SALT LAKE CITY — You’ve got three months to get your get-out-of-work excuses ready for the Friday after this year’s rivalry football game between BYU and Utah.
The Pac-12 released game times for Utah’s first four games of the season, including the annual rivalry game that will be played on Thursday, Aug. 29, as the season opener for both programs. The game will kickoff at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
The game will undoubtedly end close to midnight and will impact your Friday morning. Maybe one of the teams will have a decisive lead before the fourth quarter to give fans an opportunity to leave the game early. But if last year’s come-from-behind victory by Utah is any indication, you can never leave the game early.
The following week, Utah will welcome Northern Illinois to town in an early-morning kickoff on Saturday, Sept. 7. The game is scheduled for an 11 a.m. kickoff at Rice-Eccles Stadium and will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.
Utah rounds out its nonconference schedule with Idaho State at Rice-Eccles Stadium the following Saturday with a 2:15 p.m. kickoff. The game will also be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.
The Utes will open up their Pac-12 season on Friday, Sept. 20, on the road against the USC Trojans at the L.A. Coliseum. The game, which has turned into a rivalry game of its own, will kickoff at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on FS1.
The remaining schedule for Utah will be released approximately 12 days before game time, similar to past seasons, but TV networks may hold game times to a six-day window before selecting a time.
For the first time, Utah, along with other Pac-12 teams, will have two bye weeks worked into their season — Oct. 5 and Nov. 9. Utah will welcome to Rice-Eccles Stadium Northern Illinois, Idaho State, Washington State (homecoming), Arizona State, California, UCLA and Colorado.
BYU also released three other game times for their upcoming schedule, including matchups against SEC and Pac-12 opponents.
After its rivalry matchup against Utah, the Cougars will travel to Knoxville, Tennessee, to take on the Volunteers in Neyland Stadium — a 102,455 stadium capacity — for a hostile game in SEC country. The game, which will be played on Sept. 7, will kickoff at 5 p.m. and be broadcast on ESPN.
The Cougars will return home to welcome USC to LaVell Edwards Stadium on Sept. 14 in a 1:30 p.m. kickoff. The game will be broadcast on either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2. The Washington Huskies will come to town the week after, but the game time has not yet been determined.
And finally, BYU will welcome Idaho State to Provo on Nov. 16 in a 1 p.m. kickoff time. The game will be broadcast on BYUtv and ESPN3. The Cougars previously announced that the game against San Diego State on Nov. 30 will kickoff at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.
BYU, too, will have two byes worked into their schedule this season — Oct. 5 and Oct. 26 — and will welcome to Provo this season Utah, USC, Washington, Boise State, Liberty and Idaho State.