When the Brigham Young Cougars released their 2013 schedule this week, it was the first time the school made public that it would play the Nevada Wolf Pack in Reno on November 30, 2013. As it turns out, next year won't be the only time the two schools meet. The 2013 game is just one in a three game series contracted between the two schools.
The second game in the series will be played in Provo, Utah the following season, 2014. The third game will also be in Provo, but not until 2019. Exact dates have not been specified for these two games. The 2013 game was made possible by Nevada rescheduling a road trip to Eugene, Oregon to face the Oregon Ducks to the 2019 season.
The Cougars and the Wolf Pack don't have a lot of history together, but a three-game series of a 2-for-1 nature may become a trend for the two programs. In total, the two schools have played just eight times, however, this is the second three game series between the two schools this century.
After not playing each other since before World War II, BYU and Nevada faced off in 2001. The Cougars dominated the game and won 52-7. The following season, 2002, the two teams met again. This time Nevada scored a close win, 31-28. The third game was originally scheduled to open the 2008 season, but had to be postponed until 2010. That was a good move for Nevada.
BYU went into the 2008 season with the nation's longest win streak, and quickly moved into the top 10 in the national rankings with a 6-0 start. The likely outcome of the game would have been a Cougar victory. In 2010, BYU was rebuilding on offense and defense, while Nevada had the services of a senior Colin Kaepernick. The 2010 season was a great year for Nevada football. The Wolf Pack finished 13-1, including a 27-13 win over BYU.
The two wins in the last two meetings are Nevada's only victories in this series. BYU holds a 4-2-2 edge overall.
A three game series with Nevada every decade is a pretty good idea for BYU. While the 2008 season was the exception, Nevada has built a quality program that consistently has a winning record. The proximity of the two schools is fairly ideal. BYU fans from Utah can reasonably attend the game in Reno, as well as the many Cougar fans in California and, of course, Nevada.
On the 2012 BYU roster, the only player from Nevada was Kyle Van Noy. He played high school football at McQueen located in Reno. The 2013 game will be a return home for him as he wraps up his college football career.
To help Cougar and Wolf Pack fans get ready for this series, Cougar and Wolf Pack alums will face off this Sunday in the Super Bowl. Kaepernick is the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, while BYU legend Dennis Pitta is the starting tight end for the Baltimore Ravens.
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