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Big 12 releases kickoff times, TV plans for early season BYU games

By Darnell Dickson - | May 31, 2023

Harold Mitchell, Special to the Herald

BYU wide receiver Keanu Hill gets tackled after making a catch during the game against Wyoming at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.

The BYU football schedule is teasing Cougar fans.

On Wednesday, the Big 12 announced kickoff times and television designations for more than 40 conference games in the early part of the 2023 season, and now BYU followers can start to plan their fall Saturdays.

But only a few of them.

The Cougars know the start times and viewing destinations for four upcoming games, but the other eight games are at the mercy of the Big 12’s television partner. ESPN/Fox has all the power. The remainder of the season’s television selections will be announced on a 12-day or six-day notice via Big12Sports.com and the conference’s official digital platforms.

So if you’re waiting to find out what time and where you can watch the Cougars Big 12 opener at Kansas on Sept. 23, you need to keep wating.

BYU opens its inaugural season as a member of the Big 12 Conference at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 2 versus Sam Houston at 8:15 p.m. MT on FS1.

The Bearkats, who won the 2020-21 FCS National Championship, will be making the move to the Football Bowl Subdivision and Conference USA after competing at the FCS level since 1984. The game in Provo will be the first meeting between BYU and Sam Houston from Huntsville, Texas.

BYU will then welcome FCS foe Southern Utah to Provo the following week on Saturday, Sept. 9, in a game scheduled for 1 p.m. MT on Big 12 Now on ESPN+. This is the type of game that would typically be seen on BYUtv, but the third-tier rights belong to ESPN and so ESPN+ it is.

The Cougars defeated the Thunderbirds, 37-7, at LaVell Edwards Stadium during the 2016 season in the only previous meeting between the in-state schools. Southern Utah went 5-6 in 2022, including a 17-7 win over Sam Houston in the regular-season finale.

BYU will then travel to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to face the Arkansas Razorbacks of the Southeastern Conference on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m. CT on ESPN2.

The game, played at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, marks BYU’s first-ever football contest in the state of Arkansas. The Cougars hosted the Razorbacks in 2022 with Arkansas earning a 52-35 victory.

In addition to the opening three weeks of the season, the Big 12 also announced the kickoff time and television plans for the conference’s six special date conference matchups, including the Cougars’ first conference home game at LaVell Edwards Stadium. BYU and fellow conference newcomer Cincinnati will meet in a Friday night matchup on Sept. 29 at 8:15 p.m. MT on ESPN.

The Cougars and Bearcats last met in a two-game, home-and-home series played in 2015 and 2016 while Cincinnati was a member of the American Athletic Conference and BYU as an independent. The Cougars won both games, earning a 38-24 win in Provo in 2015 followed by a 20-3 triumph at Cincinnati in Sitake’s first season in 2016.

The Big 12’s six special date selections include two league games scheduled for Thursday night broadcasts while four will be played on Fridays, including a “Black Friday” double-header as the regular season wraps up over Thanksgiving weekend.

The Dr Pepper Big 12 Football Championship will return to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas for the ninth year. The game is slated for Saturday, December 2 with an 11:00 a.m. kickoff on ABC. The Big 12 had the second-highest attendance of last season’s conference title games with 69,335 spectators. The Championship delivered 9.4M viewers on ABC, the most-watched Big 12 Championship since 2018. It peaked at 12.7M viewers, the most of any conference championship across all networks.

2023 BYU Football Schedule

Saturday, Sept. 2 Sam Houston, 8:15 p.m. MT (FS1)

Saturday, Sept. 9 Southern Utah, 1 p.m. MT (ESPN+/Big 12 Now)

Saturday, Sept. 16 at Arkansas, 5:30 p.m. MT (ESPN2)

Saturday, Sept. 23 at Kansas, TBD

Friday, Sept. 29 Cincinnati, 8:15 p.m. MT (ESPN)

Saturday, Oct. 14 at TCU, TBD

Saturday, Oct. 21 Texas Tech, TBD

Saturday, Oct. 28 at Texas, TBD

Saturday, Nov. 4 at West Virginia, TBD

Saturday, Nov. 11 Iowa State, TBD

Saturday, Nov. 18 Oklahoma, TBD

Saturday, Nov. 25 at Oklahoma State, TBD


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