From Ole Miss to Texas

Last Saturday, BYU squeaked out a dramatic come-from-behind win against Ole Miss on the road. The Cougars learned a lot about themselves – both good and bad – and as they look ahead towards Texas, the lessons they learned against Ole Miss will be of great value.

For starters, the Cougars won't face another offensive line like the one they faced against Ole Miss last Saturday. Nope, not even this Saturday, despite the fact that "everything's bigger in Texas" supposedly. Having faced a big and mobile offensive line against Ole Miss, the Cougars don't expect the same size but are anticipating more speed up front.

"It's different," Pendleton said. "With Ole Miss, their offensive line was big and powerful and you had to hold the point and not let them blow you out of the way and create holes and stuff. I don't think we'll face any o-line that was as big as Ole Miss from here on out. I mean, they were huge.

"With Texas, their o-line is going to be not as big but a lot quicker, and so now we have to be able to play a lot faster and maybe not be as stout but read our keys a lot faster. They're going to do a lot of motioning and try and get you out of your read to confuse you, so we have to read our keys quicker and play fast."

All across the board, the Cougars had to acclimate themselves to the type of speed Ole Miss presented on the field. As they prepare to face another program noted for its speed, the Ole Miss game was sort of wading in the shallow end of a pool to get used to the water before jumping all the way in.

"We know Texas' skill players will be fast, and so that's one way I feel the Ole Miss game will prepare us," said Pendleton.

"Yeah, I think having played Ole Miss will help us with Texas," said BYU center Terence Brown. "I don't think we were surprised with Ole Miss' speed because we knew they were quick, and we know that Texas is going to be quick, so we'll prepare for it and I think we'll be ready and it will be a fun game."

Against Rice last Saturday, Texas was very committed to the run. In fact, during the fourth quarter, the Longhorns ran the ball 22 times. Much like Ole Miss, the Cougars will prepare to face another slugfest.

"Ole Miss is a running team, and so we knew we needed to stop the run," Pendleton said. "We kind of showed that we could. Going into this game we have the same mentality, to stop the run. I think that kind of helped us in knowing what we need to do first and that's stop the run, and so that's what we're going to try and to with Texas in a similar approach."

Texas native McKay Jacobson, who grew up watching Texas football, feels the defensive style and demeanor of Ole Miss is very similar to what they'll face against Texas.

"Athletically, I think Texas is very similar to Ole Miss," Jacobson said. "They're aggressive, they play hard and run to the ball really well. We'll have to be ready to do battle out there.

"I think they'll try and bring a lot of pressure. Ole Miss did try to bring some blitzes off the edge with some corner blitzes and things. They'll play some zone coverage once in a while and will play some man coverage defense like Ole Miss."

"I think they compare," said Brown about Ole Miss and Texas. "[Texas] might be a little quicker, and just like last week I think it's going to be a battle. They like to man-blitz like Ole Miss did, so I think we'll get some pressure. I think they'll want to get after Jake a little bit, and so it's our job to make sure that they don't. So yeah, it's going to be a battle. They're a Big 12 team and it's Texas."

The blitzing style of Ole Miss has given the Cougar linemen a good look of what to expect from Texas.

"I think we fared well as an offensive line against Ole Miss," said Brown. "There are some corrections that need to be made and we'll make some corrections, and when we do it [that] will give us a better chance especially against Texas and other teams we have coming up."

The Cougar offense will need to polish up on finishing its drives if it wants to succeed in Austin, but one thing is certain: the Ole Miss defense gave the Cougars a better understanding of to expect come Saturday.

"I think overall as a team we learned that we have a lot of fight," Jacobson said. "We could have given up, and for whatever reason things just weren't really flowing, but we had a lot of fight and sometimes that doesn't always [show] in you every game. It comes down to execution and effort, but really I'm just excited to know that we can do a lot better. I think we learned a lot about ourselves and what we need to do better and I think we'll do that by the time we play Texas."

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