UNLV football to face Howard University in 2017 season opener

The UNLV football team will open the 2017 season against Howard University on Sept. 2 at Sam Boyd Stadium, the university announced Tuesday.

“We’re excited to face a program with a long history and proud tradition,” UNLV coach Tony Sanchez said. “They have a new coaching staff so I know they’ll be fired up and so will we, and we’re excited to open the year at home.”

It’s the first meeting between UNLV and Howard, a historically black college (HBCU) in Washington, D.C. The Bisons are led by first-year coach Mike London, a former head coach at Virginia.

This is the second season of a three-year partnership between UNLV and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to have the Rebels open against a HBCU opponent. Last season, UNLV defeated Jackson State 63-13.

“Last year’s first game in this partnership with the LVCVA saw Jackson State come in for a memorable season opener that drew a lot of new fans to our stadium, and we know that Howard University will do the same this fall,” UNLV athletic director Tina Kunzer-Murphy said. “This series does a great job in helping the LVCVA promote our community and program, and we can’t wait to kick off the season against the Bisons.”

The Rebels now have their nonconference schedule set with the addition of Howard. UNLV travels to Idaho (Sept. 9) and Ohio State (Sept. 23) and will face Brigham Young at home (Nov. 11). The Mountain West schedule is expected to be released in early March.

Howard, a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, finished 2-9 last season.

UNLV finished 4-8 last season. Sanchez is entering his third season as coach.

Contact Gilbert Manzano at gmanzano@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0492. Follow @gmanzano24 on Twitter.

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