BYU put Texas on the ropes several times throughout the first half of its huge road game inside Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, but the Cougars failed to deliver any knock-out punches.
That proved to be incredibly costly in the second half.
Texas’ offense got the Cougars on their heels after halftime, BYU’s offense sputtered and sputtered, and the end product was a 17-16 win for the Longhorns.
Here’s how BYU graded:
OFFENSE: The Cougars’ offense failed to take full advantage of tremendous field position in the first half, and it couldn’t get anything going in the second half. After watching Texas come all the way back to finally take the lead midway through the fourth quarter, BYU’s offense looked dreadful on its final two drives — going 3-and-out on the first one and throwing an interception on the third play of the second one. Quarterback Jake Heaps looked terrific on a 97-yard drive in the first half, but he and his teammates ultimately couldn’t get the job done. GRADE: D
DEFENSE: BYU’s defense looked amazing in the first half but struggled to contain a revitalized Texas offense in the second half. The Cougars struggled to defend Texas’ two-headed quarterback attack and gave up key play after key play, especially to Texas freshman Jaxon Shipley. All in all, it wasn’t a horrible performance by BYU’s defense, but it ultimately wasn’t good enough. GRADE: B-
SPECIAL TEAMS: BYU’s special teams made some mistakes against Texas — Jordan Johnson fumbled two kickoffs and the Cougars gave up some long returns — but to the Cougars’ credit, they played somewhat better in this phase of the game than they did last week. Sophomore kicker Justin Sorensen made all three of his field goal attempts, and this unit did improve from Week 1 to Week 2. GRADE: B-
COACHING: BYU’s offense looked fairly decent throughout the first half under new offensive coordinator Brandon Doman, but the Cougars got extraordinarily conservative in the second half. Doman didn’t open up the offense at all after halftime until it was too late. In the second half, Heaps didn’t throw one ball down the field once until he chucked an interception on a desperation long ball to Ross Apo. All in all, it was a poor performance from BYU’s new coordinator GRADE: D
OVERALL: To lose on the road inside Texas Memorial Stadium by a single point isn’t the worst outcome in the world, but what is so disappointing is that this game was there for the taking for BYU. The Cougars should have had the game won before halftime. But they didn’t, and they will play the rest of the season with the sting of knowing they let a huge victory get away. GRADE: C+