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BYU officially adds 6th opponent for 2020 football season, at least two others reportedly in works

BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe says Cougars will host Western Kentucky of Conference USA on Oct. 31 at LaVell Edwards Stadium

Western Kentucky receivers Jahcour Pearson, right, and Quin Jernighan celebrate after a touchdown during the First Responder Bowl college football game against Western Michigan in Dallas, Monday, Dec. 30, 2019. The Hilltoppers will face BYU in Provo on Oct. 31, according to college football insider Brett McMurphy.
Roger Steinman, Associated Press

PROVO — BYU’s heavily depleted 2020 football schedule continues to take shape.

Friday afternoon, Cougars athletic director Tom Holmoe announced a home football game against Western Kentucky of Conference USA to be played Oct. 31 at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

A kickoff time and television broadcast plans for the Halloween game were not announced. Nor is there is mention in a school news release of BYU returning the game to Bowling Green, Kentucky, home of the Hilltoppers.

“We are grateful that Western Kentucky was able to quickly put together a game that will enable our teams to play football,” said Holmoe. “We are looking forward to the matchup and hosting the Hilltoppers at LaVell Edwards Stadium.”

BYU’s announcement said it currently has six games on its 2020 schedule, “including previously announced contests with Navy, Army, Troy, Houston and North Alabama.”

The matchup, first reported by Brett McMurphy of Stadium on Friday morning, comes a day and two days after reports on Twitter said the Cougars were hosting Texas-San Antonio (UTSA) and Texas State, respectively.

The Halloween matchup would mark the first-ever meeting between the Cougars and Hilltoppers. Coincidentally, WKU athletic director Todd Stewart and Holmoe interacted last April when their schools were embroiled in a fan poll to determine the best mascot in a SiriusXM promotion.

Like UTSA, WKU is a member of Conference USA in football.

If the latest reports of BYU games are accurate — the school had not officially announced the Texas State or UTSA games as of 3 p.m. MT Friday afternoon — the Cougars would have eight games on their reconstructed 2020 schedule, including six home games.

BYU opens the season on Sept. 7 at Navy, followed by another trip to the East Coast to face Army on Sept. 19. Thursday, BYU coach Kalani Sitake hinted that the Cougars would not play a game the weekend of Sept. 12, saying Navy and Army were their “first two opponents.”

The Troy Trojans will visit BYU on Sept. 26 for what is shaping up to be the Cougars’ home opener.

After BYU’s scrimmage on Thursday, the Deseret News asked BYU offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes, who has coached in Texas and throughout the South, if he was using his connections to help Holmoe line up games.

“No, that’s above my pay grade,” Grimes said. “I am like all of us, we are ready to play whoever he puts in front of us, and I know he is working hard to put a great schedule in front of us, so I am thankful that we are in the position, particularly with where we are in the country right now, that we are in position to play and feeling very blessed and fortunate that we have an opportunity, and what a great opportunity it is in the geographical landscape of things that we are in position to play football this year.”