COUGAR TRACKS

How BYU Football Has Performed Against SEC Teams

Sep 14, 2023, 2:54 PM

BYU Football, Tennessee, SEC...

BYU football has played SEC teams 11 times. Saturday's game against Arkansas will be the 12th. (Gabe Mayberry/BYU Photo)

(Gabe Mayberry/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – When BYU football lines up against the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday night, it will be only the 12th time in the Cougars history that they’ve squared off against a team from the SEC.

The SEC is always viewed as a premier conference in college football. It might be experiencing a down year by their standards in 2023. But the SEC always produces quality teams.

BYU’s record against teams from the SEC is 4-7. They will look to improve that record against the Hogs this week.

After Saturday in Fayetteville, it might be a long time until another SEC team appears on BYU’s future non-conference schedules. The next scheduled game for BYU against an SEC squad is in 2028 against Ole Miss in Provo.

BYU is scheduled to return to The Grove the following year in 2029. Then clear out your schedules in advance; Missouri is expected to come to Provo in 2035.

2022: Arkansas 52, BYU 35

Date: October 15, 2022

Location: LaVell Edwards Stadium

BYU’s offense was performing at a high level against Arkansas in this game. But the defense struggled, allowing 644 yards of offense to the Hogs as KJ Jefferson and “Rocket” Sanders ran wild over BYU.

2019: BYU 29, Tennssee 26 (2OT)

Date: September 7, 2019

Location: Neyland Stadium

Dave Pasch summed it up best with his final call of the game, “Touchdown! BYU wins! And an absolutely horrific, gut-wrenching loss for the Tennessee Vols.”

Zach Wilson came up with a last-second heave to Micah Simon at the end of regulation, putting them in scoring position for a field goal. Then, in double overtime, running back Ty’Son Williams willed his way into the endzone for the game-winning score.

2017: Mississippi State 35, BYU 10

Date: October 14, 2017

Location: Davis Wade Stadium

It might be the most forgettable game for BYU against an SEC team. BYU rolled into Starkville as a 1-5 team and they quickly became a 1-6 after exiting. Mississippi State led 28-3 at one point before BYU tacked on a touchdown at the end of the third quarter.

2017: No. 13 LSU 27, BYU 0

Date: September 2, 2017

Location: Mercedes-Benz Louisiana Superdome

BYU didn’t cross the 50-yard line against LSU. A disaster of a game that made it clear BYU would struggle in 2017.

2016: BYU 28, Mississippi State 21 (OT)

Date: October 14, 2016

Location: LaVell Edwards Stadium

A wild game that saw Jamaal Williams become the all-time leading rusher in BYU football history. After BYU came up with the stop, fans rushed the field to celebrate the win.

2015: Missouri 20, BYU 16

Date: November 14, 2015

Location: Arrowhead Stadium

Leading up to this game, Black Missouri players protested how the University of Missouri handled racial harassment on campus. The game was in jeopardy of being canceled, costing Missouri $1 million.

Missouri’s President resigned amid the protest, and the players returned to football activities. A few days later, they faced BYU and they capped an emotionally charged week with a win over BYU.

BYU’s offense struggled while the defense gave up 20 points to a Missouri offense that had not scored more than 13 points in a game in over a month.

2011: BYU 14, Ole Miss 13

Date: September 3, 2011

Location: Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium

The first game of Independence was a memorable one for BYU. Going into the fourth quarter, however, it didn’t appear to have the makings of a special game. BYU was down 13-0 before roaring back thanks to Kyle Van Noy with a forced fumble touchdown recovery to give a season-opening win.

2001: No. 10 BYU 41, Mississippi State 38

Date: December 1, 2001

Location: Davis Wade Stadium

BYU got revenge against Mississippi State in 2001 but came at a cost. The Cougars rescheduled this out-of-conference tilt after the tragic 9/11 attacks to a December date in hopes that it could enhance their BCS hopes. Mississippi State finished as a three-win team. But the bigger story was that this was the last time Doak Walker Award-winning running back Luke Staley played a game as a BYU Cougar.

He suffered a season-ending ACL injury in BYU’s win.

2000: Mississippi State 44, BYU 28

Date: September 14, 2000

Location: Cougar Stadium

The first career start at quarterback for Charlie Peterson was a tough outing against a physical Mississippi State defense that featured Fred Smoot. Bulldogs rolled in the first-ever game against an SEC team in Provo.

1998: Alabama 38, BYU 31

Date: September 5, 1998

Location: Bryant-Denny Stadium

Former BYU athletic director Glen Tuckett scheduled this game when he was the interim AD at Alabama. BYU nearly pulled off the upset, but they had no answer for Alabama star running back Shaun Alexander, who ran for five touchdowns in the game.

1982: No. 6 Georgia 17, BYU 14

Date: September 11, 1982

Location: Sanford Stadium

BYU led Georgia 14-7 heading into the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs featured Heisman Trophy running back Herschel Walker in their backfield and he took over in the fourth quarter. BYU quarterback Steve Young had six interceptions in this game.

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 Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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