COUGAR TRACKS

Way-Too-Early Look At The 2022 BYU Football Schedule

Dec 19, 2021, 1:18 AM
BYU vs Baylor, Jaren Hall...
BYU vs Baylor renews again in Provo for the first time since 1984 tonight as the future Big 12 foes square off as Top 25 teams. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utahย – As one season comes closes, the countdown to a new season with a fresh new BYU football schedule begins.

After a second-consecutive 10-win season, BYU sets its sights on a third-year with double-digit victories. But, to get there, they’ll have to navigate a 2022 schedule that features five Power Five teams.

The 2022 BYU football schedule will have six home games, five road games, and one neutral site contest in their final season as an FBS Independent. Then, beginning in 2023, BYU moves into the Big 12 Conference.

2022 BYU football schedule

Let’s take an early look at what the 2022 BYU football schedule looks like. Keep in mind; dates are subject to change.

Sept. 3 – at USF

BYU opens the 2022 season on the road against the USF Bulls. This will be the third meeting all-time between the two programs and likely the last for the foreseeable future. BYU’s return trip from USF to Provo has been dropped as BYU football moves into the Big 12 Conference.

USF finished 2021 with a 2-10 record. One of those ten losses was a 35-27 setback against BYU. The last time USF hosted BYU in Tampa was in 2019, which saw the Bulls pull off the upset.

USF has a young, talented QB in Timmy McClain, who BYU faced last September. He should make a big leap in his development this off-season heading into next season’s season opener.

Sept. 10 – Baylor

Next season, the defending Big 12 Champion Baylor Bears roll into Provo for the home opener. This will be Baylor’s first trip to LES since BYU’s 1984 National Championship season, but it won’t be the last as the Cougars and Bears will get familiar with one another as league foes in the near future.

Baylor beat BYU last October in Waco, 38-24, in a game that saw Kalani Sitake call out his team’s physicality. The Bears rolled out the welcome mat for their future Big 12 companion, expect much of the same for Baylor from BYU next September.

Sept. 17 – at Oregon

You have to go back to 1990 to find the last time BYU and Oregon squared off against one another in the regular season. Then, BYU was fresh off a historic upset of No. 1 Miami, only to get upset by the Ducks in Autzen Stadium in that game. The most recent meeting between the two schools was in the 2006 Las Vegas Bowl, a game that saw BYU crush Oregon 38-8, and somewhere Mike Bellotti still probably believes BYU can’t hang with teams from the PAC.

The 2022 meeting is a one-off game as BYU will be paid $1.1 million to make the trip to Eugene. No return visit to Provo is currently on future schedules.

Oregon hired Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning as their new head coach after Mario Cristobal left for the hometown Miami Hurricanes.

Sept. 24 – Wyoming

Powder River Let ‘er Buck! BYU welcomes old Mountain West Conference rival back to Provo for the first time since 2010. Kalani Sitake’s BYU program defeated Craig Bohl and the Pokes in the 2016 Poinsettia Bowl. Wyoming finished the 2021 regular season record with a 6-6 record.

Sept. 30 – Utah State

In year one under Blake Anderson, the Mountain West Conference Champion Utah State Aggies exceeded everyone’s wildest dreams, going 11-3 and winning the LA Bowl over Oregon State. In 2022, Utah State makes its first trip to Provo since 2018. BYU has won the last two meetings series, which took place in Logan. The 2020 meeting was canceled due to COVID-19.

Utah State could return COVID-Junior Logan Bonner for another season at the QB position.

Oct. 8 – vs. Notre Dame (Las Vegas)

Remember back in 2010 when BYU football and Notre Dame agreed to a six-game series that would include four games in South Bend and two meetings in Provo? Well, 12 years later, the third and final meeting of the series is being played, and it isn’t happening in Provo.

It’s happening in Las Vegas as a “Shamrock Series” game for Notre Dame, and the TV rights are going to the Irish.

The setting will be outstanding as it will be at Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders. BYU fans already know that stadium well as they defeated Arizona to open the 2021 season in that building.

Tickets are already popping up on the secondary ticket market for the game, and they aren’t cheap. Prices are as high as $857 per ticket to see BYU face Notre Dame for the first time since 2013.

Notre Dame finished No. 5 in the final College Football Playoff rankings. The Irish are now led by Marcus Freeman, who was promoted from defensive coordinator after Brian Kelly took the LSU head coach position.

Oct. 15 – Arkansas

The first-ever meeting against the Arkansas Razorbacks takes place in Provo next October. BYU will host a Razorback program that finished No. 21 in the final Playoff Rankings in the 2021 season. Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman is one of the rising coaches in the SEC.

Oct. 22 – at Liberty

Every year as an Independent, BYU has that road game that has people asking, “BYU is traveling, where?” In 2022, it’s Lynchburg, Virginia, home to the Liberty Flames.

Coached by Hugh Freeze, the Flames have made a name for themselves in the FBS ranks as a faith-based, independent institution. Hmm, sounds familiar. Liberty capped off the 2021 season with a LendingTree Bowl victory over Eastern Michigan to finish the season 8-5. The Flames have played in three consecutive bowl games and won all three.

BYU and Liberty faced off against one another in 2019, a game that the Cougars won in Provo with Baylor Romney as the starting quarterback.

Nov. 5 – at Boise State

BYU will likely have revenge on the mind when they travel to the Blue Turf to take on rival Boise State. If BYU moves away from the series when they enter the Big 12 Conference, it could end up being the last game between the two schools for a while.

The revenge angle comes into play for BYU as the Broncos knocked off the Cougars in Provo back on October 9.

BYU and Boise State have been annual rivals since 2012.

Nov. 19 – Dixie State

I’m sure no BYU football fan will miss seeing Senior Days against an FCS team in late November when the Cougars move into the Big 12 Conference. But the 2022 meeting could be kind of fun as BYU welcomes Dixie State for the first time to Provo.

Once a junior college, Dixie State in St. George, is now a member of the WAC in the FCS ranks. They are coached by former BYU grad assistant and Boston College QB Paul Peterson.

Nov. 26 – at Stanford

BYU’s first trip to “The Farm” since 2004 will close out the 2022 regular season. This will start a six-game series that was initially supposed to begin in 2020, but COVID-19 delayed those plans. Stanford is coming off a difficult 2021 season that saw the Cardinal finish 3-9 with seven consecutive losses.

The Cardinals have a young star at quarterback in Tanner McKee, a former Elite 11 signal-caller in high school that BYU heavily recruited.

TBA – East Carolina

The one domino remaining for the 2022 BYU football schedule is establishing a date for a home game against East Carolina. Options include October 29 or November 12. After what BYU experienced in 2021, playing ten consecutive games without a bye, I’m sure they would love to have this ECU game fall in November. But the Pirates are a member of the AAC, which hasn’t completed its 2022 league schedule yet.

The last time BYU played East Carolina was a low point for Kalani Sitake’s program. BYU lost to ECU in 2017 against a Pirates team that had the nation’s worst scoring defense, but BYU could only score 17 points in the loss.

The Pirates have bounced back to respectability and finished the 2021 regular season with a 7-5 record and a bowl bid.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12โ€“3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter:ย @Mitch_Harper.

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