At a time when many historically black colleges and universities are struggling financially, Prairie View A&M is investing in its athletics program.
The school opened a 15,000-seat football stadium in 2016 that includes a 55,000-square-foot athletics administration building at a cost of $60 million. Prairie View’s stadium was built so that it could expand to 30,000.
“Indeed this is truly a momentous occasion for the entire Prairie View A&M University community,” university president George C. Wright said at the time of the announcement in 2014. “Alumni, students, faculty and staff wanted a state-of-the-art, first-class facility that was worthy of our beloved Panthers, and we all worked together to make the dream come to fruition.”
UNLV faced the Panthers on Saturday night at Sam Boyd Stadium. The Rebels will get their own shiny new stadium in two years when they move into the Raiders’ building near the Strip. They also are building an on-campus football facility that will be completed next spring.
Prairie View has a rich football history, having won 11 Southwestern Athletic Conference titles and five Black College National Championships.
The Panthers, however, are under new leadership. Coach Eric Dooley was Grambling State’s offensive coordinator the previous four seasons, and he took over a Prairie View program that went 6-5 last season.
UNLV no longer the last team standing
Brigham Young defeated Wisconsin 24-21 on Saturday, ending the Badgers’ 41-game home winning streak against nonconference teams. It was the nation’s longest streak.
The last team to beat the Badgers in Madison? UNLV in 2003.
Panthers on the road again
Prairie View’s game against UNLV was its fourth in a row away from home. One of those was a neutral-site game against North Carolina Central in Athens, Georgia, called the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference/SWAC Challenge.
The Panthers finish September with two more road games before finally playing at home Oct. 13 against Southern.
Rough night for special teams
UNLV senior kicker Evan Pantels’ school-record 80 consecutive made extra points ended after the Rebels’ first touchdown. He set the record last week against Texas-El Paso.
That miss should have been the clue of what was to come.
Prairie View had two snaps get past its punter, and UNLV’s Brandon Presley muffed a punt return.
All of that occurred in the first quarter.