HD Predictions: BYU

The HD staff gives their predictions on how Saturday's game will end up.

Chip’s Pick

Everyone wants to know what Texas' record is going to be now that QB David Ash has suffered concussion symptoms for the straight time after his last three games (at BYU last year; Kansas State last year; and North Texas).

Until we see Tyrone Swoopes and see if he's ready for prime time, it's hard to have any idea.

Texas is going to have to throw deep early to try to keep BYU from stacking the line against a patchwork offensive line to stop the run. The coaches will undoubtedly max protect, at times, keeping tight ends in to help UT's offensive tackles (likely Marcus Hutchins and Kent Perkins).

Swoopes will have to connect on some passes early or BYU will blitz him into oblivion. They'll probably blitz him into oblivion regardless.

Texas is going to have to win this one with sure tackling and the Strong/Bedford pressure defense. That paints quite a picture after last year's Pulverizing in Provo when UT gave up 271 yards after contact.

I think Swoopes ends up 17 of 30 passing for about 220 yards and 1 TD and 1 INT. Texas will run for 150 yards and Nick Rose will be called upon for two HUGE field goals.

Texas 13, BYU 10

William’s Pick

Something tells me that the Longhorns are going to come out of that tunnel with their hair on fire and play with an us-against-the-world mentality because so many are doubting they’ll be able to pull this one out with everything going on.

Vegas certainly isn’t a believer in Texas after its moved the line from -3.5 in UT’s favor to the Longhorns being a 1-point underdog.

Charlie Strong of course could care less and he’ll have his team as mentally prepared as they can be. They are tired of hearing about last season’s “Pummeling in Provo,” and want to prove this is a changed team.

While Texas’ offense will likely use many 7-man fronts to give ultra protection to Tyrone Swoopes, expect UT to take some shots deep early on to keep BYU honest.

I envision the Longhorns running to the right – behind Jake Raulerson, Taylor Doyle, and Kent Perkins – most of the night.

Look for Marcus Johnson to get involved early and then the tight ends to have their biggest impact in Texas’ passing game in some time.

Taysom Hill and Jamaal Williams will have success, but it won’t be nearly what they got last season. I think Texas holds them to less than 175 yards total on the ground.

I just think that for as good as true freshman BYU center Tejan Koroma has looked he’ll have some real trouble with Malcom Brown, Tank Jackson, and Hassan Ridgeway.

The key in this game, for me, will be the play of Jordan Hicks and Steve Edmond. They’ve got to have, as Strong likes to say, good gap integrity, and have to stay disciplined even when blitzing.

BYU has an under-valued receiving core that will find some success on intermediate routes, but it won’t be enough to give the Cougars the edge in this one.

Texas 24, BYU 20

Jason’s Pick

Defense: A means or method of defending or protecting.

As BYU rolls into town on Saturday the name of the game is “Defense.” Texas was torched on the ground in last year’s contest to the tune of a billion rush yards. This year will be much different.

A look at the numbers after week one:

National Defensive Ranks: Texas BYU

Scoring Defense: 10 21

Rushing Defense: 32 26

Passing Defense: 2 93

Playing defense is about desire, will and wanting to do whatever it takes to protect your house. Texas showed none of the above last year. The staple of any Texas defense is the ability to fly to the ball.

In week one Texas struggled to run the ball vs. North Texas. It’s no secret with Texas down a starting QB what BYU will try and do. Put more men in the box than Texas can block. Force the No 2 QB to beat you through the air. That is exactly what will happen on Saturday. BYU will show no cause for concern going against Swoopes and the big fella will make them pay.

I am looking for Texas to throw deep early and often to stretch the defense in the first half of this game. Swoopes will end the day on 17-29 passing for just under 300 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. The Texas passing game in the first half will allow the Texas ground game to get on track in the second.

Final score Texas 35 BYU 24

Texas 35, BYU 24

Nick Castillo’s Pick

I made this pick on Tuesday, for The Daily Texan’s Double Coverage, before the news came down about Desmond Harrison and Kennedy Estelle but I won’t back down from this pick.

At the time, Texas was favored by 4.5 and now the line has shifted to BYU by 1, but it’s still a road game for BYU. After what happened in Provo last season, the Longhorns will be thirsty for revenge. If there is one thing that can fuel a team ravaged by two big injuries and two boneheads is revenge.

The defense will want to shutdown Taysom Hill and I tend to believe that the Longhorns will be able to do just that. After all, they don’t want to see Hill and his bionic knee run past them.

Offensively, there’s something to be said about the Shawn Watson pro-style offense – it’s pretty efficient with as stable of running backs and with a now mobile quarterback in Tyrone Swoopes. Whether Swoopes will be able to make accurate passes or not will be seen Saturday. We’ll also see how an offensive line facing adversity responds to the challenge.

Remember the offense just needs to be effective and Swoopes doesn’t need to be the hero of this story, the defense should be able to keep Texas in the game.

It’s going to be ugly. It’ll be tough to watch, and it’ll probably be frustrating as hell but Texas finds a way to get revenge and find itself 2-0.

Texas 21, BYU 20

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