BYU football season preview

BYU football will visit five time zones and travel 16,696 miles this season. (Graphic by Haley Mosher)

BYU football is nearly here.

After 248 days, the Cougars will take the field on Saturday as they host Portland State in the season opener.

Altogether, the team will travel 16,696 miles and visit five time zones this fall.

Game-by-game, here’s a quick preview of the BYU football team’s schedule.

  • 8/26 vs. Portland State: The Cougars will look to fine-tune things on both sides of the ball against an FCS foe in the home opener. With linebacker Francis Bernard possibly transferring from BYU, Matt Hadley and Adam Pulsipher have been listed on the depth chart to fill the gap at linebacker.
  • 9/2 vs. LSU (Houston, TX): BYU and LSU will meet for the first time at NRG Stadium in the Advocare Texas Kickoff. The Tigers may bring a Top 15 ranking to the highly anticipated match-up. For BYU, the game will be the first of three-straight games against Power 5 teams.
  • 9/9 vs. Utah:  BYU will look to snap a 6-game losing streak against the Utes. The 92nd meeting between the two schools will be a tough battle, as shown by the competitiveness of last year’s game. Utah will bring sophomore quarterback Tyler Huntley and new offensive coordinator Troy Taylor to LaVell Edwards Stadium to face Troy Warner and BYU’s defense.
  • 9/16 vs. Wisconsin: Barring a major upset, Wisconsin will bring a Top 10 ranking to Provo in the third game between the schools. The game will be Wisconsin’s first visit to Provo, as the teams have split the two previous match-ups — both in Wisconsin.
  • 9/29 at Utah State: BYU will travel 104 miles north after a bye week to face the Aggies in the 87th game between the two schools. Utah State will be in rebuilding mode after a 3-9 record last year while the Cougars could be looking to make a case for a New Year’s Six bowl or trying to right the ship after a brutal three-game stretch.
  • 10/6 vs. Boise State: The home team has won the last five games in the series, including last season’s game where Boise State defeated BYU 28-27 in Idaho. The Broncos hold the all-time series lead at 5-2. BYU quarterback Tanner Mangum will look to recreate some of the magic from his last match-up with the Broncos — the 2015 game highlighted by Mangum’s last-minute touchdown pass to Mitchell Juergens.
  • 10/14 at Mississippi State: BYU will make its first trip to Starkville since the infamous game when Luke Staley broke his leg in 2001. All-time, BYU leads the series 2-1. The Bulldogs will be out to revenge last year’s double overtime loss in Provo as they step out of SEC play for the week.
  • 10/21 at East Carolina: The Cougar’s second longest road trip will see them face the Pirates for the second time ever. BYU won the inaugural game back in 2015, 45-38.
  • 10/28 vs. San Jose State: The Spartans visit Provo in the first of three games against Mountain West Conference teams for BYU. Last season, the Spartans took BYU to the wire in 17-16 Cougar win. All-time, SJSU holds a 10-7 series lead despite BYU winning seven of the last nine games.
  • 11/4 at Fresno State: BYU travels to Fresno, CA, to face former WAC opponent Fresno State. The series between the two teams is split at five wins apiece, but BYU has won three of the last four.
  • 11/10 at UNLV: Sam Boyd Stadium has been a home away from home for BYU, between Las Vegas bowl games and conference match-ups with the Rebels. In fact, the Cougars have never lost a game to UNLV in Las Vegas, holding a 16-3 series advantage all-time.
  • 11/18 vs. UMass: Fellow independent UMass comes to Provo on Senior Day for the Cougars. The Minutemen didn’t pose a threat to BYU last year, with the Cougars taking the initial meeting 51-9.
  • 11/25 at Hawaii: The Cougars final game takes the team 3,000 miles west to O’ahu to face the Warriors. BYU is on a three-game winning streak against Hawaii, but the last Cougar loss came in a 13th game at Aloha Stadium in 2000.
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