BYU vs. Texas Last Minute Predictions


In arguably the biggest game this BYU Football program has seen since the 2009 Florida State game, BYU enters Austin with an opportunity to join the national college football discussion for 2014, and become a program that the nation has to be focused on watching each week.

To get you ready for this evening’s contest, here are some last-minute predictions for the battle between the Cougars and the Longhorns.

  • BYU will struggle to establish running game in the 1st Half

Texas is going to stack eight or nine guys in the box to force quarterback Taysom Hill to throw the football. Last year, Manny Diaz’ Longhorn defense refused to bring defenders up and stack the box, BYU went on to rush for a school-record 550 yards. Will BYU get 550 tonight in Austin? Probably not, but the Cougars will try to pound the ground early and often with the Horns. I’d expect BYU’s running game to start slow, but as the game wears on the Cougar backfield will start to impose their will on the Horns.

If BYU can get over 175 rushing yards in this game, they will come away victorious. They will have to be patient however, because the ground attack will have its ups and downs early on.  Keep feeding Jamaal Williams the football.  If he gets the necessary touches, he will make something special happen in this game tonight.

  • BYU defense will force at least two turnovers

In big games away from Provo over the past five years, BYU has struggled to force turnovers. Like in any game, turnovers will be a big deciding factor on who wins this game. With the confidence the BYU secondary has at the moment, expect the Cougars to rattle new Longhorn quarterback, Tyrone Swoopes, into some ill-advised decisions that result in takeaways for the Cougar D.

  • Taysom Hill will be calm; big stage won’t phase him

In the season-opening win against UConn, Hill’s performance surprised many, but it was also vindication for a quarterback that put in a lot of work to improve his skills, and become a true leader of this team.

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Hill was poised and confident in running the go fast, go hard attack at UConn a week ago, and I would expect much of the same tonight in Austin.

The roster on Texas is light years ahead of what BYU saw last week in East Hartford, but you can make the argument that Hill is the best player on the field when the two teams take the field this evening.

Think of where Taysom was one year ago to today. It’s a night and day difference. If Taysom performs well in Austin, expect the nation to start talking about the Pocatello, Idaho native as a legitimate Heisman candidate.

  • No head-scratching decisions from the coaching staff

One of the forgotten moments from late in the UConn game last week was when UConn’s kicker booted a kickoff out of bounds. Mendenhall decided to force the Huskies into a re-kick instead of taking the football at BYU’s own 35.   The re-kick took place and BYU incurred a penalty forcing them to start their drive inside their own 20. 15 or 20 yards in a game against an opponent like Texas can swing the outcome of a ball game.

BYU’s coaching staff needs to have their A-game for a full 60 minutes. Decisions like the one I just mentioned in a game against the Horns won’t get the job done.

  • BYU 26, Texas 24

BYU is going to win this football game. It won’t be a runaway for the Cougars like some are thinking right now, but BYU will find a way to win this football game.

In order for BYU to get a big win on the road against a power five school like Texas; it will be a back-and-forth battle. That might surprise folks considering how many players the Longhorns have lost due to suspensions and injuries this week, but it shouldn’t come as much of a shocker. Look at recent history when BYU is considered a favorite in a power five venue.

I’ve seen BYU go into Seattle when Washington was in the dumps in 2008, and barely squeak out a controversial one-point win. I’ve seen BYU go into the heart of SEC country to take on a Ole Miss program who was trending in the wrong direction, and the Cougars could only muster up 14 points to get out with another one-point over the Rebs.

The Cougars simply don’t go into power five venues and “run away “ with wins. But at this point, winning is all that matters for BYU. If they win, they’re in the top 25 polls next week, and the rest of the season is set up for the Cougars to make noise on a national level.

Cougars hook the Longhorns 26 to 24.