Tom Holmoe said two weeks ago that he had finalized football games with several teams "just in the last few days." As usual, Mr. Holmoe wasn't kidding. BYU announced the addition of the Virginia Cavaliers to the football schedule for 2013 and 2014 on Wednesday.
The 2013 game will be in Charlottesville, Virginia, and will open the season on August 31. The Cavaliers make the return trip to Provo the next year on September 20.
The games coincide with the wishes Bronco Mendenhall has generally stated about his scheduling desires -- a place not well traveled that has some sort of historical significance. Virginia fits that bill. The Cavaliers are 3-6 so far this season under third-year coach Mike London. Last season, London led UVa to an 8-5 season.
If this series is anything like the last time the Cougars battled Virginia, we'll be in for a treat. In 1999 (a game I attended), Virginia's Thomas Jones rampaged over the BYU defense, rushing for 220 yards on 35 carries. Virginia built a 21-0 lead after the first quarter and were up 28-6 in the second quarter. But Luke Staley dashed for a 41-yard touchdown pass, and Brian Gray returned an interception 28 yards for a touchdown to end the half. BYU would go on to lose 45-40, but the comeback was something to remember.
The next year in 2000, it happened again. BYU got down 21-0 at halftime, and a 67-yard touchdown run by Virginia put the Cougars down 35-21 in the fourth quarter. In the only truly memorable moment of the Bret Engemann era, he rallied BYU for a comeback and the Cougars won 38-35 in overtime. Engemann was 34-41 for 447 yards on the day.
As for BYU's schedules, the 2013 road slate is now complete. The Cougars will add one more home game, possibly two if Holmoe takes advantage of the Hawaii 13th-game rule.
The series makes for 10 official games announced for 2014 as well.
HOME: Texas, Boise State, Utah, Georgia Tech, Middle Tennessee
AWAY: Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Virginia, Houston (Reliant Stadium), Utah State, Hawaii
HOME: Virginia, Houston, Utah State, Hawaii, Southern Miss
AWAY: Texas, Boise State, Central Florida, Middle Tennessee