Way-Too-Early Look At BYU’s 2020 Football Schedule
PROVO, Utah – It’s never to early to start looking towards next year, right? After a disappointing close to the 2019 season, BYU prepares for year 10 of independence with another tough schedule that features games against six Power 5 opponents.
Let’s take a look at BYU football’s 2020 schedule.
SEPT. 5th AT UTAH
It’s been more than 10 years since BYU last beat Utah. The back-to-back Pac-12 South Champion Utes will be seeking their 10th consecutive victory over the Cougars and the fifth straight against BYU since Kalani Sitake became the head coach.
The Utes will have an intriguing quarterback battle between a pair of heralded transfers in South Carolina’s Jake Bentley and Texas transfer Cam Rising.
SEPT. 12th MICHIGAN STATE
Sparty’s trip to Provo will be only the second time in BYU’s history the Cougars have hosted a Big Ten program at LaVell Edwards Stadium. The first instance was against Wisconsin in 2017. This is the second of a two-game series between the two programs. The first meeting took place in 2016 in East Lansing where Taysom Hill and Jamaal Williams led BYU to a 31-14 victory.
SEPT. 19th AT ARIZONA STATE
The last time BYU played Arizona State in football, Kalani Sitake was a fullback for the Cougars. It’s been 22 years since these two programs met and it’s been 23 years since BYU last traveled to Tempe. Sun Devils head coach Herm Edwards looks to have a team in 2020 that will be one of the favorites in the Pac-12 South with Jayden Daniels heading into his sophomore season at quarterback.
Coach Edwards has had a lot of success in his first two years in Tempe, one of the cool facts about him is that he was one of the first Black American recruits to visit the Provo campus.
SEPT. 26th AT MINNESOTA
When BYU announced a two-game series with Minnesota in 2016, no one could have projected the growth of the Golden Gophers program in the last three years. But head coach PJ Fleck has the Gophers rowing the boat and playing great football. Minnesota was 10-2 in 2019 and returns a majority of its roster next season.
OCT. 2nd (Friday) UTAH STATE
After a 7-6 season with an NFL quarterback, the relaunch of the Gary Andersen era in the Cache Valley didn’t get off to the fast start many were expecting. BYU took back the Wagon Wheel Trophy after a dominating 42-14 victory in Logan. Now the Wagon Wheel rivalry returns to its General Conference weekend Friday night slot.
OCT. 10th MISSOURI
SEC football coming to Provo in the month of October. Missouri fired Barry Odom as their head coach at the conclusion of this past season and then hired Appalachian State’s Eliah Drinkwitz. This will be the second game of a two-game series between the programs. The first meeting was in 2015 at Arrowhead Stadium where BYU lost to Missouri 20-16.
OCT. 17th HOUSTON
The battle of the Cougars will be renewed in 2020. Houston is coming off of a 4-8 season in Dana Holgorsen’s debut as head coach, but don’t expect the Coogs to be down for long. Many of Houston’s upperclassmen opted to redshirt including quarterback D’Eriq King, who’s considered a potential NFL Draft prospect. If King returns to Houston, the Coogs could be dangerous by the time they play the Cougars in blue.
OCT. 24th AT NORTHERN ILLINOIS
One of the head-scratching losses in the Kalani Sitake era was courtesy of Northern Illinois in 2018. The Huskies defeated BYU 7-6 in Provo that season. In 2020, BYU will return the favor and make their first-ever trip to DeKalb, Illinois. The last time BYU made a trip to MAC country, the Cougars lost to Toledo this past season.
NOV. 7TH AT BOISE STATE
BYU is still seeking its first win on the blue turf against Boise State. The Cougars will get another crack at it next November. This past season, BYU was the lone team to defeat the Broncos in the regular season and it kept Boise out of the New Year’s Six.
NOV. 14th SAN DIEGO STATE
For the first time since 2010, San Diego State will make a trek up north to Provo to take on BYU in LaVell Edwards Stadium. The Aztecs will be seeking their second consecutive victory over the Cougars, something the Aztecs have never accomplished.
NOV. 21st NORTH ALABAMA
In most years, the FCS game in November is usually a drag, but this might be a welcomed breather after the gauntlet BYU will face in the first 10 weeks.
NOV. 28th AT STANFORD
Facing Stanford to close out the regular season will be only the second time since becoming an FBS Independent in 2011 that BYU ends the season against a Power 5 team. The previous instance was against Stanford’s main rival, Cal in 2014. If there was a time to play the Cardinal, it might be now as Stanford is experiencing a lot of roster turnover at the moment with over a dozen players currently in the transfer portal, including quarterback K.J. Costello.
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.