FootballSports & Rec

The history of the Boise State vs. BYU rivalry

Photo by Mackenzie Hudson

The rivalry between Boise State and the Brigham Young University (BYU) Cougars dates back to their first meeting in 2003. Meetings between the two almost always produce an exciting and close game. Seven of the nine contests came within one score. 

“Oh yeah, there’s no question. In this region right here, this is a big-time game,” said former Boise State defensive coordinator Andy Avalos. “Much respect for their program and what they’ve done and they obviously have a lot of tradition and a lot of history and fan base not just in football but for all of their sports.” 

Last year’s game between the Broncos and the Cougars was week seven of the 2019 in Provo. The Cougars won 28-25 on the back of a 21-point 3rd quarter. Boise State Head Coach Bryan Harsin attributed the loss to a lack of a successful run game.

“I don’t think that we ran the ball as effectively as we hoped that we would in the game, and we didn’t have the rush yards that we thought we would be able to get,” said Harsin. 

[Photo of the BSU v. BYU game on Nov. 6, 2020]
Photo by Mackenzie Hudson | The Arbiter

Tom Holome, BYU athletic director, was excited when it was announced that the schools would face off again after the Mountain West Conference announced the plans for a condensed season

“The annual game between BYU and Boise State has become a much-anticipated regional rivalry between two universities with great football traditions,” Holome said.

This season, the Broncos played at home against the Cougars, falling 51-17 to the now AP ranked number eight team in the country. This loss resulted in the Broncos falling outside the AP Top 25

So far, the 2020 season has been the Cougars’ best considering they are 8-0. The Cougars’ offense is averaging 45 points per game, while their defense has only given up 14 points per game.

The Broncos had hopes that this season would be different. They didn’t have to travel to Provo, let alone play in LaVell Edwards Stadium which normally holds up to 63,700 fans. 

Boise State also had the ability to play in front of fans for the first time in the 2020 season, as around 1,000 people were allowed into the stadium.

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