When BYU students Ben Potter, Frani King and Craig Walker first competed on the trivia game show “College Bowl,” hosted by NFL legend Peyton Manning and his brother, Cooper Manning, they got a surprise message from legendary BYU quarterback Steve Young.

“BYU’s been in a lot of big games, national championship, lot of bowl games, a lot of victories, a lot of trophies. What we don’t have is a ‘College Bowl’ trophy,” Young said on the show, according to the Deseret News. “So Frani, Craig, Ben, it’s up to you to bring it home for the Cougs. And I know you have it in you.”

The BYU students are doing everything in their power to fulfill that request.

BYU students Craig Walker, Ben Potter and Frani King on NBC’s “College Bowl.” | Steve Swisher, NBC

BYU will compete against Penn State on NBC’s ‘College Bowl’

The Cougars survived the first round of “College Bowl,” which featured 16 schools across the country going head-to-head on a wide range of subjects. Then, BYU defeated Notre Dame in a thrilling quarterfinal match. Now, “College Bowl” is down to six teams — but only four can move on to the semifinals.

On Friday, BYU will compete against Penn State for a coveted spot in the semifinals.

The other two matchups during Friday’s episode — airing 7 p.m. MDT on NBC — are the University of Georgia vs. Syracuse University, and UC Santa Barbara vs. Columbia University (Columbia won the 2021 season of “College Bowl”).

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Potter, King and Walker previously told the Deseret News that they are proud to represent Brigham Young University, which has competed on different iterations of “College Bowl” over the years and has its own unique history with the show — in 1994, the school forfeited its spot in the finals due to the competition taking place on a Sunday.

After gaining some momentum in their win over Notre Dame, the BYU students seem well on their way to taking home the “College Bowl” trophy — and $1 million in scholarship money.

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“I was surprised by how quickly things came to us,” Potter, who is the president of BYU’s Quiz Bowl, previously told the Deseret News. “With the adrenaline, I think it just kind of brought out the best of us. We’re lucky that way.”

The semifinals and “College Bowl” championship game will air Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. MDT on NBC.

BYU students Craig Walker, Ben Potter and Frani King on NBC’s “College Bowl.” | Steve Swisher, NBC

Trivia questions BYU has faced on ‘College Bowl’

Here are some of the questions the BYU students have encountered so far on “College Bowl” (all answers will be at the very bottom of the article):

From the BYU vs. University of Washington matchup

  • “Hotel rooms with all art removed from the walls were a favorite writing den for what author of ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’?”
  • “Sitting in the bathtub while eating apples inspired ideas for what author who created the detective character Miss Marple?”
  • “Known to argue out loud with himself in order to write good dialogue, who created ‘The West Wing’ and wrote the screenplay for ‘Being the Ricardos’?”
  • “In 1804, Lewis and Clark began their historic expedition at Camp Dubois outside what midwestern city?”
  • “Regarded for his love of animals and the environment, what Italian friar of Assisi was declared the patron saint of ecologists in 1979?”
  • “Founded in 1949, what military alliance was established as a counterweight to Soviet armies stationed in parts of Europe?”
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From the BYU vs. Notre Dame matchup

  • “Although much of Zora Neale Hurston’s writing explores the rural South, she was a leader of what New York renewal of African American culture?”
  • “Georgia Public Broadcasting says Flannery O’Connor defined Southern Gothic literature in such stories as ‘A Good Man is’ what?”
  • “A common tradition says you need four things on your wedding day. The first is something old. Name the other three somethings.” 
  • “Boris Johnson became prime minister of the U.K. in 2019. Name the three people who immediately preceded him in that position.”
  • “Often studied in statistics classes, a standard roulette wheel has numbered spaces that are designated by three colors. Name those colors.”
BYU will compete against Penn State on NBC’s “College Bowl” Friday night. | Steve Swisher, NBC

(1. Maya Angelou; 2. Agatha Christie; 3. Aaron Sorkin; 4. St. Louis; 5. Francis; 6. NATO; 7. Harlem Renaissance; 8. “Hard to Find”; 9. something blue, something new, something borrowed; 10. Theresa May, David Cameron, Gordon Brown; 11. red, green and black)

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