The Utah Utes have announced two additional games in the football series against the rival BYU Cougars in 2023 and 2024. With these games announced, Utah has filled their nonconference slate of games through 2024 (barring any changes). Utah is riding an eight-game winning streak over BYU. All future games on the schedule are in September and will happen before conference play starts, unlike last year where the game concluded Utah’s regular season. Below are all of the games against BYU through 2024:
Aug. 29, 2019, Provo
Sept. 3, 4 or 5, 2020, Salt Lake City
Sept. 11, 2021, Provo
Sept. 3, 2022, Salt Lake City
Sept. 16, 2023, Provo
Sept. 7, 2024, Salt Lake City
Other nonconference opponents in Utah’s schedule include the Northern Illinois Huskies (2019), the Wyoming Cowboys (2020 and 2025), the San Diego State Aztecs (2021 and 2022), and the Baylor Bears (2023 and 2024).
As someone who came into the rivalry later (I moved to Utah for graduate school in the summer of 2011), I never experienced the rivalry when both teams were in the same conference, so that might give me a different perspective than lifelong fans. But, I am just not totally sure what Utah gains from playing this game. It is a high risk game because of how motivated BYU is with little reward because BYU has not been nationally relevant in a long time. Most other Pac-12 teams treat BYU as a B opponent (in 2018 in addition to BYU, the Washington Huskies played the Auburn Tigers and the California Golden Bears played the North Carolina Tar Heels), but because of the rivalry, BYU is Utah’s A opponent for most nonconference schedules (the series took a two-year regular season hiatus when Utah played the Michigan Wolverines). In 2023 and 2024, Utah plays BYU and Baylor, so at least there is a Power Five opponent in the schedule. Honestly, what I would like to see is a six year rotation with home-and-homes with BYU, the Utah State Aggies, and some other Group of Five opponent in an area where Utah recruits (California, Florida, or Texas). It keeps the rivalry alive, but it allows Utah to play some other teams and leaves room on the schedule for an A game against a Power Five team (whether that be a home-and-home or a one-time neutral site game).
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