Last week we went through the possible matchups as USF looked to find a 12th game and finish its 2012 football schedule. Tonight, Greg Auman has reported that the Bulls will travel to Reno to face the Nevada Wolf Pack in a non-conference game*. Nevada has September 8 open along with the Bulls, so it seems likely that the game will be scheduled for that date.
The Wolf Pack is joining the Mountain West Conference this season. You probably know them best for their pistol formation, former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and coach Chris Ault, who is in this third stint as Nevada coach and is in the College Football Hall of Fame. In 2010 Nevada finished 13-1, claiming the WAC championship after a memorable win over Boise State (the dawning of the "Tessitore Effect") and finishing the season ranked #11 in the AP poll.
Despite losing its quarterback and two best rushers (Kaepernick and running back Vai Taua), the Wolf Pack went 7-6 last season, playing in the Hawaii Bowl against Southern Miss and taking a huge throng of fans with them to Aloha Stadium on Christmas Eve. Nevada finished the 2011 season ranked sixth in FBS in total yardage. They averaged 522.8 yards of offense per game, and were one of only two FBS schools (Northern Illinois being the other) to rush for over 3000 yards and throw for over 3000 yards. Especially on a long road trip and at altitude in Reno, this will be quite a test for the Bulls and whoever their new defensive coordinator ends up being.
This will be only the third game USF has ever played west of the Rocky Mountains, and their first since 2001. They lost to San Diego State in 1999 in their first-ever game against an FBS opponent, and they were crushed by Utah 52-21 in 2001. Also, I understand gambling is legal in Nevada, which probably has at least one staff member scrambling for airfare and accomodations even as I type this. Boy, how about that flight in?
* as far as we know.