BYU Football’s History Playing On Monday Night Football
Sep 2, 2020, 2:38 PM | Updated: 11:48 pm
PROVO, Utah – BYU, unlike many college football programs around the country, has always shown a willingness to play weeknight football. The rise of Thursday night football on a network like ESPN has a rich history with BYU. Who doesn’t remember those epic battles against San Diego State and later Colorado State?
Thursday’s and Friday’s have always dotted BYU’s schedules on an annual basis. But Monday’s? Not so much.
NFL owns the day we all dread after a fun weekend.
BYU will open the 2020 season in a nationally featured game on ESPN against the Naval Academy on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7, at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland.
Kickoff is set for 8pm EDT/6pm MDT.#BYUFOOTBALL #GoCougs pic.twitter.com/ms13Dl70nc
— BYU FOOTBALL (@BYUfootball) August 6, 2020
This Monday when BYU takes on the Navy Midshipmen, it will be the first regular-season game BYU has played on a Monday since 1929. Yes, 91 years its been since BYU played a regular-season game on a Monday.
Historic stuff is only fitting in a year like 2020 which has provided more history than any of us can handle at this point.
Here’s the rundown of the six games the BYU football program has played on Monday’s dating back to their first year in 1922.
1923: at Utah State
The early days of BYU football were a struggle to compete with in-state rival Utah State. Alvin Twitchell’s BYU team that had a roster featuring 20 players resulting in 40 point loss in this Family Home Evening showdown.
1929: Colorado State Teachers
Here is the last time BYU played a regular-season game on a Monday. It was a Rocky Mountain Conference showdown against Colorado State Teachers, now known as Northern Colorado. BYU won the game at Y Stadium by two scores.
1991: Iowa (Holiday Bowl)
The last game of the Ty Detmer era at BYU was against No. 7 Iowa who entered the game with a 10-1 record. BYU scored 13 unanswered to tie the game up, but couldn’t put up any more points in the final 11:36 sending Detmer off with a tie in his final game as a Cougar.
1999: Marshall (Motor City Bowl)
BYU in 1999 and their funky Nike bib jerseys started the season with an 8-1 record and ranked in the Top 25 polls. But for the first time in LaVell Edwards’ tenure as head coach, the Cougars closed out the season with three consecutive losses. Capped off with a defeat against undefeated Marshall quarterbacked by former NFL signal-caller Chad Pennington.
2001: Louisville (Liberty Bowl)
Gary Crowton’s first year as head coach featured one of the nation’s top offenses. But after a long 13-game regular season that concluded with giving up 72 points to Hawaii, BYU arrived at the frigid Liberty Bowl in Memphis uninspired and lacking their star running back in Luke Staley. The result? A sound defeat against a Louisville team that featured future Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch.
2014: Memphis (Miami Beach Bowl)
Loss, 48-55 (2OT)
Monday games are cool in primetime, not so much when they kick off at Noon on a workday. For those that got the day off of work, they were rewarded with an entertaining ball game that extended to double overtime and unfortunately carried over after the final horn with a bench-clearing brawl. Memphis led by first-round NFL Draft pick QB Paxton Lynch outlasted Christian Stewart and BYU’s offense.
BYU will look to get its second win on a Monday this week when they take on the Midshipmen in front of a nationally-televised ESPN audience.
BYU at Navy
Kickoff: 6 p.m.
Radio: KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM)
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.
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