Quick Thoughts from BYU’s 33-25 Win over Houston


In front of a nationally televised audience, BYU moves to 3-0 on the young season after a win over the Houston Cougars. Here are some quick takeaways from tonight’s win.

  • 3-0

BYU is in territory they are simply not used to. BYU is now 3-0 after tonight’s win over Houston. It’s the second time in the Bronco Mendenhall era that BYU has hit the 3-0 mark. This is Mendenhall’s 10th season with the Cougars. Regardless of how the game played out, BYU continues to have all their goals in front of them, and remain in the national discussion by remaining undefeated.

  • When will we see BYU play a complete game for 60 minutes?

For the past two seasons, BYU has yet to play a complete game. Tonight, BYU opened up with a 23-0 lead then Houston scored 15 unanswered before the half to make it a ball game, and it was a battle for the final 30 minutes.

BYU’s offense gives you glimpses of brilliance and then other times they leave you scratching your head. If you want to be a team that’s in the discussion for a New Year’s Day bowl, you have to string together some complete games against quality opponents.

  • Mental Errors

The fact that BYU won this game, and never trailed is impressive when you consider the Cougars in blue lost the turnover battle (-3), and had 11 penalties for 98 yards. I think a lot of BYU’s struggles can trace back to the long road trips BYU has made, and the quick turnaround from Texas to tonight’s game against Houston. This team seem gassed, and they made costly mistakes at points of the game that gave Houston extended life.

  • BYU defense is very good

Houston was a one-dimension attack tonight. The Cougars from Houston racked up 325 total yards and 315 of those yards came through the air. BYU’s run defense was terrific headlined by linebacker Alani Fua who had a breakout performance this season with weak side linebacker, Bronson Kaufusi, out with a high ankle sprain.

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BYU’s offense stalled out at times due to costly turnovers, but this defense will hold down the fort to limit points. It will be a rare day when teams move the ball 75+ yards on this Cougar defense.

The defense still has room to grow in terms of creating pressure in the backfield, but to limit a time to one-dimension is a solid outing.

  • Houston is better than we all thought

The Cougars from Clutch City were much better than folks were giving them credit for.  Yes, they lost to UTSA in week one, but the Roadrunners are no slouch in their own right.  UTSA gave Arizona everything they could handle last Thursday in the Alamodome.  It’s hard to knock Houston for losing to a team that will compete for a conference title, and I wouldn’t be surprised if by season’s end we see Houston competing for the American Athletic Conference title.  The Cougars have some of the best skill players BYU will see the entire season.

  • Get Devon Blackmon more time in the return game

Blackmon was a star during fall camp but due to a one-game suspension for violating team rules, Blackmon has struggled to find his way in a rotation that performed very well two weeks ago against Connecticut.

Mitchell Juergens has been the starter as BYU’s punt returner to this point of the season. Starting with Virginia next week, BYU needs to make a shift to Blackmon. Juergens made costly mistakes that hindered the team tonight, and on the flip side you see the explosive big-play ability that Blackmon can bring to the field when he did have the opportunity to return punts tonight.

  • Is Taysom and Jamaal the best running tandem in the country?

Not many schools around the country can boast two players that can run for over 100 yards on any given night. BYU has that in Taysom Hill and Jamaal Williams.

Hill and Williams combined for 299 yards on the ground tonight and three rushing touchdowns.

As BYU continues to define their identity as a program that runs the football, Taysom and Jamaal are a lock to give BYU positive yards on any given run. It’s rare when you see these two go for negative yards. BYU is fortunate to have two players that can move down the field and burn clock in late game situations to ice a victory. BYU hasn’t had that in a long time.