BYU Football Adds Sam Houston State To 2023 Schedule
PROVO, Utah – The first BYU football game of the Big 12 era for the Cougars will be against a team from Texas. No, it won’t be one of the Big 12 programs from the Lone Star State, but instead, a brand new FBS team.
BYU announced Wednesday that the Cougars will open the 2023 season against the Sam Houston State.
9.2.2023#BYU's first football game as a @Big12Conference team will be against Sam Houston State (@BearkatsFB) in Provo. #BYUFootball #GoCougs pic.twitter.com/mYO3g93SAl
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) July 13, 2022
The two teams will meet in Provo on Saturday, September 2, 2023. It will mark the first-ever meeting between the Cougars and Bearkats on the football field.
BYU added Sam Houston State to the schedule after the Tennessee Volunteers bought out of a trip to Provo on the same date. The Vols ended up scheduling a game in nearby Nashville, Tennessee, to play Virginia instead. With options limited, BYU turned to another orange-clad program to slide in on their first schedule as a Big 12 program.
But instead of the Big Orange from Tennessee, it’s the Bearkats from Huntsville, Texas, who will be making their debut as an FBS team.
A current member of the Western Athletic Conference in the FCS ranks, Sam Houston State will begin FBS play in 2023. The Bearkats will be part of Conference-USA, a league hit hard during last year’s wave of conference realignment moves.
#BYU announces that they will play Sam Houston State to open the 2023 football season in Provo.
September 2, 2023.
Replaces the Tennessee game.#BYUFootball @kslsports
— Mitch Harper (@Mitch_Harper) July 13, 2022
The Bearkats won the FCS National Championship during the 2020 season with a perfect 10-0 record.
With the addition of Sam Houston State, BYU now has its three opponents in place for the 2023 non-conference schedule. The other two games include a home tilt against in-state FCS foe Southern Utah on September 9. Then one week later, a trip to SEC country to face the Arkansas Razorbacks on September 16.
Last month at BYU football Media Day, athletic director Tom Holmoe said the Big 12 Conference would continue with nine league games.
BYU adds another SUU game in 2025
Along with the announcement of Sam Houston State, BYU also announced another game against Southern Utah. BYU will host SUU on September 6, 2025. It’s the first non-conference game added for that season.
BYU has Utah tentatively on that year’s schedule as well, but no date has been announced for that contest between the two rivals.
BYU Football 2023 Schedule
Sept. 2 – Sam Houston State
Sept. 9 – Southern Utah
Sept. 16 – at Arkansans
Nine Big 12 Conference Games (Potentially announced in October)
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.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.
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