North Texas to play UNLV in Heart of Dallas Bowl

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 8, 2013 at 9:37 pm •  Published: December 8, 2013

DALLAS (AP) — North Texas is going to its first bowl game since 2004, accepting an invitation Sunday to play in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

UNLV has waited even longer to get into another bowl game.

In a New Year's Day matchup at the Cotton Bowl stadium, the Rebels (7-5) will play their first postseason game since the 2000 Las Vegas Bowl.

"We do kind of mirror each other," fourth-year UNLV coach Bobby Hauck said. "Sort of like the guys at North Texas, we've had to kind of believe in ourselves when maybe there wasn't a whole lot of others that could, or should. It's just tremendously rewarding to be where we are right now."

North Texas (8-4) has won six of its last seven games in its 100th anniversary season of football, and its first in Conference USA. The bowl comes in the third season under coach Dan McCarney, who took over a program that had gone 13-58 the six seasons before he arrived.

"This is validation for all the hard work put in by this team and the leadership of this senior class," McCarney said.

The Mean Green last played a postseason game in the 2004 New Orleans Bowl, their fourth consecutive appearance in that game as the Sun Belt Conference representative. The only other time they played on New Year's Day was the 1948 Salad Bowl, the precursor to the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona.

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