Navy lines up BYU as season opener to replace Notre Dame
Navy on Thursday reacted to the loss of Notre Dame on the 2020 schedule by lining up BYU for its season-opening game on Sept. 7.
The Monday night game will be played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. It will be televised by ESPN.
Navy and Notre Dame had met every season since 1926. The two schools were initially scheduled game to play in Dublin, Ireland this season before the game was moved to Annapolis due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The game was lost as part of the fallout when Notre Dame agreed to be part of the ACC for football this season, and had room for just one nonconference game. But the two schools also agreed to extend their series through 2032.
“Obviously many will be disappointed that our longstanding competitive streak with Notre Dame will be interrupted due to the scheduling circumstances imposed by the pandemic,” Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said in a statement. “However, we have agreed that Navy and Notre Dame will continue as one of college football’s longest intersectional matchups through our extension and I appreciate Notre Dame making this a priority.
“Looking ahead, we have created an exciting and anticipated matchup in Annapolis with one of college football’s storied programs in BYU. This game will bring great national exposure for the Naval Academy, Annapolis, our state and Navy football. Although attendance in our stadium will be regulated and greatly reduced with fan welfare and social distancing guidelines in effect, a national television audience will enjoy watching two of college football’s most storied programs kick off the season in a primetime environment.”
The Labor Day matchup will be the first of two games between Navy and BYU. The Midshipmen will play at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah, at a date to be determined.
The schools have met twice. Navy posted a 23-16 win over BYU in the 1978 Holiday Bowl, and the Cougars prevailed 31-10 in Annapolis in 1989.
“We are very excited for the opportunity to play the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis,” BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said in a statement. “It’s always an honor and a privilege to play against a service academy, like we did annually for many years with Air Force. We first played the Midshipmen in the inaugural Holiday Bowl in 1978. The opportunity to visit Navy’s hallowed campus will be an amazing experience for our football team.”
As an independent, BYU lost six games due to leagues even eliminating their nonconference games. Among the contests the Cougars lost was its fierce in-state clash with Utah.
–Field Level Media