USF will visit Nevada on Sept. 8, 2012 with the Wolf Pack making a return trip to Tampa on Oct. 3, 2015. With this addition, USF has finalized its 2012 non-conference schedule with Nevada joining Tennessee-Chattanooga (Sept. 1), Ball St. (Sept. 22), Florida St. (Sept. 29) and Miami (Nov. 24).
It's good news for USF fans, who were afraid the the Bulls might have to play two FCS (formerly I-AA) schools next season because it was getting late to fill that last spot.
It will also be a big early test for USF's defense, which struggled last season in trying to hold leads at the end of several games.
“We are excited to come to this agreement with Nevada,” said Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Doug Woolard. “With everything that’s going on around the country, schools are having a difficult time finishing off their schedules. We’re happy that a quality program like Nevada had an opening and we look forward to facing them next season and in 2015.”
Nevada, which will move from the Western Athletic Conference to the Mountain West Conference for 2012, is coming off a 7-6 season that finished with a 24-17 loss to No. 19 Southern Miss in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.
The Wolf Pack tied for second in the WAC with a 5-2 mark. Nevada finished the year ranked sixth nationally in total offense (506.7 ypg), while posting 247.5 rushing yards and 31.7 points per game. The Wolf Pack has appeared in seven straight bowl games, and prior to 2011, posted a 13-1 season in 2010 and an 8-5 year in 2009.
“Nevada offers a difficult test for us,” said USF head coach Skip Holtz. “Offensively, they’ve been very productive under coach Ault and they’ve had a lot of success as a team over the last few years. Going on the road and playing in a tough environment early in the season will give us an opportunity to see where we are and could help us as we move deeper into the schedule.”
The trip to Reno in 2012 will mark the third time in USF program history that it will play west of the Rocky Mountains. The Bulls traveled to San Diego to take on San Diego St. in 1999 and they also visited Utah in 2001.
“USF has an outstanding football team that will present us with some unique challenges,” Nevada head coach Chris Ault said. “They are well coached and have some quality players. This is a game our fans won’t want to miss.”