Cougars Are No Strangers To Playing On NFL Surfaces
PROVO, Utah – For the BYU Cougars, playing in an NFL stadium is no big deal. After all, they do it just about every year. Since 2009, BYU has played within the confines of a professional stadium 12 times and hold an 8-4 record in such games.
Last week’s victory over UMass was the first of two scheduled games between BYU and the Minutemen to be played at Gillette Stadium, known for being the home of the New England Patriots. The two teams will meet there again next season. As of now, that is the only NFL venue on the future schedule for the Cougars. They are slated to meet USC at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which also is home to the Rams, in 2023, but the Rams are expected to move into their new stadium by then.
Here’s a rundown of how BYU has done under the bright lights of an NFL stadium since 2009:
Sept. 5, 2009
BYU 14, No. 3 Oklahoma 13
The Cougars prevailed over the Sooners at the first college football game ever at the brand new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. At the place known affectionately as “Jerry World”, after Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones, the Cougars benefited from an injury to Sam Bradford, the previous season’s Heisman Trophy winner. With Bradford sidelined, BYU’s Max Hall found McKay Jacobson in the end zone with three minutes remaining to take the lead and ultimately, the game.
Sept. 12, 2009
No. 9 BYU 54, Tulane 3
Just one week removed from their upset over Oklahoma, the Cougars traveled to the home of the New Orleans Saints to face Tulane. It was a strong performance by BYU, who had moved up to No. 9 in the rankings. Max Hall threw two touchdown passes in a game that did not feature a single punt by the BYU offense.
Oct. 17, 2009
No. 19 BYU 38, San Diego State 28
At the home of the then-San Diego Chargers, BYU picked up the 500th win in program history. They did so on strength of 346 yards and three touchdown passes from Max Hall, who also ran for another score in the victory.
Oct. 28, 2011
TCU 38, BYU 28
The Cougars returned to Jerry World two years later and were doomed by special teams mistakes in a loss to the Horned Frogs. It was the first time that the two teams met as nonconference opponents after six years together in the Mountain West Conference.
Dec. 20, 2012
BYU 23, Sand Diego State 6
Back in the home of the Chargers, this time for the 2009 Poinsettia Bowl, BYU held the Aztecs to just two field goals in the win. Cougar linebacker and future NFL star Kyle Van Noy stepped up and scored two touchdowns on turnovers to pull away from San Diego State, who was playing in its home venue.
Oct. 19, 2013
BYU 47, Houston 46
At the field where the Houston Texans play, the BYU Cougars outlasted the Houston Cougars in a shootout in the Lone Star State. Taysom Hill connected with Skyler Ridley for the go-ahead score with a minute remaining to claim the win.
Nov. 14, 2015
Missouri 20, BYU 16
At the Kansas City Chiefs’ home field, Missouri outclassed BYU in the final quarter, outscoring the Cougars 14-6 in the fourth, to come away with the victory. The game was in jeopardy up to the day of the contest due to a potential protest by several Tigers players against the president of the university.
Sept. 3, 2016
University of Phoenix Stadium
BYU 18, Arizona 16
In the stadium that the Arizona Cardinals call home, the Kalani Sitake era at BYU got off on the right foot. Jake Oldroyd nailed a 33-yard field goal with four seconds remaining to give the Cougars the comeback win over the Wildcats.
Sept. 24, 2016
West Virginia 35, BYU 32
Taysom Hill and the rest of the Cougars rallied but ultimately fell short at the home of the Washington Redskins. Hill drove BYU down the field for a potential go-ahead touchdown with a minute remaining, but was picked off near the end zone to seal the win for the Mountaineers.
Dec. 21, 2016
BYU 24, Wyoming 21
BYU returned to the Chargers’ home field again for another Poinsettia Bowl against an old Mountain West Conference foe in Wyoming. Jamaal Williams rushed for 210 yards in his final game in a BYU uniform to lead the Cougars to the win.
Sept. 2, 2017
No. 13 LSU 27, BYU 0
Back in the Superdome for the first time since 2009, the Cougars ended up with a very different result from their last visit. The Tigers never allowed BYU’s offense to cross midfield in a loss that began a painful seven-game losing streak for the Cougars.
Nov. 10, 2018
BYU 35, UMass 16
Playing in the house that Tom Brady built was nearly disastrous for the Cougars as they allowed the Minutemen to build an early 10-0 lead in the first quarter. Fortunately for BYU, Zach Wilson and the offense came alive to score 35 straight and secure the badly needed win for the Cougars.
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