Wildcats Kick Off Season Against UNLV on Friday

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Athletics Communication Services August 25, 2014

The Wildcats are 31-15 at home since the start of the 2007 season, and Rich Rodriguez is 8-0 in non-conference games as Arizona’s head coach.

The Wildcats are 2-0 against UNLV. (Photo by Patrick McArdle)

The Wildcats are 2-0 against UNLV. (Photo by Patrick McArdle)

Tens of thousands of football fans are expeced at this week's season opener. (Photo by Patrick McArdle)

Tens of thousands of football fans are expeced at this week's season opener. (Photo by Patrick McArdle)

The wait is over – Arizona football returns Friday when the Wildcats open the season against the UNLV Rebels.

UA head football coach Rich Rodriguez heads into his third year with the Wildcats, and the team's coaching staff returns intact for the first time since 1999.

The Friday night kickoff, which will air before a national television audience, is at 7:30 p.m. The first Bear Down Fridays event will be held Thursday, 5-7 p.m., at Main Gate Square.

Sean Miller, head coach for the men's basketball team, is the guest host of the first Bear Down Fridays event, which will include a pep rally, face and hair painting, chalk art and restaurant specials, among other offers and entertainment. At 6 p.m., the Pride of Arizona will perform and Wilbur, Wilma, UA cheerleaders, twirlers and others will an appearance. Retro Rockets will perform in the Geronimo Plaza at 5 p.m., then again at 7 p.m.

At 3 p.m. Thursday, ESPN’s “Zach Clark Show” will film live from University Boulevard.

UNLV's football team is making the trip to the Sonoran Desert for the first time since 2001. The game marks only the third meeting between the Rebels and the Wildcats. Last year, the Wildcats defeated the Las Vegas team at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. The Wildcats also won the only other meeting between the team, on Sept. 22, 2001 in Tucson. 

Home openers have been promising for the Wildcats in recent years, and Rodriguez is a perfect 2-0 in his first two tries. The team is 80-25-5 all-time in season openers, highlighted by six straight victories. Also, the UA has won 12 of its last 14 openers. 

Also, since 1983, Arizona is 15-1 when playing a home game on Labor Day weekend, which includes 14 straight wins.

Members of the campus community are reminded that the Friday game will affect parking and traffic on campus. For more information, click here.

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