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BYU’s History of Hosting Top 10 Teams

No. 9 Baylor comes to Provo on Saturday. How many top 10 teams have made the trip to BYU and how did the Cougars fare?

USC v BYU Photo by George Frey/Getty Images

BYU is set to host the Baylor Bears on Saturday night, who come in ranked No. 9 in the AP poll. It’s not very often that a top-10 team travels to LaVell Edwards Stadium. In fact, it has only happened eight times in BYU’s history.

Let’s take a look back at those matchups ahead of their clash with No. 9 Baylor. In these eight contests, BYU is 2-6.

#10 Wisconsin (2017)

Most fans would probably prefer to forget 2017 ever happened. This was one of those games that reminded Cougar fans just how outmatched and outcoached BYU was that season. The Badgers just bullied BYU from start to finish. As a team, Wisconsin ran for 235 yards. Quarterback Alex Hornibrook threw only one incomplete pass all game and totaled 256 yards and four scores.

Beau Hoge and the Cougars simply could not amount any sort of offense against Wisconsin’s stout defense. The Badgers won handily, 40-6.

#10 Oregon State (2012)

For three quarters, the Cougars traded blows with the Beavers and looked to be on even ground. The score was 21-21 until early in the fourth quarter. Oregon State quarterback Cody Vaz then led the Beavers to a big surge in the fourth quarter, coupled by a pick-six from a pass by BYU signal caller Riley Nelson. After a 21-point fourth quarter, the Beavers won 42-24. BYU turned the ball over three times.

#10 TCU (2009)

This was one of the biggest matchups in LaVell Edwards Stadium history. Not only was TCU coming in 6-0 and ranked No. 10, but BYU also was riding high, at No. 16 with a 6-1 start. BYU had a chance to climb back into the top 10 themselves, after getting as high as No. 7 after opening the season with wins against Oklahoma and Tulane. Unfortunately, that’s not how it went for the Cougars. Andy Dalton and the Horned Frogs laid waste to BYU, as he threw for 241 yards and three touchdowns. TCU outplayed BYU in just about every way. TCU’s defense forced two turnovers and sacked Max Hall five times. BYU also committed nine penalties, which further impaired their efforts. TCU went on to finish an undefeated regular season before falling to Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl.

#1 USC (2004)

It’s amazing to think that BYU played the peak USC dynasty two years in a row. In 2003, BYU lost to the Trojans at the LA Coliseum. In 2004, USC came to Provo as the No. 1 team in the nation and defending national champions. It was the first time BYU had hosted the top ranked team in the country since Miami in 1990. Former BYU assistant Norm Chow had USC’s offense humming. Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart and company had their way with the Cougars for a second straight year. Bush collected 164 total yards with two touchdowns while the Trojan defense picked off John Beck three times.

#4 Washington (1997)

The highly ranked Huskies came to Provo to open their season. Brock Huard led the Huskies to a 42-20 victory over BYU. He threw for 285 yards and three touchdowns while Rashaan Shehee ran wild for 172 yards.

#3 Notre Dame (1993)

This game was over almost as soon as it began. The Irish built a 31-0 lead by the middle of the second quarter. BYU turned it over twice. The Cougars played three different quarterbacks, none of which were very effective. BYU was able to mount a few scoring drives, but after the Irish had built a 38-7 lead in the second half, it was too little, too late. Notre Dame finished that season 11-1 and ranked No. 2 in the nation.

#1 Miami (1990)

This is, of course, the headliner of top 10 teams BYU has hosted over the years. In fact, this is arguably the greatest game in BYU football history. Miami rolled into Provo as the top ranked team in the country and the defending national champions. They were heavy favorites over No. 16 BYU. Instead, the Cougars matched them blow-for-blow. Ty Detmer made his Heisman case on the very first game of the season. He passed for 406 yards and three touchdowns, including the go-ahead score in the third quarter. BYU beat Miami 28-21, shocking the college football world and ending Miami’s hopes of a repeat title.

This is the last time BYU defeated a top 10 team at home.

#4 Air Force (1985)

The first time BYU hosted a top 10 team, they won. The Falcons entered the late season matchup 10-0 while BYU was 8-2 and 16th. Air Force built a 21-7 lead before Vai Sikahema returned a punt 72 yards to the house. Robbie Bosco led a scoring drive and a two-point conversion to tie the game in the third quarter. Sikahema then caught a 69-yard pass from Bosco to take the lead. BYU held on for the win.