Warriors will see lot more of Rebels
By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Staff Writer
The University of Hawai'i and Nevada-Las Vegas football teams, not exactly strangers anyway, will be seeing a lot more of each other.
Thanks to a five-game home-and-home extension, between this season's game and 2018, the Warriors and Rebels will play eight times in 10 years, UNLV said yesterday.
By that point, UNLV could rank as the fourth-most frequent opponent in UH history with 28 games. Fresno State, UH's most familiar opponent to date, has played the Warriors 41 times.
This season, UH will play Sept. 19 in Las Vegas. And the two are scheduled to meet again Dec. 4, 2010 at Aloha Stadium and Sept. 17, 2011 at UNLV.
Five additional games — 2012 (at UH), 2014 (at UH), 2015 (at UNLV), 2017 (at UNLV) and 2018 (at UH) — have also recently been finalized, UNLV said.
An announcement from UH is expected shortly.
UH athletic director Jim Donovan has said the series is a "win-win" for the Warriors and their fans. UH's last visit to Las Vegas, in 2007, drew 38,125, the fourth-largest crowd in UNLV history, with about 15,000 either from Hawai'i or with Island ties. The California Hotel in Las Vegas is a long-time platinum level (annual $100,000 and above) UH sponsor.
Meanwhile, USC and UH yesterday confirmed the expected extension of their series. The Trojans and Warriors were already scheduled to play at Aloha Stadium in the 2010 opener for both teams. They have moved the date from Sept. 4 to Sept 2, a Thursday, to accommodate ESPN, USC said.
In addition, USC will play at Aloha Stadium Sept. 1, 2012 and UH will return to the Coliseum Aug. 31, 2013. UH is 0-6 against the Trojans in a series that began in 1930.
"We're excited to be able to add some more games against Hawai'i to our schedule," USC head coach Pete Carroll said in a release. "It's a great way for us to open our seasons in 2012 and 2013. This is a matchup of two fine programs that have a history dating back nearly 80 years.
"I know our players and fans enjoy traveling to Honolulu for the game, and we get good crowd support from the many Trojan fans living in Hawai'i who get to see us play. And it works out well for Hawai'i coming to the Coliseum, because they have such a strong fan base in Southern California."
In other news, UH and Charleston Southern, a Football Championship Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-AA) team, have switched what was originally scheduled as a Sept. 17, 2011 date to Sept. 25, 2010. The UH-UNLV game will take the Sept. 17 date in 2011.