by Tom Fireoved
So you think it’s been hot in Austin this summer? Well it’s about to get a lot hotter this week in the Hill Country, at least for Mack Brown and his Longhorns. After an embarrassing 40-21 thrashing at the hands of the BYU Cougars (who lost last week to Virginia 16- 19), the UT coaches and players will have a lot to answer for to the their Burnt Orange Nation.
In their season-opening loss to the Cavaliers, the Cougars averaged just 3.9 yards per play, completed only 13 of 40 passes, converted 7 of 23 third-down opportunities, punted a mind-numbing 11 times and scored just 16 points.
“This week we’ll have a better feel for who we are than last week,” BYU offensive coordinator Robert Anae said before the game. “I’m confident we will be a better version of who we are than we were last week.” Wow talk about an understatement.
After an hour and 47 minute delay to the start of the game due to severe weather which included lightning around the stadium, the Cougars came out ready for play, marching down the field on their opening drive before settling for a field goal. BYU sophomore quarterback Taysom Hill led the charge early and often, and rushed for a BYU QB record 259 yards himself. The Cougars totaled 550 yards on the ground against the inept Longhorn tacklers, the most ever rushed for against UT, and the most ever rushed for by BYU – bad combo if you’re a Bevo backer.
Hill’s 68-yard TD run late in the first quarter was the longest by any BYU quarterback ever, surpassing marks by Steve Young and Jim McMahon, and set the tone for what was to come. Texas did manage first half leads of 7-3 and 14-10, but entered the locker room at half time trailing 27-14. The Cougars score a touchdown on their opening drive of the second half to go up 34-14 and the nail was in the proverbial coffin. Stating the obvious after the game, Coach Brown said, “We didn’t get done what we needed to do on either side of the ball.”
For a program that has seen numerous lows over the past couple seasons, including last year’s Red River Rivalry 63-21 humiliation at the hands of the Sooners, one has to wonder whether the writing is finally on the wall in indelible ink for Mack Brown and his staff (defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has already been “reassigned”). If it isn’t, one has to think it can’t be more than one more performance like Saturday’s away.
With a hot Ole Miss squad coming to Austin this Saturday, the Horns had better make some quick and severe adjustments to their defensive schemes. The Rebels have rolled up 70 combined points in their first two games and come in riding high with a 2-0 start to their season.