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Series History: BYU vs Arizona

BYU will take on Arizona for the 25th time in program history

When BYU takes on Arizona in the season opener on Saturday, it will represent the 25th meeting between the BYU Cougars and the Arizona Wildcats. Today, we catch you up to speed on the series history between BYU and Arizona.

Game data courtesy of Winsipedia

First meeting in 1936

The Cougars and Wildcats first met on the gridiron in 1936. Arizona dominated BYU in the first matchup 32-6.

Following that first game, the programs didn't face each other for another 21 years until 1957. That game ended in a 14-14 tie.

The Cougars and the Wildcats squared off two years later in 1959. The Cougars picked up their first series victory 18-14.

Conference foes beginning in 1962

In 1962, the Cougars and the Wildcats became founding members of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). The two programs faced off 16 times as conference foes until Arizona left for the PAC-10 in 1978. The Cougars went 7-9 against Arizona in the WAC.

Three-game series from 2006-2008

After a 19-year hiatus, Arizona and BYU scheduled a home-and-home series for 2006-2007. BYU traveled to Tuscon to take on Arizona in the season opener in 2006. The Wildcats narrowly beat a talented BYU team 16-13. That loss was one of only two BYU losses that season - the Cougars would go on to finish 11-2 that season including an undefeated record in conference play.

The following year, BYU hosted Arizona at Lavell Edwards Stadium in the 2007 season opener. BYU held Arizona to only seven points - the Cougars went on to win 20-7.

The next season, BYU did not face Arizona in the regular season. Instead, they met in the 2008 Las Vegas Bowl. The Cougars, who had fallen short of their "quest for perfection", fell to the Wildcats 31-21.

BYU kicks off the Sitake era with win over Arizona

Kalani Sitake's first win as BYU's head coach came in 2016 when the Cougars beat the Wildcats in the season opener. The game was played at a neutral site in Glendale, Arizona. BYU won 18-16 thanks to a game-winning field goal by true freshman Jake Oldroyd. That kick was Oldroyd's first field goal attempt as a college football player.

BYU defeats Arizona in 2018 season opener


Heading into the 2018 opener, BYU was a 12-point underdog against Arizona. Few analysts expected BYU, who was coming off a lackluster 4-9 2017 campaign, to beat Arizona.

The Cougars trailed 10-7 at halftime. BYU scored 21 unanswered points in the third quarter to take a 28-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Arizona scored a pair of touchdowns in the fourth to cut the lead to five, but their comeback attempt fell short when the Cougars picked up enough first downs to drain the clock and secure the 28-23 victory.

BYU is 11-12-1 all-time against Arizona. They can tie the all-time series with a win on Saturday.