BYU Cougars football

Last updated
BYU Cougars football
AmericanFootball current event.svg 2021 BYU Cougars football team
BYU Cougars logo.svg
First season 1922
Athletic director Tom Holmoe
Head coach Kalani Sitake
5th season, 38–26 (.594)
Stadium LaVell Edwards Stadium
(capacity: 63,470
Record: 66,247)
Year built1964
Field surfaceNatural grass
Location Provo, Utah
NCAA division Division I FBS
Conference Independent (2011–present)
Past conferences RMAC (1922–1937)
Skyline (1938–1961)
WAC (1962–1998)
Mountain West (1999–2010)
All-time record59342927 (.578)
Bowl record16211 (.434)
Claimed national titles1 (1984)
Conference titles23
1965, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2006, 2007
Rivalries Utah (rivalry)
Utah State (rivalry)
Heisman winners Ty Detmer (1990)
Consensus All-Americans14 [1]
ColorsBlue and White [2]
         
Fight song The Cougar Song
Mascot Cosmo the Cougar
Marching bandThe Power of the Wasatch
Outfitter Nike
Website byucougars.com

The BYU Cougars football team is the college football program representing Brigham Young University (BYU), a private university owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Cougars began collegiate football competition in 1922, and have won 23 conference championships and one national championship in 1984. The team has competed in several different athletic conferences during its history, but since July 1, 2011, they have competed as an Independent. The team plays home games at the 63,470-seat LaVell Edwards Stadium, named after head coach LaVell Edwards who won 19 conference championships, seven bowl games, and one national championship (1984) while coaching at BYU.

Contents

History

Early history

The school's first football team won the regional championship in 1896. BYA Football Champions 1896.png
The school's first football team won the regional championship in 1896.

BYU traces its football roots back to the late 19th century. Benjamin Cluff became the third principal of Brigham Young Academy (the precursor to BYU) in 1892 (the school was converted into a university in 1903) and was influenced by his collegiate studies at the University of Michigan to bring athletic competition to Brigham Young. The first BYU football team in 1896 played the University of Utah (winning 12–4), the Elks, the Crescents, the YMCA of Salt Lake City, the Wheel Club of Denver, and Westminster College; and it ultimately won the championship. [3] In its second year of competition, the BYA football team won the championship too, but as a result of an accidental football-related death in Utah in 1900, football was banned from all LDS Church schools until 1919. [4]

After a 20-year ban on football, the sport was brought back to BYU on an intramural basis in 1919, and intercollegiate games were resumed in 1920 under coach Alvin Twitchell. [5] BYU was admitted to the Rocky Mountain Conference in 1921 and had its first winning year in 1929 under the helm of coach G. Ott Romney, who BYU recruited from Montana State University the year before. [6] Romney and his successor Eddie Kimball ushered in a new era in Cougar football in which the team went 65–51–12 between 1928–1942. In 1932, the Cougars posted an 8–1 record and outscored their opponents 188–50, which remains one of the school's finest seasons on record. The university did not field a team from 1943–1945 due to World War II, and in 1949 suffered its only winless season, going 0–11.

The team began to rebuild in the mid-1950s, recruiting University of Rhode Island head coach Hal Kopp to lead the Cougars, who achieved back-to-back winning seasons in 1957 and 1958, led by southpaw quarterback Jared Stephens and nose tackle Gavin Anae. In 1961, Eldon "The Phantom" Fortie became the school's first All-American, and in 1962, BYU moved to the Western Athletic Conference. In 1964, Cougar Stadium was built, which included a capacity of 30,000, and in 1965, head coach Tommy Hudspeth led the Cougars to their first conference championship with a record of 6–4.

LaVell Edwards era (1972–2000)

In 1972, assistant coach LaVell Edwards was promoted to head coach, succeeding Hudspeth. Edwards and his staff installed a drop-back passing game considered to be an early implementation of the West Coast offense, resulting in Cougar Pete Van Valkenburg as the nation's leading rusher for that year. The following year, the Cougars struggled to a 5–6 finish, but this would be Edwards' only losing season during his run as BYU coach over the next three decades. In fact, the Cougars won the conference championship every year except one from 1974 to 1985, including the national championship in 1984. However, the Cougars lost their first four bowl games. Their first post-season win came in the 1980 Holiday Bowl, which has become known as the "Miracle Bowl" since BYU was trailing SMU 45–25 with four minutes left in the game and then came back to win. [7] BYU would win its 1981, 1983, and 1984 bowl games as well; and it earned the nickname "Quarterback U" for consistently producing All-American quarterbacks, which included Gifford Nielsen, Marc Wilson, Jim McMahon and Steve Young. During this period, Young finished second for the Heisman Trophy in 1983 and McMahon finished third for the trophy in 1981.

In 1984, BYU reached the pinnacle of college football when it was recognized as college football national champions, being the only unbeaten, untied team in the nation. The undefeated Cougars (12–0–0) opened the season with a 20–14 victory over Pitt (3-7-1), ranked No. 3 in the nation at the time and finished the season with a victory over the Michigan Wolverines (6–5–0). The victory over Michigan, 24–17 in the Holiday Bowl, marked the only time a national champion played in a bowl game before New Year's Day, and the last time a national championship was determined by a team from a non-power 5 conference. [8] Coupled with the 11 consecutive wins to close out the 1983 season, BYU concluded the 1984 championship on a 24-game winning streak. At the end of the season, BYU was voted National Champion after being number one in all four NCAA sanctioned polls AP, Coaches, NFF, and FWAA.

In 1985, quarterback Robbie Bosco finished third in the Heisman balloting; in 1986, defensive lineman Jason Buck became the first BYU player ever to win the Outland Trophy; and in 1989, offensive lineman Mo Elewonibi also won the Outland Trophy. In 1990, the Cougars achieved their first victory over a top-ranked team when they defeated the No. 1 Miami Hurricanes early in the season, and the season culminated with quarterback Ty Detmer becoming BYU's first and only Heisman Trophy winner. In 1996, BYU won the first ever WAC Championship Game in Las Vegas and earned a bid to play in the Cotton Bowl against Kansas State of the newly formed Big 12 Conference, making it BYU's first ever New Year's Day bowl game, which they won 19–15. BYU finished ranked No. 5 in both the Coaches and AP polls, and became the first team in NCAA history to win 14 games in a season. [9]

Mountain West era (1999–2011)

In 1999, BYU left the WAC along with seven other teams to form the Mountain West Conference, with the Cougars winning a share of the inaugural MWC championship. With the change of conferences, BYU also debuted a new color scheme, featuring a darker shade of blue, a redesigned cougar logo, and the introduction of tan as an accent color. [10] 1999 also featured the controversial "bib" home uniforms, which only lasted for one season.

Just prior to the 2000 season, Edwards announced that it would be his final year as the program's head coach, and prior to Edwards' final home game, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints President Gordon B. Hinckley announced that Cougar Stadium would be renamed "LaVell Edwards Stadium". [11] After punter Aaron Edwards threw a last second touchdown pass on a fake punt, Coach Edwards was carried off the field following the season closer against the Utes.

Fans storming the field at LaVell Edwards Stadium in 2009 after No. 19 BYU beat No. 21 Utah 26-23 in overtime BYU vs Utah 2009, post-game.jpg
Fans storming the field at LaVell Edwards Stadium in 2009 after No. 19 BYU beat No. 21 Utah 26–23 in overtime
BYU wide receiver Cody Hoffman making a catch at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Oregon in a 2011 game against Oregon State, which the Cougars won 38-28. BYU at Oregon State 2011.jpg
BYU wide receiver Cody Hoffman making a catch at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Oregon in a 2011 game against Oregon State, which the Cougars won 38–28.

Former Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Gary Crowton was hired to replace Edwards. His first season in 2001 was successful, earning a 12–2 record and running back Luke Staley earning the Doak Walker Award, but the Cougars posted losing records the following three seasons (including only nine conference wins)–BYU's first losing records in three decades. His teams also received negative publicity for infractions of the university's honor code. He was forced to resign on December 1, 2004. [12] [13] [14] BYU originally offered the job to Utah defensive coordinator Kyle Whittingham, who had played for Edwards in the late 1970s. However, when Whittingham opted instead to become head coach at Utah, the Cougars instead offered the job to BYU defensive coordinator Bronco Mendenhall, who accepted.

Bronco Mendenhall brought stability and success to the BYU program after the Crowton years. At the time of his hiring, the 38-year-old Mendenhall was the second youngest Division 1 football head coach in the country. As the legendary LaVell Edwards told him shortly after being hired, "‘You have a tough job.’ Then there was a pause and silence,” says Mendenhall. “It wasn’t very comforting to hear that. But then he just said, ‘But it’s a great job.’” [15]

Mendenhall led BYU to a bowl game every season he was head coach and saw Top 25 finishes in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. [16]

Independence (2011–present)

On September 1, 2010, BYU announced it would begin competition as a football independent starting in the 2011 season, primarily due to years of frustration with the lack of TV coverage in the Mountain West Conference and the University of Utah's departure for the Pac-12 Conference. That same day, BYU announced an 8-year contract with ESPN in which 11 games would be broadcast on one of the ESPN networks and BYU would retain the rights to utilize its on-campus broadcasting facilities and nationally syndicated station. The Cougars were reportedly considered for invitations by the Big XII Conference and former Big East Conference for all sports during this period, but neither opted to add BYU.

In February 2011, CFL's Most Outstanding Canadian Award-winner Ben Cahoon joined the coaching staff as the wide receivers coach. [17]

In 2011, BYU changed quarterbacks mid-season from sophomore Jake Heaps to junior Riley Nelson, and in 2012 three different quarterbacks were utilized at different points in the season. During the 2012 offseason, graduated defensive end Ziggy Ansah was drafted as the No. 5 overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, tied for the highest draft BYU alumnus with Jim McMahon '82. [18] For the 2013 BYU football season, the Cougars were slated to compete against four pre-season-ranked teams.

In January 2015, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), which had previously announced that from 2017 forward all members had to play at least one non-conference game each season against a "Power 5" team (i.e., a school in the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, or SEC, plus Notre Dame, an FBS independent but otherwise an ACC member), announced that games against BYU would not count toward the "Power 5" requirement, a stipulation also held by the SEC. Weeks later, both leagues reversed course and opted to count games against BYU and the other remaining FBS independent at that time, Army, toward meeting the P5 provision. In the case of the SEC, this change in policy was driven more by the trend of "Power 5" leagues requiring nine conference games. At the time of the report, the Big Ten, Big 12, and Pac-12 either had nine-game conference schedules or were introducing them in the near future. The ACC has an eight-game schedule, but also has a scheduling alliance with Notre Dame that has five ACC members playing the Fighting Irish each season. Additionally, three SEC teams had a total of five games scheduled with BYU from 2015 to 2020. [19] In July 2015, the Big Ten announced that games against BYU would count toward the conference's "Power 5" scheduling requirement that takes effect in 2016. [20] In late 2015, the Big XII Conference added a Power Five non-conference scheduling requirement and stated that BYU would not count toward filling that mandate. [21]

On December 4, 2015, Mendenhall accepted the head coach position with Virginia in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). [22] His 99 wins in 11 seasons are second all-time in school history, behind only Edwards.

BYU spent more than a week courting Navy Midshipmen football head coach Ken Niumatalolo to take over the Cougars program. After several days, which included a visit to Provo and public remarks about considering the job, Niumatalolo ultimately declined BYU's offer in order to remain with Navy. Athletics director Tom Holmoe moved on to several other potential candidates and on Dec. 19 introduced Oregon State defensive coordinator and former Cougars fullback Kalani Sitake as BYU's next head coach. [23]

At the time of his hiring, Kalani Sitake said, "I'm grateful for everything BYU gave me as a player. It's a dream come true for me to return home." [24]

While many have questioned whether independence long-term is sustainable, from a financial perspective it appears to be so. BYU's ESPN contract is worth somewhere between $6–10 million annually, which is on par with what ACC teams received from a contract also negotiated around the same time. [25] ESPN was happy enough with its contract with BYU that it exercised an option to extend the deal through the 2019 season. [26] ESPN also helps BYU line up bowl deals, since as an independent, BYU is not part of any league bowl tie-ins.

BYU's estimated $67 million in annual revenue [27] places it 55th in total revenue in 2018. That's comparable to the lower half of the Pac-12 and more than any G5 school, including every Mountain West institution. [28] In fact, the highest earning MWC team, San Diego State, had $30 million in revenue, with more than 46% of that subsidized by the state of California. The G5 school with the most revenue without a subsidy is UCONN with $43 million, still nearly $20 million below BYU.

Even as an independent, BYU is one of just a handful of schools in all of college athletics to generate a profit, enjoying five times the G5 average revenue ($13 million). [29]

Conference affiliations

Championships

National championships

In 1984, BYU was awarded a consensus National Championship. [30] [31]

YearCoachSelectorsRecordBowlResult
1984 Lavell Edwards AP, Billingsley, Football Research, FW, National Championship Foundation, National Football Foundation, Poling, Sagarin (ELO-Chess), UPI, USA/CNN13–0 Holiday W 24–17 vs. Michigan

Conference championships

SeasonConferenceCoachOverall recordConference record
1965 Western Athletic Conference Tommy Hudspeth 6–44–1
1974 Lavell Edwards 7–4–16–0–1
1976 Lavell Edwards9–36–1
1977 Lavell Edwards9–26–1
1978 Lavell Edwards9–45–1
1979 Lavell Edwards11–17–0
1980 Lavell Edwards12–16–1
1981 Lavell Edwards11–27–1
1982 Lavell Edwards8–47–1
1983 Lavell Edwards11–17–0
1984 Lavell Edwards13–08–0
1985 Lavell Edwards11–37–1
1989 Lavell Edwards10–37–1
1990 Lavell Edwards10–37–1
1991 Lavell Edwards8–3–27–0–1
1992 Lavell Edwards8–56–2
1993 Lavell Edwards6–66–2
1995 Lavell Edwards7–46–2
1996 Lavell Edwards14–110–0
1999 Mountain West Conference Lavell Edwards8–45–2
2001 Gary Crowton 12–27–0
2006 Bronco Mendenhall 11–28–0
2007 Bronco Mendenhall11-28–0

Division championships

BYU has won two division champsionships, both in the Western Athletic Conference.

SeasonDivisionCoachOpponentCG result
1996 WAC - Mountain LaVell Edwards Wyoming W 28–25OT
1998WAC - Pacific Air Force L 13–20

† Co-champions

Bowl games

BYU has made 38 bowl appearances with a record of 16–21–1. They have played in the Holiday Bowl (4–6–1), the Cotton Bowl Classic (1–0), the Las Vegas Bowl (3–3), the Copper Bowl (1–0), the Tangerine/Citrus Bowl (0–2), the Freedom Bowl (1–1), the Liberty Bowl (0–2), the Aloha Bowl (0–1), the Fiesta Bowl (0–1), the Motor City Bowl (0–1), the All-American Bowl (0–1), the New Mexico Bowl (1–0), the Armed Forces Bowl (1–0), the Poinsettia Bowl (2–0), Fight Hunger Bowl (0–1), the Miami Beach Bowl (0–1), the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (1–0), Hawaii Bowl (0–1), and the Boca Raton Bowl (1–0).

No.DateBowlOpponentResult
1December 28, 1974 Fiesta Bowl Oklahoma State L 6–16
2December 18, 1976 Tangerine Bowl Oklahoma State L 21–49
3December 22, 1978 Holiday Bowl Navy L 16–23
4December 21, 1979 Holiday Bowl Indiana L 37–38
5December 19, 1980 Holiday Bowl SMU W 46–45
6December 18, 1981 Holiday Bowl Washington State W 38–36
7December 17, 1982 Holiday Bowl Ohio State L 17–47
8December 23, 1983 Holiday Bowl Missouri W 21–17
9December 21, 1984 Holiday Bowl Michigan W 24–17
10December 28, 1985 Florida Citrus Bowl Ohio State L 7–10
11December 30, 1986 Freedom Bowl UCLA L 10–31
12December 22, 1987 All-American Bowl Virginia L 16–22
13December 29, 1988 Freedom Bowl Colorado W 20–17
14December 29, 1989 Holiday Bowl Penn State L 39–50
15December 29, 1990 Holiday Bowl Texas A&M L 14–65
16December 30, 1991 Holiday Bowl Iowa T 13–13
17December 25, 1992 Aloha Bowl Kansas L 20–23
18December 30, 1993 Holiday Bowl Ohio State L 21–28
19December 29, 1994 Copper Bowl Oklahoma W 31–6
20January 1, 1997 Cotton Bowl Classic Kansas State W 19–15
21December 31, 1998 Liberty Bowl Tulane L 27–41
22December 27, 1999 Motor City Bowl Marshall L 3–21
23December 31, 2001 Liberty Bowl Louisville L 10–28
24December 22, 2005 Las Vegas Bowl California L 28–35
25December 21, 2006 Las Vegas Bowl Oregon W 38–8
26December 22, 2007 Las Vegas Bowl UCLA W 17–16
27December 21, 2008 Las Vegas Bowl Arizona L 21–31
28December 22, 2009 Maaco Bowl Las Vegas Oregon State W 44–20
29December 18, 2010 New Mexico Bowl UTEP W 52–24
30December 30, 2011 Armed Forces Bowl Tulsa W 24–21
31December 20, 2012 Poinsettia Bowl San Diego State W 23–6
32December 27, 2013 Fight Hunger Bowl Washington L 16–31
33December 22, 2014 Miami Beach Bowl Memphis L 48–55 2OT
34December 19, 2015 Las Vegas Bowl Utah L 28–35
35December 21, 2016 Poinsettia Bowl Wyoming W 24–21
36December 21, 2018 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Western Michigan W 49–18
37December 24, 2019 Hawaii Bowl Hawaii L 34–38
38December 22, 2020 Boca Raton Bowl UCF W 49–23

Head coaches

CoachSeasonsRecordPct.
Alvin Twitchell 1922–19245–13–1.289
C. J. Hart 1925–19276–12–2.350
G. Ott Romney 1928–193642–31–5.571
Floyd Millet 19422–5.286
Eddie Kimball 1937–1941, 1946–194834–32–8.514
Chick Atkinson 1949–195518–49–3.279
Hal Kopp 1956–195813–14–3.483
Tally Stevens 1959–19606–15.286
Hal Mitchell 1961–19638–22.267
Tommy Hudspeth 1964–197139–42–1.482
LaVell Edwards 1972–2000257–101–3.716
Gary Crowton 2001–200426–23.531
Bronco Mendenhall 2005–201599–43.697
Kalani Sitake 2016–present38–26.594

Rivalries

BYU's football program has two historic rivalries: one with the Utah Utes in a game referred to as "The Holy War", and another with the Utah State Aggies in "The Battle for the Old Wagon Wheel". BYU competes with Utah, Utah State, and Weber State for the Beehive Boot. More recently, BYU has started playing Boise State every year since 2012, igniting an emerging rivalry with them. [32] [33]

Utah

Utah leads the series 62–34–4 through the 2019 season. [34]

Utah State

BYU leads the series with Utah State 49–37–3 through the 2019 season. [35]

Record book

Honors and awards

Team awards for the BYU Cougars include 23 conference titles and one national championship in 1984. For player awards, BYU has produced 52 All-Americans (13 Consensus All-Americans),. [36]

Ty Detmer – 1990
Gary Sheide – 1974... 8th
Gifford Nielsen — 1976... 6th
Marc Wilson — 1979... 3rd
Jim McMahon — 1980... 5th
Jim McMahon — 1981... 3rd
Steve Young — 1983... 2nd
Robbie Bosco — 1984... 3rd
Robbie Bosco — 1985... 3rd
Ty Detmer — 1989... 9th
Ty Detmer — 1991... 3rd
Zach Wilson — 2020... 8th
Ty Detmer – 1990
Jim McMahon – 1981
Steve Young — 1983
Ty Detmer — 1990, 1991
Gary Sheide – 1974
Marc Wilson — 1979
Jim McMahon — 1981
Steve Young — 1983
Robbie Bosco — 1984
Ty Detmer — 1991
Steve Sarkisian — 1996
Luke Staley – 2001
Luke Staley – 2001
Jason Buck – 1986
Mohammed Elewonibi — 1989

For coaching, LaVell Edwards received the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award in 1979, [37] the AFCA (Kodak) Coach of the Year Award in 1984, and the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award (career achievement) in 2003.

College Football Hall of Fame

NamePositionYears at BYUYear Inducted
Gifford Nielsen [38] QB 1973–771994
Marc Wilson QB 1975–791996
Jim McMahon QB 1977–811998
Lavell Edwards Coach1972–002004
Steve Young QB 1980–832005
Gordon Hudson TE 1980–832009
Ty Detmer QB 1987–912012

Retired Jersey Numbers

No.PlayerPositionCareerDate of Retirement
6 [39] Marc Wilson
Robbie Bosco
Luke Staley
QB
QB
RB
1975–79
1981–85
1999–01
September 16, 2017
8 Steve Young QB 1980–83August 28, 2003
9 Jim McMahon QB 1977–81October 3, 2014
14 Gifford Nielsen
Ty Detmer
QB
QB
1973–77
1987–91
September 1, 2007
40 Eldon Fortie QB/RB 1960–621963
81 Marion Probert DE 1952–541977

BYU and the NFL

Pro Football Hall of Fame members

NamePositionSeasons in NFLYear Inducted
Steve Young [40] QB 152005

Uniforms

From the 1970s to 1999—a period coinciding with some of the school's best and most prominent football seasons—BYU school colors were royal blue and white. The football team generally wore royal blue jerseys and white pants at home, and white jerseys and royal blue pants on the road.

In 1999, Coach Edwards' penultimate year, the school colors switched to dark blue, white, and tan, and the football helmets switched from white to dark blue. The block 'Y' remained on the sides of the helmet but received a new, more modern treatment. The home uniforms consisted of dark blue jerseys with white "bib" and dark blue pants, and the away uniforms consisted of white jerseys with white pants. These new uniforms were disliked by both the conservative fans in Provo and the NCAA, who required the team to remove the white bib on the front of the blue home jersey in 2000 (NCAA rules require that a team's jersey have a single dominant color). The home jersey thereafter was modified with blue replacing the white on the bib area.

These uniforms lasted until 2004, when a uniform new style incorporating New York Jets-style shoulder stripes was introduced (the helmets remained the same). The new uniforms were worn in a "mix-and-match" strategy—e.g., the home blue jerseys were worn with either blue or white pants and the white away jerseys were worn with either blue or white pants. This uniform incarnation lasted for only one season.

Ultimately, the traditional design with the white helmet and former logo was re-introduced for the 2005 season. While the uniforms were also changed to be similar to the 1980s uniforms, the darker blue remained instead of the former royal blue, but all tan highlights were eliminated. This change was done at the insistence of new head coach Bronco Mendenhall, who wanted to return the team to the successful traditions of the 1980s. Normally, it takes a minimum of 1–2 years to create, design and approve a uniform change. When Nike, the team's uniform supplier, said that they could not possibly make the change in just five months, former head coach and BYU legend LaVell Edwards made a call to Nike and asked them to help the new Cougar coach. Edwards had worked with Nike on several occasions since his retirement, and with the legendary coach's weight behind the request, BYU was able to take the field in 2005 in new, traditional uniforms. [41] One slight change in the uniform came in the 2007 season, when a small traditional 'Y' logo was added to the bottom of the collar.

In 2009, BYU used a throwback jersey paying tribute to the 25-year anniversary of the 1984 national championship. They were the same design as the contemporary jerseys, but used royal blue instead of navy blue. They were introduced against rival University of Utah and again in the Las Vegas Bowl against Oregon State.

BYU Blackout Uniforms in 2012 BYU Blackout.jpg
BYU Blackout Uniforms in 2012

On October 13, 2012, BYU debuted a "blackout" jersey for a home game against Oregon State with royal blue accents and black facemasks. The endzones were also painted black for the occasion. In subsequent seasons, BYU has often had one blackout game per year.

In 2013, BYU introduced an all-royal combination (with the exception of the helmets, which remained its traditional white) against Utah. They wore it once more the following year against Utah State. The combination did not reappear until the 2018 Potato Bowl against Western Michigan. [42] In 2015, renditions of the "throwback" royal blue uniforms appeared, once in the team's Homecoming game against East Carolina, and again against Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl.

With the hiring of Kalani Sitake as head coach at the end of 2015, BYU has seen the gradual return of wearing royal blue combinations. They initially only made appearances in rivalry and other campus event games, but from 2017 onward, they have been worn more regularly. In 2019, several new combinations were introduced, including an all-white combination with royal accents, [43] and a variation on the "away" combination with some styling changes to pay tribute to the uniforms of the 1960s. [44] This last alternate uniform was accompanied by a throwback midfield logo and an endzone paint scheme that matched the field design used by BYU in the 1960s. A more modern design of the retro combination appeared in a game at the end of the season at San Diego State.

In 2020, the team reintroduced a gray facemask that paid tribute to former Cougar and Houston Oilers quarterback Gifford Nielsen for their game at the University of Houston. The team wore the gray facemasks several times that season, which was highlighted by the most frequent usage of the royal blue in decades.

In March 2021, the program introduced two helmets to add to their canon. Royal blue helmets to pay tribute to the teams of the 1970s and navy blue helmets to pay tribute to the combinations used from 1999-2004; the navy helmet was especially reminiscent of the highly successful 2001 team that featured players such as Luke Staley and Brandon Doman.

Alumni

As of 2008, 146 BYU Cougars football players have gone on to play professional football. Team alumni have competed in 48 NFL Super Bowls, [45] including Super Bowl MVP Steve Young and two-time Super Bowl winner Jim McMahon.

Future schedules

Future schedules as of August 21, 2020. [46]

2021

DateOpponentSiteResult
September 2vs. Arizona
September 11 Utah
September 18 Arizona State
  • LaVell Edwards Stadium
  • Provo, UT
September 24 South Florida
  • LaVell Edwards Stadium
  • Provo, UT
October 1at Utah State
October 9 Boise State
  • LaVell Edwards Stadium
  • Provo, UT
October 16at Baylor
October 23at Washington State [47]
October 30 Virginia
  • LaVell Edwards Stadium
  • Provo, UT
November 13 Idaho State
  • LaVell Edwards Stadium
  • Provo, UT
November 20at Georgia Southern
November 27at USC

2022

DateOpponentSiteResult
September 10 Baylor
September 17at Oregon
September 24 Wyoming
  • LaVell Edwards Stadium
  • Provo, UT
September 30 Utah State
  • LaVell Edwards Stadium
  • Provo, UT
October 15 Arkansas
  • LaVell Edwards Stadium
  • Provo, UT
October 22at Liberty
November 5at Boise State [47]
November 19 Dixie State
  • LaVell Edwards Stadium
  • Provo, UT
November 26at Stanford
TBA East Carolina
  • LaVell Edwards Stadium
  • Provo, UT

2023

DateOpponentSiteResult
September 2 Tennessee
September 9at Virginia
September 23at Arkansas
September 29 Rice
  • LaVell Edwards Stadium
  • Provo, UT
October 7at Houston
October 21 Boise State [47]
  • LaVell Edwards Stadium
  • Provo, UT
November 4 UNLV
  • LaVell Edwards Stadium
  • Provo, UT
November 11at UCF
November 18 Southern Utah
  • LaVell Edwards Stadium
  • Provo, UT
November 25at USC

2024

DateOpponentSiteResult
August 31 UCF
September 7at Utah
September 14 Hawaii
  • LaVell Edwards Stadium
  • Provo, UT
September 28at Wyoming
October 12 Georgia Southern
  • LaVell Edwards Stadium
  • Provo, UT
October 19at East Carolina
November 2at UNLV
November 9at NC State

2025

DateOpponentSiteResult
September 6at Hawaii
September 13 Stanford
September 20 Minnesota
  • LaVell Edwards Stadium
  • Provo, UT
September 27at Rice
October 25at Boise State
November 1 Virginia
  • LaVell Edwards Stadium
  • Provo, UT
November 8at Fresno State
TBA Utah
  • LaVell Edwards Stadium
  • Provo, UT

2026

DateOpponentSiteResult
September 5at Troy
September 12 Arizona
September 19at Utah
September 26at Virginia Tech
November 7 Boise State
  • LaVell Edwards Stadium
  • Provo, UT
November 28at Stanford

2027

DateOpponentSiteResult
September 11at Arizona
September 18 Utah
September 25at Boise State
October 9 Fresno State
  • LaVell Edwards Stadium
  • Provo, UT

2028

DateOpponentSiteResult
September 9at Utah
September 16 Ole Miss
September 23 Boise State
  • LaVell Edwards Stadium
  • Provo, UT
November 25at Stanford

2029

DateOpponentSiteResult
September 1 Stanford
September 8at Ole Miss
September 22at Boise State

2030

DateOpponentSiteResult
August 29 NC State
September 14 Virginia Tech
  • LaVell Edwards Stadium
  • Provo, UT
September 21 Boise State
  • LaVell Edwards Stadium
  • Provo, UT

2031

DateOpponentSiteResult
August 30 Stanford
September 27at Boise State

2032

DateOpponentSiteResult
September 25 Boise State
TBA Army
  • LaVell Edwards Stadium
  • Provo, UT

2033

DateOpponentSiteResult
September 24at Boise State

2034

DateOpponentSiteResult
September 23 Boise State

2035

DateOpponentSiteResult
September 1 Stanford

See also

Related Research Articles

LaVell Edwards

Reuben LaVell Edwards was an American football head coach for Brigham Young University (BYU). With 257 career victories, he ranks as one of the most successful college football coaches of all time. Among his many notable accomplishments, Edwards guided BYU to a national championship in 1984 and coached Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer in 1990.

Holy War (BYU–Utah)

The Holy War is the name given to the BYU–Utah football rivalry. It is an American college football rivalry game played by the Brigham Young University (BYU) Cougars and University of Utah Utes. The game is part of the larger BYU–Utah rivalry. In this rivalry context, the term "Holy War" refers to the fact that BYU is owned and administered by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the University of Utah is a public university owned and administered by the state of Utah, with a traditionally large LDS student population. The proximity of the two schools, the athletic successes of the two teams, and the longevity of the series also contribute to the rivalry.

Tom Holmoe

Thomas Allen Holmoe is an American college athletics administrator and former football player and coach. He has been the athletic director at Brigham Young University (BYU) since 2005. Holmoe played college football at BYU and then professionally in the National Football League (NFL) with the San Francisco 49ers from 1983 to 1989. He served as the head football coach at the University of California, Berkeley (Cal) from 1997 to 2001.

Bronco Mendenhall American football coach

Marc Bronco Clay Mendenhall is the head coach of the Virginia Cavaliers football team at the University of Virginia. Previously, he was head coach of Brigham Young University's (BYU) Cougars football team, leaving for Virginia with the second-most wins in school history, eleven consecutive bowl invitations, five 10-win seasons, and regular national Top 25 rankings. He won a total of 99 games in his eleven years there.

David Gary Crowton is an American football coach. He is the offensive coordinator at Pine View High School in St. George, Utah, a position he has held since 2018. Crowton served as the head football coach at Louisiana Tech University from 1996 to 1998 and at Brigham Young University (BYU) from 2001 to 2004, compiling a career college football coaching record of 47–36.

2006 BYU Cougars football team American college football season

The 2006 BYU Cougars football team represents Brigham Young University in the 2006 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Cougars won the Mountain West Conference (MWC) championship outright with an 11–2 record, their first unbeaten conference play since 2001. This was also BYU's third season with at least a share of the MWC title. The Cougars play their home games at LaVell Edwards Stadium, named after its legendary coach, LaVell Edwards.

The 1990 BYU Cougars football team represented Brigham Young University (BYU) in the 1990 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Cougars offense scored 524 points while the defense allowed 350 points. Led by head coach LaVell Edwards, the club participated in the Holiday Bowl.

2009 BYU Cougars football team American college football season

The 2009 BYU Cougars football team represented Brigham Young University in the 2009 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Cougars were led by head coach Bronco Mendenhall and played their home games at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Kelaokalani Fifita "Kalani" Sitake is an American football coach and former player. He has been the head football coach at Brigham Young University (BYU) since December 2015, and is the first Tongan to become a collegiate football head coach. Sitake played college football as a fullback at BYU under coach LaVell Edwards, and graduated in 2000.

The 1980 BYU Cougars football team represented Brigham Young University (BYU) for the 1980 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Cougars were led by ninth-year head coach LaVell Edwards and played their home games at Cougar Stadium in Provo, Utah. The team competed as a member of the Western Athletic Conference, winning their fifth consecutive conference title with a conference record of 6–1. After a season-opening loss to New Mexico, BYU ended on a 12-game winning streak, including a victory over SMU in the 1980 Holiday Bowl, finishing 12–1 overall and ranked 12th in the final AP Poll.

The 1978 BYU Cougars football team represented the Brigham Young University (BYU) in the 1978 NCAA Division I-A football season as a member of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). The team was led by head coach LaVell Edwards, in his seventh year, and played their home games at Cougar Stadium in Provo, Utah. They finished the season with a record of nine wins and four losses, as WAC Champions and with a loss against Navy in the Holiday Bowl.

2013 BYU Cougars football team American college football season

The 2013 BYU Cougars football team represented Brigham Young University in the 2013 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Cougars, led by head coach Bronco Mendenhall, played their home games at LaVell Edwards Stadium. This was the third year BYU competed as an independent. They finished the season 8–5. They were invited to the Fight Hunger Bowl where they lost to Washington, 31–16.

2015 BYU Cougars football team American college football season

The 2015 BYU Cougars football team represented Brigham Young University (BYU) in the 2015 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Cougars, led by 11th-year head coach Bronco Mendenhall, played their home games at LaVell Edwards Stadium. This was the fifth year BYU competed as an NCAA Division I FBS independent. They finished the season 9–4. They were invited to the Las Vegas Bowl, where they lost to rival Utah.

The 2015 Las Vegas Bowl was a post-season American college football bowl game played on December 19, 2015, at Sam Boyd Stadium in the Las Vegas suburb of Whitney, Nevada. The 24th edition of the Las Vegas Bowl featured the BYU Cougars against the Utah Utes, earning the game the moniker the Holy War in Sin City. The game sold out 24 hours after the matchup was announced. It began at 12:30 p.m. PST and aired on ABC. It was one of the 2015–16 bowl games that concluded the 2015 FBS football season. Sponsored by lubricant manufacturer Royal Purple, it was officially known as the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl.

2016 BYU Cougars football team American college football season

The 2016 BYU Cougars football team represented Brigham Young University in the 2016 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Cougars, led by first-year head coach Kalani Sitake, played their home games at LaVell Edwards Stadium. This was the sixth year BYU competes as an NCAA Division I FBS independent. They finished the season 9–4. They were invited to the Poinsettia Bowl where they defeated Wyoming.

2017 BYU Cougars football team American college football season

The 2017 BYU Cougars football team represented Brigham Young University in the 2017 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Cougars were led by second-year head coach Kalani Sitake and played their home games at LaVell Edwards Stadium. This was the seventh year BYU competed as an NCAA Division I FBS independent. BYU had 13 regular season games scheduled in the season, due to their finale game at Hawaii, which NCAA rules allow them to schedule one extra home game. They finished the season 4–9.

2018 BYU Cougars football team American college football season

The 2018 BYU Cougars football team represented Brigham Young University in the 2018 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Cougars were led by third-year head coach Kalani Sitake, and played their home games at LaVell Edwards Stadium. This was the seventh year BYU competed as an NCAA Division I FBS independent. They finished the season 7–6. They were invited to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl where they defeated Western Michigan.

The 1998 BYU Cougars football team represented Brigham Young University during the 1998 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Cougars were led by 27th-year head coach LaVell Edwards and played their home games at Cougar Stadium in Provo, Utah. The team competed as members of the Western Athletic Conference, winning a share of the Pacific Division title with a conference record of 7–1. The Cougars advanced to the 1998 WAC Championship Game over division co-champion San Diego State due to a head-to-head victory. After losing to Air Force in the conference championship game, BYU was invited to the 1998 Liberty Bowl, where they were defeated by the undefeated Tulane Green Wave. This was BYU's last season in the WAC before joining the Mountain West Conference in 1999.

2019 BYU Cougars football team American college football season

The 2019 BYU Cougars football team represented Brigham Young University in the 2019 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Cougars were led by fourth-year head coach Kalani Sitake, and played their home games at LaVell Edwards Stadium. This was the eighth year that BYU competed as an NCAA Division I FBS independent.

2020 BYU Cougars football team American college football season

The 2020 BYU Cougars football team represented Brigham Young University in the 2020 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Cougars were led by fifth-year head coach Kalani Sitake and played their home games at LaVell Edwards Stadium. This was the 10th year that BYU competed as an NCAA Division I FBS independent.

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