For one of the first times — if not the first time — in the independence era, BYU will play a majority of its toughest games at home in the 2019 season. Between Utah, USC, Washington and Boise State, season ticket holders should be thrilled at the teams coming to Lavell Edwards Stadium.
As always though, BYU will travel across the country to play in familiar and new venues. Here is a ranking of the six venues BYU play at in 2019, based on hostility and difficulty to play in.
No brainer here. Neyland Stadium is one of the most iconic venues in the country, with a rabid fanbase and stadium that seats over 100,000. This will be a prime time game on ESPN, which adds to the electricity of the game — and gives Vol fans a whole day to tailgate and get drunk. Tennessee has been down the past decade plus, but going into the heart of SEC country in a hostile environment will be a difficult — but also fun and exciting — task.
#2 Utah State
BYU has lost the last two games to the Aggies, giving their fans and team some confidence about how they matchup versus the Cougars. To be honest, I don’t know any Utah State fans in real life since I’ve never lived in Utah outside of my time at BYU, but their fans on Twitter sure seem to hate BYU. Maverick Stadium will be rocking in on a cold November night, so BYU better bring their A game if they want to avoid a three-game losing streak in the series.
Toledo at three? Yep. Although the Glass Bowl is small with a capacity of just over 26,000, this is a passionate fan base that has led the MAC in attendance for two straight years. BYU is Toledo’s highest profile home game in 2019, so fans will come to the game fired up. BYU played a barn burner of a game versus the Rockets in 2016, so we’ll see if we can come close to matching that excitement this time around.
#4 South Florida
USF plays in Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. NFL stadiums are not often intimidating college venues, but USF does a solid job of bringing the fans. In 2018, USF averaged nearly 40,000 fans (60%) capacity. Traveling all the way across the country a week before a big matchup versus Boise State makes this game tougher.
#5 San Diego State
Considering the history between BYU and SDSU, the Aztecs could certainly be higher on this list. However, the Aztecs averaged a dismal 21,380 fans last season. This game will be the season finale for both teams, so the success of the Aztecs’ season will heavily influence the game’s environment.
UMass will be jacked to have a team like BYU come into their home stadium, but they just don’t have the fanbase of the other teams on the list. UMass stadium seats 17,000 which is the smallest stadium BYU has played in in a long time.