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BYU, Utah to take two-year Holy War break so Utes can schedule SEC home-and-home

Even as an extension to the rivalry was confirmed, the Holy War is set to take a rare break in a couple of years.

Monday, both BYU and Utah confirmed that four future football dates have been added to their respective schedules. While no specific dates have been announced, the rivals will now square off every year between 2025 and 2028.

The schools are now scheduled to meet in 2020, 2021 and 2024 as well as the four additional games added to their current agreement. As for 2022 and 2023?

“As part of the extension, the Cougars and Utes have agreed to take a two-year break in 2022 and 2023, allowing Utah an opportunity to schedule a home-and-home series with an opponent from the Southeastern Conference, which is in the process of being finalized,” BYU wrote in its press release.

Monday, it was reported that Utah would travel to Gainesville in 2022 to face Florida, with the Gators headed to Salt Lake City the following season.

The most recent Holy War break came in 2014; prior to that, it had been played every year since 1946. All told, the two schools have met 100 times, with the first coming in 1896. The Cougars and Utes opened the 2019 season against each other in the 100th renewal of the series, with Utah claiming its ninth straight win in the rivalry.

“I appreciate the great working relationship we have with Mark Harlan and many others at Utah,” said BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe in a statement. “We have a responsibility to take care of the future of this great rivalry, not just in football but across all of the sports. There may come a time in the future where we need to ask Utah to make an adjustment for us. That’s how a relationship works. Utah approached us about an opportunity they have and we agreed to work with them.’

“We appreciate the tremendous relationship and cooperation we have with Tom Holmoe and BYU to work together to not only ensure the future of this rivalry but to demonstrate the strong partnership that is in place,” Harlan, Holmoe’s Utah counterpart, said in his statement. “We each share the intention to continue this great rivalry in football and across all of our teams for many years to come.