PROVO, Utah, Aug. 6, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — BYU will open the 2020 football season in a nationally featured game on ESPN against the Naval Academy on Labor Day, it was announced Thursday.
The game will be played on Monday, Sept. 7, at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. MDT.
“We are very excited for the opportunity to play the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis,” said BYU Director of Athletics Tom Holmoe. “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.”
The Labor Day contest is part of a two-game series with Navy. Details for the game at LaVell Edwards Stadium will be announced at a later date, the news release said.
The 2019 Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy champion, Navy is coming off an 11-2 season that included a 7-1 resume as the West Division co-champions in the American Athletic Conference. The Midshipmen defeated Kansas State in the 2019 Liberty Bowl to tie the Naval Academy record of 11 wins and finish the season ranked No. 20 in both the final national polls.
“Speaking on behalf of our players and coaches, we are extremely excited for this opportunity to play Navy on Labor Day to open the 2020 season and appreciate all the work put in by Tom Holmoe and Navy to schedule this game,” BYU head coach Kalani Sitake said.
“Navy plays great football and we have the utmost appreciation and respect for all of the sacrifices the members of the military academies make on all of our behalf. Ken (Nuimatalolo) is a great football coach and a personal friend who I have known since I was young and always admired both as a person and as a coach. We are looking forward to the matchup.”
The Labor Day game will mark the third meeting between BYU and Navy. The two teams met in the inaugural Holiday Bowl in 1978 with Navy coming away with a 23-16 victory. BYU gained revenge in 1989 when the Cougars traveled to Annapolis and won 31-10.
The Cougars and Midshipmen will also participate in the first true night game at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium since 2005, when Navy lost a 40-38 game to Stanford.
Prior to recent schedule changes made by the FBS conferences in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, BYU was slated to face rival Utah in its opener while Navy was originally scheduled to face Notre Dame in a series that had taken place each season since 1927 — the longest continuous intersectional rivalry in college football at 93 games.
BYU will continue to announce additional games for the 2020 season as they are finalized.