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2020 BYU Football Opponent Tracker: Houston Is Still Waiting To Open Its Season

Sep 24, 2020, 12:49 PM | Updated: 1:12 pm
Houston Cougars Football - Dana Holgorsen...
HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 16: Head coach Dana Holgorsen of the Houston Cougars looks to the scoreboard in the second quarter against the Memphis Tigers at TDECU Stadium on November 16, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

PROVO, UtahΒ – When the BYU football team lines up against Troy this Saturday in front of an empty LaVell Edwards Stadium crowd, it will have been 19 days since the Cougars last played. The longest gap in between games for BYU since 2001 (9/11 terrorist attacks, 21 days).

But 19 days is a lot better than waiting for nine or ten months to play a game. That’s the case for many college football programs heading into the final Saturday of September. One of those teams is on BYU’s 2020 schedule.

Here’s a look at the weekly opponent tracker for BYU in 2020.

Navy (1-1)

Last week: at Tulane, Win, 27-24

This week: Bye

I’m pretty sure every BYU fan was cheering on Navy last Saturday during their comeback victory against Tulane. Down 24-0, Ken Niumatalolo’s program bounced back to pull off the biggest halftime comeback in program history. Had Navy been blown out, it would have raised many questions about BYU’s victory on Labor Day night. The Mids win over Tulane saved their season, and Cougar fans everywhere were excited to see them pull it out.

Troy (1-0)

Last week: at Middle Tennessee, Win, 47-14

This week: at No. 18 BYU, 8:15 p.m., ESPN & KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM)

Troy rolled through a Middle Tennessee team that has been nothing more than bad this season. First-year starting quarterback Gunnar Watson appears to be a perfect in Ryan Pugh’s offense as he threw for 248 yards. The pre-season Sun Belt Player of the Year in 2019, B.J. Smith, is back at running back after a season away due to a season-ending injury. He contributed 81 yards on the ground to a 240-yard day rushing the football for the Trojans.

Louisiana Tech (1-0)

Last week: at Southern Miss, Win, 31-30

This week: Houston Baptist, 5 p.m., ESPN3

The Bulldogs victory at Southern Miss last Saturday was one of the best games of week three. La Tech’s Griffin Hebert caught a pass in the back of the endzone with 14 seconds left to give La Tech a 31-30 victory on the road against a Conference-USA foe.

Skip Holtz’ squad found themselves down 27-10 midway through the third quarter and continued to chip away at the deficit before taking over at the end. La Tech pulled out the victory despite having 20 players out due to injury or COVID-19 positive tests.

This week La Tech hosts a Houston Baptist squad that passed for 567 yards in a 35-33 loss at Texas Tech.

UTSA (2-0)

Last week: Stephen F. Austin, Win, 24-10

This week: Middle Tennesse, 6 p.m., CBS Sports Network (Friday)

Some of the modified schedules in the wake of COVID-19 have benefitted some programs. One of those is UTSA; instead of opening their season at LSU, instead played Texas State and Stephen F. Austin to begin the Jeff Traylor era. Now the Roadrunners find themselves at 2-0 with a great chance at 3-0 playing a Middle Tennessee that I feel we are talking about every week here on the opponent tracker.

Houston (0-0)

Last week: Baylor, Postponed

This week: North Texas, Canceled

Houston has had the worst luck with getting their 2020 season off the ground. For the fifth time, Houston’s season-opening game has been postponed or canceled. Last week it was a road trip to Baylor less than 24 hours before kickoff. This week it was a game against North Texas who ended up canceling on the Coogs.

Here’s how the season has gone so far for Dana Holgorsen’s Cougars.

Sept. 3rd vs. Rice: Postponed by Rice due to COVID-19.

Sept. 12th at Washington State: Canceled after Pac-12 postpones fall season

Sept. 18th at Memphis: Postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak within the Memphis program.

Sept. 19th at Baylor: Baylor postpones game 22 hours before kickoff.

Sept. 26th: vs. North Texas: UNT cancels the game

Houston has one scheduled game on Oct. 8th against Tulane before they host BYU a week later on Oct. 16th.

Texas State (1-2)

Last week: at ULM, Win, 38-17

This week: at Boston College, 4 p.m., ESPN3

While Houston is struggling to get its season started, 165 miles west of Clutch City is San Marcos, Texas, home to the Texas State Bobcats. The Bobcats are gearing up for their fourth game of the season in as many weeks.

Last week, Texas State cruised to a blowout win over Sun Belt foe ULM by three touchdowns. This week they get a matchup against a Power 5 program in the Boston College Eagles who steamrolled through Duke a week ago.

Western Kentucky (0-2)

Last week: Liberty, Loss, 24-30

This week: Bye

The Hilltoppers are off to a slow start to their 2020 season. Last week, WKU was upset by a Liberty team breaking in a new quarterback. Western Kentucky was a two-touchdown favorite heading into that game.

This week WKU is off before facing; you guessed it, Middle Tennessee.

Army West Point (2-0)

Last week: BYU, Postponed

This week: at No. 14 Cincinnati, 1:30 p.m., ESPN

I’m not optimistic BYU’s game against Army West Point gets rescheduled this season. If the Black Knights wanted it bad enough, the game could slide right in the Nov. 28th spot. Maybe there’s still a chance. If Army takes down Cincinnati this weekend, perhaps they become more interested in adding a quality data point game against BYU for later in the year.

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 p.m., KSL Newsradio). Follow him on Twitter:Β @Mitch_Harper.

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2020 BYU Football Opponent Tracker: Houston Is Still Waiting To Open Its Season