Hilltoppers Add Oct. 31 Game at BYU to 2020 Schedule
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — For the first time ever, WKU and BYU will meet on the gridiron. The programs have announced the addition of a 2020 contest that will take place on October 31 in Provo, Utah, at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Game time and broadcast information are TBD at this time.
The Hilltoppers’ originally-scheduled game on October 31 – at home vs. Old Dominion – was canceled, leaving WKU with an open date. A full, finalized 2020 WKU schedule with a new Homecoming date will be announced next week.
“The challenges of 2020 have also resulted in unique opportunities, and we are really excited about the first-ever football matchup between WKU and BYU,” Director of Athletics Todd Stewart said. “As we experienced after each of our recent victories over Arkansas, Kentucky (twice), Vanderbilt, Navy (twice), Army (three times), Memphis and South Florida, games against strong non-conference opponents provide opportunities for quality wins and vital national exposure. The Cougars’ storied program’s accomplishments include a national championship, Heisman Trophy winner, 23 conference championships and 15 bowl wins. This trip to Provo is one our program is looking forward to.”
This will be the Hilltoppers’ first-ever game in the state of Utah, and the fourth-furthest the team has ever traveled west. WKU twice played in Sacramento, Calif., in the Camellia Bowl, for the NCAA Division II National Championship in 1973 (vs. Louisiana Tech) and 1975 (vs. Northern Michigan). The Hilltoppers also played a 1997 NCAA Division I-AA playoff game vs. Eastern Washington in Spokane, Wash. Located in the Utah Valley, Provo also has a notable elevation of 4,549 feet above sea level.
The Cougars are led by fifth-year head coach Kalani Sitake, who has a 27-25 record in his first four seasons at the helm. In 2019, BYU finished with a 7-6 record, including a 38-34 loss to Hawaii in the SoFi Hawaii Bowl. The Cougars have won seven or more games in 13-of-14 seasons dating back to 2006.
Formerly of the Mountain West Conference, BYU has been FBS Independent since 2011. The Cougars’ most recent Conference USA opponent was Middle Tennessee, who they defeated in Murfreesboro, Tenn., by a score of 27-7 on November 1, 2014.
Starting with the season opener at Louisville on September 12, second-year head coach Tyson Helton and the 2020 Hilltoppers will face a wire-to-wire grind, as nine of the team’s 10 FBS opponents competed in a bowl game in 2019. Overall, WKU is expected to return 16 of their 22 offensive and defensive starters, along with two of the three specialists.