BYU Season Opener At Navy Will Have Reminders Of Pandemic In Stadium

Sep 6, 2020, 11:22 PM | Updated: Sep 7, 2020, 12:57 am

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Any thought that the 2020 BYU Football season will be close to normal during the COVID-19 pandemic goes away when you walk into Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

Immediately upon entering the 34,000-seat venue, the host of Monday’s contest between the Cougars and Midshipmen signs reminding you about masks and social distancing are everywhere. These reminders in a run-up to kickoff are better than the alternative, no football. But highlight how unique and challenging this season will be for all that are participating this fall.

BYU has been testing its players three times a week with saliva-based testing. The Cougars have done everything they can to keep its players healthy and safe amidst the pandemic in preparation for the cross-country trip to Annapolis.

Navy has had its players regularly testing since June where they’ve been in a bubble on its campus.

BYU vs. Navy during a pandemic

Crews were setting up TV cameras and other equipment to get ready for Monday’s big nationally-televised showdown. But another interesting piece of equipment that ties perfectly into life amidst the pandemic was a hand sanitizer station. It was lined up along the Navy sideline as pictured above.

View this post on Instagram

Day before BYU vs. Navy at the stadium.

A post shared by KSL Sports (@kslsports) on

Another change is that each team’s sideline extends 70 yards, from one 15-yard line to the other instead of the usual 60-yard sidelines allowing for as much social distancing as possible.

It was surreal to walk around an empty stadium and realize that is how the atmosphere will be on game day. No midshipmen brigade will stand on the rows behind Navy’s sideline. There won’t be any memorable flyovers as the Naval Academy is known to produce. It will just be empty.

Will the game provide theatrics that ignites the much-needed excitement in the stadium? There’s a good chance of that. BYU brings back an experienced team that’s set on establishing an identity this fall in all three phases. The Naval Academy is looking to prove that last year’s 11-2 season was no fluke and that more is to come in 2020.

Having football back brings us all some normalcy. But remember, this year won’t be similar to anything we’ve ever experienced.

BYU at Navy

Annapolis, Maryland

Kickoff: 6 p.m. (MDT)


Radio: KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM)

For an inside look at what it’s like to be at a college football game during the COVID-19 pandemic, follow @kslsports on Instagram. Mitch Harper will be giving you an inside look all weekend leading up to the BYU vs. Navy game on Monday. Find Mitch on Twitter here. 


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BYU Season Opener At Navy Will Have Reminders Of Pandemic In Stadium