PROVO — Confirming what has been reported out of Dallas for weeks, BYU will play defending Rose Bowl champion TCU at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Oct. 28 — a neutral site matchup similar to the Cougars' 2009 game with Oklahoma.
The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2 with a kickoff slated for 6 p.m. It is one of three Friday night games BYU will play on ESPN in 2011. The others include a traditional instate Friday game with Utah State and a game with Central Florida.
The Cougars defeated the Sooners in the inaugural college football game at Cowboys Stadium on Sept. 5, 2009, and this will mark BYU's second consecutive trip to TCU's backyard for a matchup. TCU, who refused a proposed rematch with Wisconsin to open the 2011 season, jumped at the opportunity to resume play with the Cougars.
While scrambling to fill the 2011 football schedule as an independent program last fall, BYU officials said they preferred keeping the schedule to 12 games and to not take advantage of an NCAA rule allowing a 13th game for teams that travel to Hawaii.
TCU had a need for this game after Texas Tech backed out of a game with the Frogs due to Big 12 reshuffling. That game was scheduled for Sept. 10. The MWC board of directors voted to change the venue for a TCU home game with Boise State to Boise — another changeup tossed to the Frogs.
While other MWC teams have refused to schedule BYU in the immediate future, allegedly because of the Cougar move to independence, TCU appears to have broken that moratorium in a deal brokered by ESPN, BYU's new TV partner.
"In recent years TCU has proven to be one of the best football teams in the country, and has certainly earned our respect," BYU director of athletics Tom Holmoe said. "We are grateful for the chance to play the Horned Frogs again. To play in Cowboys Stadium and be on ESPN is another great opportunity for our football program."
2011 BYU Football Schedule
Sept. 3 at Ole Miss
Sept. 10 at Texas
Sept. 17 Utah
Sept. 23 Central Florida
Sept. 30 Utah State
Oct. 8 San Jose State
Oct. 15 at Oregon State
Oct. 22 Idaho State
Oct. 28 vs. TCU (at Cowboys Stadium)
Nov. 5 bye
Nov. 12 Idaho
Nov. 19 New Mexico State
Nov. 26 bye
Dec. 3 at Hawaii