BYU makes third schedule announcement in the last week

The Brigham Young Cougars have made their third football schedule announcement since November 1. Today, BYU announced it would play the Virginia Cavaliers in 2013 and 2014.

To open the 2013 season, BYU will travel to Charlottesville, Virginia, and play the Cavaliers on August 31, 2013. Virginia will come to Provo for a return game on September 20, 2014.

Of the three recent scheduling announcements, this series with Virginia will be the first one to be played. Michigan, announced yesterday, will be in 2015, and Cincinnati, announced November 1, will be in 2015 and 2016.

The last time BYU and Virginia met was in 2000 for the Cavaliers’ season opener. It, too, was played in Virginia. BYU had opened the season one week earlier against Florida State in the Pigskin Classic. The 2000 game was a classic. BYU fell behind 21-0 in the first half, but tied the game at the end of regulation, and won in overtime, 38-35.

In fact, the last two meetings between BYU and Virginia have been thrillers. Playing in Provo in 1999, Virginia beat BYU 45-40. The Cavaliers had a 21-0 first half lead in this game as well. BYU could have won the game with a touchdown in the final two minutes, however, the Cougar offense stalled after reaching the Virginia 8-yard line.

The only other time the two schools have met was 25 years ago in the 1987 All-American Bowl. Virginia won 22-16.

BYU is now scheduled to play two ACC teams next year. The Cougars just beat ACC member Georgia Tech, 41-17, on October 27. BYU and Tech will play October 12, 2013, in Provo.

Hopefully Virginia hosting BYU in their season opener is not an omen for how the 2013 season will go. As noted, the last time this happened was 2000. BYU finished 6-6 that season. The 2013 schedule has been hyped as the toughest schedule in BYU history. Regardless of the difficulty, a 6-6 record will be tough to take.

Other expected similarities between the 2000 Cougars and the 2013 squad will be the quarterback and running back. BYU will be starting a new quarterback in 2013, just like Bret Engemann was taking over for Kevin Feterik in 2000. Jamaal Williams will be back as a sophomore at running back after a fantastic freshman season, just like Luke Staley in 2000.

While the exact future of head coach Bronco Mendenhall is unknown, 2013 will be his final year under contract, and 2000 was LaVell Edwards’ final season on the sidelines for the Cougars. (Don’t read too much into that. I am not predicting Mendenhall will be gone after 2013, just making an observation.)

Current BYU offensive coordinator Brandon Doman was a quarterback on the 2000 BYU team. He did not play at Virginia, but would started the final two games of the season. Both games Doman started were wins.

Virginia was 8-5 in 2011. Despite struggling to just a 3-6 record, thus far, in 2012, the Cavaliers just upset North Carolina State, 33-6.

The complete press release from BYU can be read by clicking here.

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