UNLV football to open season with four straight home games

Given UNLV's struggles on the road, the Rebels might have a chance to build some early momentum next football season.

UNLV opens its 13-game schedule -- the Rebels were allowed an additional date because of a trip to Hawaii -- with four straight home games, beginning Aug. 30 against Minnesota.

UNLV last opened with such a homestand in 1973 when it was in Division II.

"I've only been around one other time with that number of games," coach Bobby Hauck said Friday after the schedule was released. "We've got to win on the road as well. I'm certainly thrilled we get to open the season at home."

UNLV, which has won two games each of the past two seasons, hasn't sparkled at home, but the Rebels played noticeably better at Sam Boyd Stadium. On the road, however, they have lost 16 games in a row.

There won't be much time for the Rebels to catch their breaths, no matter the venue; they have no bye weeks. UNLV had two weeks off last season.

"All things being equal, I like it," Hauck said.

He also liked the idea that the season ends earlier, with a Nov. 24 trip to Hawaii. UNLV played a week into December the past two seasons, putting Hauck and his staff a week behind other schools in recruiting.

UNLV will not play new Mountain West Conference member Fresno State. Each team will skip one opponent for what will be a 10-team league in the final season of Mountain West play before it merges with Conference USA.

Maybe by then the UNLV-UNR game will move to the end of the season. The teams meet Oct. 13 in Las Vegas, the fourth consecutive year the rivalry game will be played in October.

"I think it was a little bit of a struggle for the conference to arrange everything how they wanted it arranged," Hauck said. "I'm a traditionalist. Rivalry games should be played on the last weekend, and I'd like to see that happen."

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2914. Follow him on Twitter: @markanderson65.