Athlon analyzes the Cougars '15 football schedule.
Bronco Mendenhall has never had a losing season at BYU.
He’s grown accustomed to winning, posting five seasons with at least 10 wins during his decade-long career in Provo.
But a move to independence has increased scheduling difficulty and has led to three straight 8-5 seasons.
The good news in 2015 is dual-threat quarterback Taysom Hill appears poised to return to form. The bad is one of the toughest schedules Mendenhall has faced since BYU left the Mountain West four years ago.
2015 BYU Cougars Schedule
Bye: Week 9, * - Fri.
|1.||Sept. 5||Lincoln, NE|
|Sneaky Good Opener Generally, Week 1 is the best weekend of non-conference action nationally and this one in Lincoln is sneaky good. BYU and Nebraska have never played, but the blues and reds will look great on the turf of Memorial Stadium.|
|2.||Sept. 12||Provo, UT|
|These two western powers have played five times total, but will play for the fourth straight season this fall. BYU is just 1-4 in the series but the Cougars' lone win came the last time they met in Provo, 37-20 in 2013.|
|3.||Sept. 19||Los Angeles, CA|
|The Bruins and Cougs have met 10 times total with UCLA winning seven of these matchups. However, BYU has won the past two meetings (2007-08), including a 59-0 drubbing the last time they met. The Cougars are 1-3 all-time in Pasadena against the Bruins.|
|4.||Sept. 26||Ann Arbor, MI|
|Remember When? BYU fans shouldn't have any trouble remembering the only meeting between the Cougars and Wolverines. BYU topped Michigan 24-17 in the 1984 Holiday Bowl en route to a 13-0 record and the program's only national championship.|
|5.||Oct. 2*||Provo, UT|
|The Cougars topped the Huskies 35-10 in last season's opener in Connecticut in the first-ever meeting between the two programs. UConn will attempt to exact revenge in Provo this time around.|
|6.||Oct. 10||Provo, UT|
|East Carolina is replacing a lot of talent but has been a solid program for years and will be a tough out. This marks the first-ever meeting between these two programs, which are separated by 2,235 miles.|
|7.||Oct. 17||Provo, UT|
|QB Showcase Much like ECU, Tommy Tuberville and the Bearcats are always a tough out and should be once again in 2015. This game in particular could be must-see TV because of the potential Taysom Hill/Gunner Kiel quarterback duel.|
|8.||Oct. 24||Provo, UT|
|What can you really say about a historic first-ever meeting between BYU and... Wagner?|
|10.||Nov. 7||San Jose, CA|
|A team BYU is pretty familiar with, Mendenhall has split two career meetings with San Jose State. These teams have squared off 16 times with BYU winning 10. However, the Spartans won the last time they met — which also was in San Jose.|
|11.||Nov. 14||Kansas City, MO|
Not-so Neutral Field BYU will face Missouri at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City in a "neutral field" tilt. The crowd figures to favor the black and gold in what should be a great late-season meeting. The only other time these two teams have met on the field was in the 1983 Holiday Bowl, which BYU won 21-17.
|11.||Nov. 21||Provo, UT|
|BYU and Fresno have played each other nine times, but the last meeting was back in 1998. This has been a high-scoring affair with the loser posting at least 21 points in five straight matchups.|
|13.||Nov. 28||Logan, UT|
|Rivalry Game The heated in-state rivalry game will cap Mendenhall's 11th season in Provo. He's 6-2 all-time against the Aggies, but saw his team fall 35-20 last year in Provo. BYU leads the series 46-35-3.|