UNLV Accepts Bid to Heart of Dallas Bowl
LAS VEGAS – The UNLV football team is heading to its first bowl game in 13 years after the Rebels on Sunday night accepted a bid to play North Texas on New Year's Day in the Heart of Dallas Bowl Presented by PlainsCapital Bank. The Rebels took a spot in the game that was vacated by the Big Ten Conference when that league saw two teams go to the BCS.
"Obviously our program is very excited to be playing in a bowl game -- particularly one on New Year's Day" UNLV head coach Bobby Hauck said. "I'm very excited for our players who have worked so hard to have this experience. We're going to prepare hard, have fun and have a good performance in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on January 1."
UNLV (7-5/5-3 Mountain West) will be making a bowl trip outside of Las Vegas for the first time in nearly three decades when it takes on the Mean Green (8-4/6-2 Conference USA) at the historic Cotton Bowl Stadium at 9:00 a.m. PT on ESPNU. Tickets are $75 apiece (UNLV students with valid I.D. are $20 apiece with a limit of two) and available now by calling (702) 739-FANS (3267) or visiting www.unlvtickets.com.
The Rebels' last two bowl appearances took place in their home stadium at the Las Vegas Bowl (2000 and 1994) and their only other bowl trip came in 1984 when Randall Cunningham quarterbacked the squad in the California Bowl played in Fresno. UNLV has played at Cotton Bowl Stadium once before as the Rebels took on SMU there on Oct. 24, 1998, when both teams were part of the old 16-team Western Athletic Conference.
"We are absolutely thrilled to be traveling to play in the Heart of Dallas Bowl," said UNLV Director of Athletics Tina Kunzer-Murphy. "I'm so proud of what our players and coaches have accomplished so far and getting the Rebels back into the postseason is a big step in the progress of this program."
UNLV, which won its final two regular-season games to reach the seven-win mark for only the third time since that 1984 season, tied for third place in the MW's West Division while UNT tied for second place in the C-USA's West Division. The teams will play each other for the first time since 2000 when UNLV won 38-0 at Sam Boyd Stadium. The Rebels, who are 3-0 in bowl games, have won all four previous meetings with the Mean Green.
After two seasons as the TicketCity Bowl, the name of the postseason game at the Cotton Bowl was changed to the Heart of Dallas Bowl. The 2013 game featured Oklahoma State of the Big 12 Conference against Purdue of the Big Ten. The game raised $100,000 for the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, helping to move 225 individuals and families into permanent housing.