It’s almost here. BYU vs. Texas. This might be the biggest game for the Cougars since declaring independence in 2010.
No doubt Texas has had this game circled since being clobbered last year in Provo. Images of Taysom Hill still running into the end-zone have haunted the Longhorns for a year now. But a long list of players in burnt orange will not be present for this year’s rematch due to Charlie Strong’s house-cleaning operation and a few unfortunate injuries. Meanwhile, BYU will be suiting up 5 major play makers who were suspended week one against UConn. How big of an impact with that have on the outcome this year in Austin?
Little Bro: Talk about a game that’s hard to predict. I expect Texas to be fully committed to stopping Taysom’s legs, and making his arm do the work. Here’s the problem, I think Taysom’s arm can and will do the work. With the returning of his backfield-mate Jamaal Williams, and the addition of Devon Blackmon at wide out, Taysom has more weapons at his disposal than this time last year. Oh, and not to mention, he’s gotten better. Texas has had a tumultuous off-season, including coaching changes and player suspensions and dismissals. Add to that a new quarterback, a new center, and the loss of two more offensive lineman (one of which is a starter), things look gloomy for the Longhorns. You can bet they will still bring it hard. But I think BYU corrects many of the major mistakes made in week one, implements some new schemes on offense, and gets by Texas, and officially goes into week 3 ranked in top 25. And Taysom Hill dark horse Heisman whispers will increase.
BYU 29, Texas 21
Big Bro: This is one of the toughest games I’ve ever tried to predict. On the one hand, BYU’s offense is improved across the board, which is scary for the Longhorns, considering the Cougars’ offensive explosion last year in Provo. Combine Texas’s long list of injuries, suspensions, and dismissals, and it seems like a recipe for success for BYU. On the other hand…it’s Texas–their third stringers are more athletic than most of BYU’s starters. And there is no way the Longhorns will repeat last year’s defensive debacle. I expect Charlie Strong and his staff to have their team ready for revenge and well disciplined, with a great game plan in place to prevent another embarrassment.
That being said, I think BYU smells blood and will be ready to capitalize on Texas’s woes. Even though the Longhorns have a huge talent advantage and are playing at home, I expect BYU to execute well enough to stay in the game and eek out a close road victory. I am especially excited to see the game BYU defensive coordinator Nick Howell calls on Saturday against Texas’s inexperienced offensive line and quarterback. Having a talented group of defensive backs means Coach Howell is free to call a lot of blitzes from a variety of places on the field, keeping Tyrone Swoopes on his heels the entire game. That should take a lot of the pressure off the offense, which will certainly see more opposition than they did last year in Provo.
BYU 27, Texas 24