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Nevada's 2020 schedule released; UNLV game remains regular-season finale

Elijah Cooks
Elijah Cooks and the Wolf Pack have their 2020 schedule. (Tom Smedes/AP file)

The Nevada football team's 2020 schedule was released by the Mountain West on Thursday, and the Wolf Pack's rivalry game at UNLV will remain on the last week of the regular season.

Nevada will play the rival Rebels at Allegiant Stadium, the new home of the Las Vegas Raiders, on Nov. 28. The Wolf Pack's MW home games are against Fresno State, San Diego State, Utah State and Wyoming. Its conference road games are at UNLV, Hawaii, San Jose State and New Mexico.

The Wolf Pack opens the season with a non-conference schedule of UC Davis (Aug. 29), Arkansas (Sept. 5), UTEP (Sept. 12) and South Florida (Sept. 19). That's one FCS team and three FBS squads that went a combined 7-29 last season, including two that will be under the direction of new coaches in 2020 (Arkansas and USF). The Wolf Pack will get $1.5 million to play at Arkansas and $225,000 to play at South Florida. It will pay UTEP $400,000 and UC Davis $375,000 to play at Mackay Stadium. Nevada will net $950,000 from those non-conference payouts.

After non-conference play, Nevada will shift into MW action with its conference opener against San Diego State on Sept. 26. The Wolf Pack then goes to Hawaii on Oct. 3 before a bye. Nevada resumes play at New Mexico on Oct. 17 before hosting Fresno State (Oct. 24) and Utah State (Oct. 31). The Wolf Pack plays at San Jose State on Nov. 7, hosts Wyoming on Nov. 14 and gets a bye before the finale at UNLV.

The Wolf Pack will not play MW foes Boise State, Air Force or Colorado State as part of the conference's unbalanced schedule. Each of those teams will return to Nevada's 2021 schedule.

The Wolf Pack's 2020 schedule is expected to be one of the most favorable in recent history. In addition to a non-conference schedule that is softer than recent seasons, Nevada doesn't play a team in the top 70 of the SP+ projections. The average SP+ rank of Nevada's opponents next season is 99.7 (the average rank last year was 81.5). Of the Wolf Pack's 11 FBS opponents in 2020, seven will have a first-year head coach, including four of its five West Division opponents.

Nevada went 7-6 overall last season and 4-4 in MW play, reaching the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, which it lost to Ohio. Jay Norvell is entering his fourth season as the Wolf Pack's head coach.

Nevada football's 2020 schedule

August 29: vs. UC Davis

Sept. 5: at Arkansas

Sept. 12: vs. UTEP

Sept. 19: at South Florida

Sept. 26: vs. San Diego State

Oct. 3: at Hawaii

Oct. 10: Bye

Oct. 17: at New Mexico

Oct. 24: vs. Fresno State

Oct. 31: vs. Utah State

Nov. 7: at San Jose State

Nov. 14: vs. Wyoming

Nov. 21: Bye

Nov. 28: at UNLV

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