PROVO — Texas coach Mack Brown is impressed with BYU's toughness, and he's expecting a physical battle when the Longhorns and Cougars collide on Saturday.
"So this will be like an old-fashioned street fight," Brown said. "It'll be very physical. We've been concerned about how tough we were in both lines of scrimmage the last couple years. This game will be about the lines of scrimmage. It's going to be about who's the toughest. It's a great test for us before we get ready to go to UCLA for a very similar game and then get ready for conference play."
BYU, which is coming off a physical game in its win at Ole Miss, is expecting another smash-mouth showdown in Austin.
"Their offensive line isn't as big as Ole Miss, but I think they're going to be quicker," said linebacker Jordan Pendleton. "It's going to be physical."
Brown described BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall as "a tough, defensive football coach and they have a tough team."
The Texas coach also had high praise for the Cougars' offensive line.
"You talk about their offense, it's very physical," he said. "You look at their offensive line, there's two juniors and two seniors on it that are 6'6", 300, 310, 322 and 330 (lbs.), and they are very, very physical."
Longhorn offensive lineman Tray Allen is looking forward to this matchup with the Cougars.
"I'm ready to have all the blue marks and the paint chipping off of my helmet," he said. "A physical game. Getting back to the physical running game that Texas is known for, and establishing our identity this year, and we're having fun with it."
BROWN AND MENDENHALL: Through their involvement with Nike, Brown and Mendenhall have become friends over the years.
"We are facing another really good coach in Mack Brown. I think he is one of the leaders in college football and he is one of the most successful coaches in college football," Mendenhall said. "I have a lot of respect and I have a friendship with coach Brown and I'm looking forward to seeing him and playing in a great venue."
Mendenhall added that Brown serves as a mentor to him and other young coaches.
"In terms of active coaching and where most of us go to get advice, Mack is one of those resources," Brown said. "He's a really, really good man."
Brown respects Mendenhall, too. "Bronco Mendenhall is one of the great true young coaches that's out there," he said. "He's a young man that I like."
INJURY UPDATE: Freshman offensive lineman Ryker Mathews is out for the season with a foot injury and is scheduled to undergo surgery Thursday.11 comments on this story
THE HISTORY: BYU has played Texas twice — and the Cougars won both matchups. BYU defeated the Longhorns in Austin, 22-17, in 1987, then won in 1988 in Provo, 47-6.
Mendenhall faced Texas as a player at Oregon State in 1987. Two weeks after the Cougars downed the Longhorns, Texas destroyed the Beavers, 61-16.
BYU VS. AQS: Including last week's victory over Ole Miss, BYU has beaten a team from a BCS automatic-qualifying conference six consecutive seasons — the third-longest streak in the nation.
The Cougars have defeated at least one AQ opponent in 15 of the last 16 seasons, dating back to 1996.