BYU football report card: Cougars find rhythm in upset victory (5 items)
For the Deseret News
The night started off eerily similar to last week's road loss to Virginia with an extended rain delay, but that was the extent of the similarities as the offense and Taysom Hill found their rhythm and the Cougars shocked No. 15 ranked Texas, 40-21.
1 of 5. Offense
BYU hammered the middle of the field early and often, softening the heart of the defensive line enough for Hill to exploit his speed to the outside. Hill finished the night with 17 carries, amassing 259 yards and touchdown runs of 68, 20 and 26 yards respectively.
Hill ran for more yards than any BYU quarterback since Virgil Carter, and the 259 yards is second in the NCAA in the past 10 years, only trailing former Longhorn Vince Young. Hill bounced back after an early interception, adding 129 yards to give him 389 total yards.
Lost in the excitement surrounding Hill was BYU’s workhorse Jamaal Williams and his career-high 182 yards on 30 carries. Paul Lasike chipped in 87 yards on 15 carries and a 10-yard touchdown and helped BYU total 679 yards of offense on the night.
Cody Hoffman was the lone bright spot in the passing game, picking up 63 yards on two receptions.
Traditionally, a team will set up the pass with the run or the other way around, but Saturday night BYU set up the run with the run and did it flawlessly. The passing game was virtually nonexistent, and with the Cougars that would typically mean the offense would receive a low grade, but Hill converting the pass-happy fan base into devout spread option believers overnight is deserving of the highest marks possible.
2 of 5. Defense
The Cougars picked up four sacks and eight tackles for a loss as the defense stymied a Texas offense that produced more than 700 yards of offense the week before. Although 445 yards by the Longhorns appears like a lot on paper, most of those yards came in garbage time when BYU was working with a three-score cushion.
The secondary was playing shorthanded and was exploited a couple of times, but for the most part the reserves held their own. Kyle Van Noy and Bronson Kaufusi were as destructive as always to lead the charge, and while the defense played lights out for the majority of the game, giving up the big play and allowing 21 points puts the effort a notch or two below its top performances.
3 of 5. Special teams
4 of 5. Coaching
5 of 5. Overall