The Connecticut football program continues to schedule high profile non-conference games that should bring increased attention to the Huskies.
UConn and Brigham Young University announced Monday they have agreed to a two-game series to be played in the 2014 and 2015 seasons. BYU will visit Rentschler Field on Aug. 28, 2014. UConn will play at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah, on Oct. 31, 2015.
BYU is a major player on the national scene, having played in 31 bowl games since 1974 and winning a national championship in 1984. Now independent in football, the Cougars have claimed 23 conference titles and earned 18 national top-25 finishes, including four top-10 finishes.
BYU has posted a record of 74-29 since 2005 under current head coach Bronco Mendenhall, which ranks No. 12 nationally in total victories. The Cougars have gone to eight straight bowl games under Mendenhall and are one of only seven programs to achieve six bowl wins in the past eight seasons.
"We are very excited to bring another nationally prominent opponent to Rentschler Field," UConn athletic director Warde Manuel said in a statement. "BYU has a long tradition of football excellence with prominent players that are known around the country. With Michigan playing at UConn in 2013 and Tennessee in 2015, we feel that we have a very strong non-conference schedule for the next several years and plan on continuing that practice.
"I also think UConn fans will enjoy making the trip to Provo in 2015. Our loyal followers have established a tradition of travelling well to national non-conference contests and I think this will happen again when we go to BYU."
Since Hall of Fame coach LaVell Edwards first took over the program 40 years ago, the Cougars rank fifth among all FBS programs in total wins with 357 victories and have appeared in 31 bowl games. BYU won the 1984 national championship and boasts seven College Football Hall of Fame members and 15 winners of major national awards, including the Heisman Trophy, Davey O'Brien Award, Sammy Baugh Trophy, Outland Trophy and Doak Walker Award. Under current coach Bronco Mendenhall, the Cougars have achieved a 74-29 (.718) record in eight seasons to rank No. 12 in total wins and are one of only seven schools to win a bowl game during six of the past eight years.
"The series with BYU is a great opportunity and challenge for our football program," UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni said. "A strong non-conference schedule puts our team on the national stage and also prepares the team for league play. Everyone in college football knows about the proud heritage of BYU football."
"We are grateful to UConn for the opportunity to play this home-and-home series and look forward to the games," said BYU director of athletics Tom Holmoe. "The Huskies have played great football as an FBS member, winning league titles and earning numerous bowl invitations. Scheduling this game in the Northeast gives our fans traveling to the game opportunities to visit places they may not have been before. We are also excited to welcome UConn to Provo for its first-ever visit to LaVell Edwards Stadium."
Mendenhall praised the Huskies.
"Coach Pasqualoni does a great job with his teams, so we know it will be a challenging series," Mendenhall said. "We look forward to the opportunity to play the Huskies and expect the games will be great for our teams and our fans."
The following is a complete summary of future non-conference games under contract for UConn football:
2013: August 29, Towson; September 14, Maryland; September 21, Michigan; September 28, at Buffalo.
2014: August 28, BYU; September 6, Stony Brook.
2015: September 5, Villanova; September 26, Tennessee; October 31, at BYU.
2016: September 3, at Tennessee; September 17, Virginia.
2017: September 16, at Virginia.