Tom Smart, Deseret News
PROVO — During its first two years as an independent, BYU put together a football schedule that was front-loaded with high-profile opponents, while the month of November lacked sizzle.
But year three of independence features marquee games from the beginning of the season to the end.
BYU, which unveiled its entire 2013 schedule Monday, will play at Wisconsin and Notre Dame in November. The Cougars finish the year with a game Nov. 30 at Nevada, as part of an agreement that was also announced Monday.
The Cougars and the Wolf Pack have agreed to a three-game series that also includes games in Provo in 2014 and 2019.
The 2013 regular-season finale will be a homecoming for BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who hails from Reno, Nev. Van Noy decided to return for his senior year rather than declare himself eligible for the National Football League draft.
“I really like the way this schedule came together,” said BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe. “I like the balance of home and away games and the opportunity to play in different regions of the country. It’s one of the best schedules in program history.”
The final home game of the season will be played against Idaho State on Nov. 16.
In all, the Cougars will play teams from eight different conferences and will travel nearly 6,000 miles. BYU will have two bye weeks, on Sept. 14 and Nov. 2, and will play six home games and six road games.
The season kicks off Aug. 31 at Virginia, followed by the home opener against Texas on Sept. 7.
After the first bye, BYU will host archrival Utah on Sept. 21. It will mark the final meeting before a two-year hiatus in the series with the Utes. The Cougars have lost three straight games to Utah.
The 2013 schedule will feature two Friday-night games, at home against Middle Tennessee State on Sept. 27, and at Utah State on Oct. 4.
BYU will play at Houston on Oct. 19, which will mark the first meeting between the two schools. Houston is set to join the Big East Conference in 2013.
The Cougars will face seven teams that participated in bowl games in 2012 — Texas, Wisconsin, Georgia Tech, Boise State, Utah State, Nevada and Notre Dame.
Additional details, including broadcast plans, game times and ticket information, will be released as the information becomes available.
Originally, BYU was scheduled to conclude the 2013 season at Hawaii on Dec. 7. However, the Mountain West Conference recently announced that the league's football championship game would be played that day.
That announcement necessitated dropping the Hawaii game from the schedule. The two schools also decided to cancel a previously scheduled 2014 contest. BYU and Hawaii will look at scheduling a series in the future, Holmoe said Monday night on "True Blue."
If the Cougars are bowl-eligible in 2013, they will play in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco.
BYU does not have any bowls contracted beyond 2013. Holmoe said the school is working with ESPN to arrange future bowl agreements.
2013 BYU Football Schedule
Aug. 31 at Virginia
Sept. 7 Texas
Sept. 14 Bye
Sept. 21 Utah
Sept. 27 Middle Tennessee State
Oct. 4 at Utah State
Oct. 12 Georgia Tech
Oct. 19 at Houston
Oct. 26 Boise State
Nov. 2 Bye
Nov. 9 at Wisconsin
Nov. 16 Idaho State
Nov. 23 at Notre Dame
Nov. 30 at Nevada
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