The University of Nevada Wolf Pack will make their third appearance in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl after accepting an invitation to play in the 2011 game, Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl Executive Director David A. K. Matlin announced. The Wolf Pack (7-5) will represent the Western Athletic Conference and will play Conference USA champion Southern Miss on Christmas Eve.
"On behalf of the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl Executive Committee and Sheraton Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, I am pleased to invite the University of Nevada Wolf Pack to the 10th annual Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl," Matlin said. "Led by Hall of Fame coach Chris Ault, the Wolf Pack will spend their last season in the WAC with a postseason trip to Honolulu!"
"We are appreciative of the opportunity to play in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl and we're excited to be able to showcase our university and represent Nevada on national television on Christmas Eve," said Nevada Athletics Director Cary Groth.
Nevada finished in a tie for second in the WAC standings with a 5-2 conference mark. The Wolf Pack will be making a bowl appearance for the seventh consecutive year and third in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl since 2005. Nevada defeated Central Florida, 49-48, in 2005 and lost to SMU, 45-10, in 2009. Nevada will be competing in its 12th all-time bowl.
"One of the most memorable games in our history featured the University of Nevada defeating UC, 49-48 in overtime," Matlin said. "With an exciting style of play, featuring the WAC's leading receiver Rishard Matthews, Nevada will represent the WAC well."
The Wolf Pack has the nation's fifth-most potent offense, averaging 522.8 yards per game and also ranks eighth nationally in rushing offense at 251.8 yards per game. Matthews is among the nation's leaders in receiving (91 receptions, 1,364 yds.) and has seven 100-yard receiving games.
"The Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl is a class bowl and playing a nationally ranked Southern Miss team presents us with a great opportunity," Nevada head coach Chris Ault said.
The Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
Kickoff for the 2011 Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl is Saturday, Dec. 24 at 8 p.m. EST/3 p.m. HST, on ESPN from Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. Tickets are available by calling 808-548-BOWL or online at the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.