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TCU-BYU football matchup ignites Mountain West memories

BYU and TCU are set to face off in a football game for the first time since 2011.

In the late 2000s, BYU and TCU were the dominant college football teams in the Mountain West Conference. They had fierce battles for the top spot, with both teams experiencing moments of glory. Kelly Poppinga, who is now the special teams coordinator and defensive ends coach for BYU, played linebacker for BYU during that time and has vivid memories of those clashes. One of the most memorable games for Poppinga was in 2006 when BYU defeated TCU 31-17, breaking TCU's long home winning streak. This victory set BYU up to go undefeated in conference that year.

However, TCU quickly turned the tables and won the next four games in the series against BYU. Poppinga remembers a particular game during that time when TCU came to BYU and defeated them, despite BYU being favored. The battles between BYU, Utah, and TCU were intense, as they were the teams vying for the conference championship.

Both BYU head coach Kalani Sitake and defensive coordinator Jay Hill, who were at Utah during that period, also recall the challenges of facing strong TCU teams. Utah went to the Sugar Bowl in 2008, while TCU made appearances in BCS bowls in 2009 and 2010. Each game between these teams was like a dogfight, with TCU having a great program and a tradition of success.

After twelve years apart, BYU and TCU find themselves in the same league again, adding a unique element to this season. Sitake is excited about the history between the two teams and the atmosphere at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth. He acknowledges TCU's strong fan base and the challenge of playing in such an environment.

However, both teams are focused on winning the game rather than dwelling on past matchups. BYU junior wide receiver Keanu Hill recognizes the need to match TCU's energy and effort while exploiting any weaknesses in their defense. TCU, despite coming off two disappointing losses, is still considered a dangerous team by BYU defensive lineman Tyler Batty. Batty believes that TCU's past success will motivate them to perform at a high level.

The injury to TCU's starting quarterback Chandler Morris has been a topic of discussion, but Poppinga reminds his team of a past experience where a backup quarterback surprised everyone with his performance. BYU's offense aims to start the game strong and gain an early advantage against TCU.

In terms of head-to-head matchups, TCU currently holds a 6-5 edge over BYU. The teams have faced each other eight times in conference matchups, with both teams winning four games each. TCU won the most recent game in 2011, while BYU's last victory against TCU was in 2007. Both teams were in the Western Athletic Conference and the Mountain West Conference together, facing each other twice in the WAC and six times in the MWC.

TCU head coach Sonny Dykes has faced BYU multiple times as both a head coach and offensive coordinator, with mixed results. Dykes faced BYU as the head coach of Cal in 2014, resulting in a 42-35 win for BYU. As the offensive coordinator at Arizona, Dykes experienced a 20-7 BYU win in 2007 and a 31-21 Arizona win in 2008.

Overall, the upcoming game between BYU and TCU promises to be an exciting matchup with a rich history between the two teams. Both teams are focused on winning and are aware of the challenges they will face. The players are prepared to give their all and make the most of the opportunity to compete against each other.

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