By Blakely Stillman
With the BYU football team announcing its 2005 schedule last Tuesday and Spring Camp beginning this Monday, it?s already time for the die-hard fans to prepare themselves for the upcoming season.
Despite being a bit premature, these two events give Cougar fans a taste of what is to come.
BYU Director of Athletic Marketing Tony Jewkes said he expects fans to be especially excited about the team having a new head coach, a new attitude and a new offensive scheme, among other reasons.
?I invite fans to see for themselves the new direction, the renewed excitement and commitment of the coaches and players and to see shades of BYU”s past glory years,? Jewkes said.
As far as the upcoming season?s schedule is concerned, BYU will first play at home Sept. 3 to ACC foe Boston College, who finished 9-3 last season and won the Continental Tire Bowl.
The Cougars will also finish their three-game series with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish this season when they travel to South Bend, Ind., Oct. 22. Like the Cougars, the Irish will also feature a new head coach, Charlie Weis.
Other noteworthy games include MWC newcomer Texas Christian University at LaVell Edwards Stadium Sept. 24 and a Nov. 19 rematch in Provo with MWC champion Utah, who won the Fiesta Bowl last season.
Some Cougar fans have questions about the Sept. 10 home game against Division I-AA opponent Eastern Illinois. Under NCAA regulations, Division I teams like BYU may play one Division II opponent every four years and have it count towards the six-win minimum requirement for bowl eligibility. The Cougars also talked with Southern Utah and Weber State before deciding on the Panthers of Eastern Illinois.
“When we looked at Eastern Illinois, it made a lot of sense for both programs ? from both a scheduling and a financial standpoint,” BYU Senior Associate Athletic Director Peter Pilling said in a press release.
Preparations for this upcoming schedule will begin with Monday?s opening day of Spring Camp, which will feature 13 returning starters and 43 returning letterwinners.
?I think everyone?s excitement is overwhelming to get back on the field,? said Breyon Jones, a senior wide receiver.
Jones also said Spring Camp is very different from an actual season game, but it will still provide the team with a good opportunity to prepare for next season.
?Competition against your team and competition against another team is completely different,? Jones said. ?But we?re definitely going to be more competitive this upcoming year, so this camp is going to be a steppingstone towards the season,?
Spring Camp will conclude with a treat for fans ? the 32nd Annual Blue-White Spring Football Game that will take place April 9 at LaVell Edwards Stadium. The game will begin at 5 p.m. with free parking and admission for the public.