UNLV will host Jackson State on Thursday, Sept. 1 in its 2016 football season opener at Sam Boyd Stadium. In a partnership between the two schools and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Jackson State’s famed marching band, the Sonic Boom of the South, and dance squad, the Prancing J-Settes, will travel to Las Vegas and appear in a public pep rally and other events in addition to the game.
Jackson State, a historically black college and Football Championship Subdivision team located in Jackson, Mississippi, has produced Pro Football Hall of Famers Walter Payton, Jackie Slater and Lem Barney.
The Tigers are coming off a 3-8 season in which they lost their opener to FBS school Middle Tennessee State, 70-14. The Rebels, who went 3-9 in Tony Sanchez’s first season as coach, set school and Mountain West scoring records last season in a 80-8 home win over FCS team Idaho State.
After hosting Jackson State, UNLV will play road games against UCLA at the Rose Bowl on Sept. 10 and at Central Michigan on Sept. 17. The Rebels will close out their non-conference schedule Sept. 24 at home against Idaho.
The Mountain West schedule has yet to be announced, but UNLV is tentatively scheduled to play home games against Colorado State, Fresno State, UNR and Wyoming and road games against Boise State, Hawaii, San Diego State and San Jose State.