BYU football: Cougars have played many neutral-site games in NFL stadiums over the years

Published: Wednesday, July 3 2013 2:33 p.m. MDT

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Qualcomm Stadium, formerly known as Jack Murphy Stadium and San Diego Stadium, is a multipurpose, general-use stadium in San Diego and serves as the home venue for the San Diego Chargers and the San Diego State Aztecs football team. It also was the home venue for the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball until 2003. The stadium has also hosted the Holiday Bowl since 1978 and the Poinsettia Bowl since 2005.

Qualcomm Stadium holds the distinction of being the only stadium to ever host a Super Bowl and a World Series in the same year (1998). It is also one of three stadiums to host the World Series, MLB All-Star game and Super Bowl.

Qualcomm Stadium is practically BYU's neutral-site home field. The Cougars have played more neutral-site games in Qualcomm than in any other NFL venue, principally because of seven consecutive Holiday Bowl appearances from 1978 — the bowl's first year of existence — to 1984. BYU most recently returned to Qualcomm in 2012 to play former conference rival San Diego State in the Poinsettia Bowl. Despite the fact that San Diego State uses Qualcomm as its home stadium, the 2012 Poinsettia Bowl was a neutral-site game because of the game's bowl status.

BYU has also played many regular-season games at Qualcomm Stadium against San Diego State. The Aztecs and the Cougars broke conference affiliation in 2011 when the Cougars declared their football independence, ending a home-and-home series that lasted the length of BYU's membership in the Mountain West as well as a significant portion of BYU's WAC membership.

Some of the most memorable moments in BYU football history have taken place at Qualcomm Stadium, including the "Miracle Bowl" in 1980 and the win over Michigan that sealed BYU's 1984 national championship.

Neutral-site games played at Qualcomm Stadium:

Dec. 22, 1978: Navy
Dec. 21, 1979: Indiana
Dec. 19, 1980: SMU (The Miracle Bowl)
Dec. 18, 1981: Washington State
Dec. 17, 1982: Ohio State
Dec. 23, 1983: Missouri
Dec. 21, 1984: Michigan (National Championship)
Dec. 29, 1989: Penn State
Dec. 29, 1990: Texas A&M
Dec. 30, 1991: Iowa
Dec. 30, 1993: Ohio State
Dec. 20, 2012: San Diego State
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Wilsonville, OR

So, games in the LA Coliseum with USC are neutral site games? Where does USC play its home games? And games with ASU in Sun Devil Stadium are neutral site games? Where is the Sun Devils' home field? How could you forget the Cougars beating the Sooners in Cowboy Stadium a couple of years back?

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Playing in NFL stadiums just gets our players ready to play in the NFL. We've put more players in the NFL except for USC.

Cool Cat Cosmo
Payson, UT

@ iNKspot: See the above note at the end of the article:

Note: Several matchups between other universities and the Cougars were played in current and former NFL stadiums but cannot be considered neutral-site games because those venues also served as the home venue for BYU's opponent at the time. Those matchups were:

Oct. 2, 1976: 8-0 win vs. San Diego State at San Diego Stadium (San Diego Chargers)
Nov. 9, 1979: 31-17 win vs. Long Beach State at Anaheim Stadium (L.A. Rams)...

The author explicitly said that said list was of the sites that could count (but DO NOT) because they house BOTH NFL and collegiate teams.

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