Cougars Run Over Horns

BYU rushes for 550 yards in claiming a 40-21 win over Texas.

Last week, Texas set a school record by running up 715 yards on New Mexico State. And while the Longhorns were in record-setting mode again vs. BYU, it was a record that most Texas fans didn't want to see broken.

BYU rang up 550 rushing yards Saturday night, a school record amount for the Cougars and a school record for the most rushing yards given up in a game for the Longhorns. That included 259 yards rushing and three touchdowns, both career-highs, for sophomore quarterback Taysom Hill, who just one week ago, piloted an offense that had 362 total yards in a 19-16 loss at Virginia.

After the game, when Texas coach Mack Brown was asked whether defensive coordinator Manny Diaz would coach next week, Brown responded: "I just got out of the game. I'd like to watch the video."

Likely, Brown will find something similar to what he saw first-hand: Texas was out-gapped, out-of-place and had a physical rushing attack run through arm tackles in space. When there was solid contact, BYU generally still continued to move forward. When there wasn't, well, that's when the Cougars found the scoreboard.

"I don't think our players or our coaches lived up to what we needed to tonight to win," Brown said, per the Longhorn Network, "including me."

The game kicked off nearly two hours late, thanks to lightning delays, and had a back-and-forth feel to it early. BYU drove down the field on its first drive, though the Texas defense held in the red zone, and Justin Sorensen booted through a 34-yard field goal. After that, the defense seemed to settle down, and the Longhorns — playing without Daje Johnson, who injured his ankle early on — struck with a 57-yard touchdown pass from David Ash to Mike Davis.

But, as would play out over the course of the game, when Texas made a big play, BYU responded. On a third-and-2 at the BYU 32, Hill took off for the first of his three scores, running past three potential tacklers and 68 yards for a touchdown.

Texas then re-took the lead with a two-yard Joe Bergeron touchdown plunge, set up by Ash passes of 19 yards (to Jaxon Shipley) and 30 yards (to John Harris). It was the last time the Longhorns had the lead all game.

Texas actually forced a punt on BYU's next possession, though cornerback Bryson Echols roughed the punter on fourth down, giving the Cougars new life. BYU didn't waste the opportunity. After runs of 6 and 4 yards from his running backs, Hill got the ball again, this time running 17 yards to the Texas 20. And on the very next play — the fourth since the roughing the punter call, Hill ran in from 20 yards out, giving the Cougars a 17-14 lead.

Texas went a quick three-and-out, and BYU converted two third downs, first with a 15-yard Hill run on third-and-7, and later with an 11-yard Paul Lasike run on third-and-2. Lasike added another touchdown two plays after that conversion when he rushed for a 10-yard score.

BYU held again, and thanks to runs of 37 and 14 yards from sophomore back Jamaal Williams, were able to add a 32-yard field goal from Sorensen just before halftime. What once looked promising at 14-10 was now a 27-14 game at the half.

Things got worse after halftime, with Texas forced off the field when Ash was sacked by Kyle Van Noy on third down. Again, BYU faced a third down situation of its own, but this time, the Cougars converted through the air, with Hill finding Cody Hoffman over the top for a 31-yard gain on third-and-3. And later in the drive, when Texas forced BYU into a third-and-10, Hill slipped loose once more, rushing 26 yards for his third and final touchdown.

Texas came back and provided some hope when the Longhorns rolled down the field, going 83 yards in five plays, capped off by Ash's second score to Davis, but Texas never got any closer. Sorensen added two more field goals as the Cougars continued to move through the Longhorn defense with the run.

Somewhat lost in the defensive struggles were the fact that the offense, though Texas had 445 yards, was once again unable to run consistently against a high-level three-man front. And the Longhorns were just 5-of-20 on third-and-fourth-down plays, with Texas often struggling to block a three- or four-man rush with at least five blockers, sometimes six if the back stayed in.

But that was at least somewhat anticipated, with the Cougars entering the game fresh off a top-five defensive season in 2012, and a salty defensive effort against Virginia. The bigger blow was the fact that BYU, employing its own version of up-tempo, rang up 679 yards despite completing just 9-of-27 passes, including 72 rushes for 550 yards. That's 7.6 yards per carry. Overall, the Cougars ran a whopping 99 plays to Texas's 83.

Ash completed 19-of-34 passes for 251 yards and two touchdowns, rushing for another 34 yards before he was knocked out of the game in the fourth quarter. Per Texas, he's being evaluated for a head injury. Receivers Mike Davis and Jaxon Shipley each went over the 100-yard mark with 114 for Davis and 105 for Shipley. Gray rushed 13 times for 90 yards, but gobbled up a lot of that on a 37-yard carry.

Hill's 259 yards came on just 17 carries, while Williams continued to be a workhorse with 182 yards on 30 totes. Lasike chipped in with 87 yards and a touchdown on 15 rushes.

Texas and BYU are both now 1-1 on the season. Texas will host Ole Miss on Saturday.


SCORING SUMMARY

BYU — Justin Sorensen 34 FG, 12:11 1Q

TEXAS — Mike Davis 57 pass from David Ash (Anthony Fera kick), 3:21 1Q

BYU — Taysom Hill 68 run (Sorensen kick), 2:17 1Q

TEXAS — Joe Bergeron 2 run (Fera kick), 10:29 2Q

BYU — Hill 20 run (Sorensen kick), 7:48 2Q

BYU — Paul Lasike 10 run (Sorensen kick), 5:00 2Q

BYU — Sorensen 32 FG, 0:04 2Q

BYU — Hill 26 run (Sorensen kick), 10:22 2Q

TEXAS — Davis 23 pass from Ash (Fera kick), 8:24 3Q

BYU — Sorensen 36 FG, 5:43 3Q

BYU — Sorensen 24 FG, 1:31 3Q


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