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PROVO, Utah (Jan. 6, 2009) — BYU Director of Athletics Tom Holmoe today announced the 2009 football nonconference schedule has been finalized. The Cougars will face Oklahoma, Florida State, Tulane and Utah State next season in addition to its yet-to-be-announced Mountain West Conference schedule.
"We are excited about our nonconference schedule for next season," Holmoe said. "There were several teams involved in making things work out and we appreciate all those who worked hard to make it happen. The home schedule should be one of the best in school history. In addition to perennial football power Florida State, fans will enjoy home games with in-state rivals Utah and Utah State as well as TCU, Colorado State and Air Force in conference."
BYU will start the 2009 season on Sept. 5 against currently No. 1-ranked Oklahoma in a historic game being played at the Dallas Cowboys new stadium in Arlington, Texas. As two of only seven teams to win 10 or more games each of the last three seasons, the Cougars and Sooners will be featured in the first college game played in the new stadium. The Labor Day weekend contest will kick off in primetime and be televised on ABC or ESPN as part of the second annual ESPN Kickoff Week presented by Gillette.
"We appreciate the unique opportunity of being part of the first college game played in the new home of the Dallas Cowboys," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "Given the strong football traditions of Oklahoma, BYU and the Dallas Cowboys, it's a fitting matchup and a perfect venue for what should be a great football game."
The game — just the second meeting between BYU and Oklahoma — is the first in a five-year agreement between the Dallas Cowboys and ESPN to bring an outstanding college football game to the club's new stadium each year during the Labor Day holiday weekend. The Cougars won the first contest against the Sooners, earning a 31-6 victory at the 1994 Copper Bowl in Tucson, Ariz.
After facing Oklahoma, the Cougars will travel to New Orleans to play at Tulane in the Louisiana Superdome on Sept. 12. The game will be broadcast to a national television audience on ESPN or ESPN2. BYU will then return home for its season opener against Florida State on Sept. 19. The final nonconference game is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 2, versus in-state rival Utah State. Television plans for the other nonconference games will be announced at a later date.
BYU and Tulane split the two prior meetings, with the Green Wave winning 41-27 in the 1998 Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn., and the Cougars evening the ledger with a 70-35 triumph at Provo in the Black Coaches Association Classic to open the 2001 season.
Florida State will make its first-ever visit to Provo. The Seminoles won the two previous contests against the Cougars with a 44-28 win at the 1991 Pigskin Classic in Anaheim, Calif., and a 29-3 victory in the 2000 Pigskin Classic in Jacksonville, Fla.
BYU and Utah State will meet for the 79th time in 2009. After their 34-14 win in 2008, the Cougars own a 42-33-3 advantage in the longtime series.
"This is a strong nonconference schedule with teams from the Big 12, ACC, Conference USA and the WAC," Mendenhall said. "We look forward to playing these games as we continue to work on improving our program and building on our past achievements."
Since taking over a BYU program in 2005 that had not enjoyed a winning season since 2001, Mendenhall has guided BYU to four straight bowl invitations, two outright Mountain West Conference championships and consistent national top-25 rankings. In the past three seasons, BYU has posted a 32-7 overall record to become one of just seven teams in the nation to win 32 games during that timeframe, joining Boise State (35-4), Florida (34-6), Oklahoma (34-7), USC (34-5), Ohio State (33-5), and Texas (32-7).