BYU Football Announces Opening Game Of 2020 Season Against Navy

Aug 6, 2020, 10:08 AM | Updated: Aug 7, 2020, 10:30 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The BYU Cougars announced that the program’s football team will open the 2020 college football season against the Naval Academy.

BYU will travel to Annapolis, Maryland to play Navy on Labor Day, Monday, September 7.

The game will take place at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and will start at 6 p.m. (MDT). It will be televised during primetime on ESPN.

“We are very excited for the opportunity to play the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis,” said BYU’s athletic director Tom Holmoe. “It’s always an honor and a privilege to play against a service academy, like we did annually for many years with Air Force. We first played the Midshipmen in the inaugural Holiday Bowl in 1978. The opportunity to visit Navy’s hallowed campus will be an amazing experience for our football team.”

“Speaking on behalf of our players and coaches, we are extremely excited for this opportunity to play Navy on Labor Day to open the 2020 season and appreciate all the work put in by Tom Holmoe and Navy to schedule this game,” BYU head coach Kalani Sitake said. “Navy plays great football and we have the utmost appreciation and respect for all of the sacrifices the members of the military academies make on all of our behalf. Ken (Nuimatalolo) is a great football coach and a personal friend who I have known since I was young and always admired both as a person and as a coach. We are looking forward to the matchup.”

The game was announced as part of a two-game series between BYU and the Naval Academy. The second game of the series will be played at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo at a later date that was not yet announced.

“We have created an exciting and anticipated matchup in Annapolis with one of college football’s storied programs in BYU,” Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk said. “This game will bring great national exposure for the Naval Academy, Annapolis, our state and Navy football.  Although attendance in our stadium will be regulated and greatly reduced with fan welfare and social distancing guidelines in effect, a national television audience will enjoy watching two of college football’s most storied programs kick off the season in a primetime environment.”

The Cougars have played against Navy twice before, with the last meeting taking place in 1989. BYU’s first time playing Navy was in the inaugural Holiday Bowl in 1978. The all-time series is tied at one game apiece.

Last season, Navy posted an 11-2 record and was the West Division co-champion in the American Athletic Conference.

The opening game against Navy is scheduled to place four days after the Cougars’ originally slated opener against the Utah Utes. In recent weeks, the Pac-12, Big Ten, and SEC announced that their conferences would play conference-only schedules in 2020. Those decisions removed six games from BYU’s schedule including the following matchups:

  • @ Utah
  • vs. Michigan State
  • @ Arizona State
  • @ Minnesota
  • vs. Missouri
  • @ Stanford

Currently, BYU’s 2020 campaign consists of the following seven games:

  • September 7 @ Navy
  • October 2 vs. Utah State
  • October 16 vs. Houston
  • October 24 @ Northern Illinois
  • November 6 @ Boise State
  • November 14 vs. San Diego State
  • November 21 vs. Northern Alabama

BYU announced that the Cougars “will continue to announce additional games for the 2020 season as they are finalized.”

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