No Revenge for Texas as Longhorns Fall to BYU, 41-7


“We’re not ready to play,” Coach Charlie Strong said, at Saturday night’s press conference following the BYU game. From the look of things, he was right. His defensive coordinator, Vance Bedford, agreed.

“When you give up 28 points in one quarter,” Bedford said, “you’re not ready to play.”

It started with a bizarre personal foul committed by Texas on the opening kickoff, and it only got worse from there. What was a 6-0 BYU lead going into the half turned into a blowout by the middle of the third quarter, as the Longhorns fell to the Cougars 41-7, narrowly avoiding their first home shutout since 1976.

With Ash going down with a concussion against North Texas last week, the real question was about sophomore Tyrone Swoopes taking control of the offense in his first start for Texas. With an 11-15 halftime line for Tyrone Swoopes, after completing his first eight straight passes, it would appear that the Longhorns were clicking on offense. Not so Saturday night in a revenge game for the Longhorns against BYU, following a 40-21 loss in Provo last year.

Despite a big fat zero on the board, the momentum seemed to swing Texas’ way at the end of the second quarter, when Quandre Diggs made a highlight-reel interception to quell a BYU drive that began on their own 8 and ended at 68 yards in just under three minutes time. The Cougars were shredding the Longhorn D with quick slants and easy outs before BYU’s Tysom Hill took a shot to the corner of the endzone. Diggs locked in on the ball and made a leaping grab, dragging a foot to stay in bounds. Though it didn’t net any points for the Horns, it ended a Cougar drive that looked sure to be a scoring one and sent the Longhorns back into the locker room with some hope.

It only got worse from there, as BYU came out swinging after the half. After a touchback by Horns kicker Nick Rose, the Cougars stormed down the field, capping off a drive with a 30-yard scramble by Hill, at the end of which the slippery QB hurdled strong safety Dylan Haines to reach the endzone. The word “posterized” was slung around in my area, so you know it was bad.

On BYU’s next possession, they did it again, marching down the field and scoring on a long rushing TD by backup RB Adam Hine, making it 20-0.

After another quick 3-and-out, BYU returned a William Russ punt to Longhorns territory, and looked to score again. They did, on another rushing TD by Hill, who by this point in the game looked like the second coming of Vince Young, finishing with 134 yards rushing with three TDs on the game.

The Horns’ offense came alive at the end of the third, but by then it was too late. Swoopes used his legs on a couple of nice scrambles, hit Lorenzo Joe for a 22-yard completion, and then found a crossing John Harris over the middle for the score, making it 34-7.

After the following Longhorns drive stalled, the defense showed some life, with a strip sack by Malcom Brown, who had three sacks on the night, and five tackles for a loss. The stellar defensive play was immediately nullified by a Swoopes pick that turned into another Cougar touchdown, another rushing TD for Hine, and the nail in the coffin.

“We’re not good enough to turn the ball over,” Strong said. Amen.

Bedford, who has previously been critical of fans who don’t show up to the game, sided with early exiting Longhorns on Saturday.

“I would have left early,” Bedford said, drawing some laughs. “After seeing that mess out there, I would have been right there with them.”

Bedford also preached looking forward when asked if a game like this wounds players, and hurts the team’s pride.

“For one day,” Bedford said. “If you let pride get in your way, you’re going to have a lot of problems. It’s going to be a long year.”

It’s difficult to find a silver lining in a loss this demoralizing, especially with this game circled on the schedules of all players and coaches after last year’s beatdown. However, if there is one takeaway, it’s that Swoopes won’t shy away from the pressure. With David Ash’s quarterbacking career in jeopardy, that’s a big deal.

“I was very pleased with the way [Swoopes] played,” Strong said. On a night when not much else was working, that’ll have to do.

Photo by Anna Donlan


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