This is happening.
The break between Utah and BYU will be less than anticipated as the two school will met on Saturday Dec. 19 in the Las Vegas Bowl. This now means that the Cougars and Utes will face off three times in just over two years.
Playing this game months earlier than expected is not just the only story line in this game, but Bronco Mendenhall is coaching his final game for the Cougars against in-state rival Utah, and he is looking to win his 100th win as the BYU head coach. If BYU gets the victory over Utah then that would snap Mendenhall’s four-game losing streak to the Utes.
There will be plenty to talk about as this game gets closer, but getting an extra edition of the Holy War is always a good thing.
This machup is interesting as most of the year Utah was well above the threshold for the Pac-12’s spot in the Las Vegas Bowl. Then the Utes lost a few games, add in that a rematch between UCLA and BYU was not an option and the final peg that made this happen was the Sun Bowl picking Washington State.
Bronco Mendenhall said in a statement that the chance to play a rival gives the Las Vegas Bowl has “some historic significance, as well [as] being a great matchup between two teams that have had outstanding seasons.”
BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe added that “playing each other for the first time in a bowl game should add a unique chapter to our storied history.”
Fan attendance will overwhelmingly favor BYU over Utah, as they would over any Pac-12 team that they could have faced off against. First off, the Cougars were announced earlier this week and picked up a lot of the general admission tickets and then add in the Pac-12 reduced its allotment in this game to 7, 500, while BYU has 11,000.
Here is the official bowl announcement.