
Also in the land of irony, President Neal Smatresk resigned from UNLV in November and will be heading to North Texas.