From 362 yards to 679, and that didn't even include a 52-yard pass on the final play of the game. From 16 points to 40. Need I say more?
There was definitely improvement on offense. It was mostly in the run department. Taysom Hill was spotty with his passing. His pass efficiency was, actually, down four points from last week, but yards per attempt were up 0.6 yards.
On the ground, Hill was lights out. Amassing 259 yards on 17 carries with 3 touchdowns needs no other words. Jamaal Williams put up almost 40 more yards than he did last week, and Paul Lasike chipped in an impressive 87. For BYU to have a good season without a strong passing game, it will take three dependable ball carriers at any given time.
2. Defensive Improvements.
At first glance, you wouldn't think the Cougar defense played a better game this year than two years ago. BYU surrendered 445 yards of total offense (289 in 2011), and 21 points (17 in 2011). However, in many ways this was a better defensive performance.
The pressure from the defensive front was fantastic. Rarely does a BYU front wreak that kink of havoc. They notched four sacks compared to zero in 2011. Texas converted 33 percent on third down two years ago, but just 29 percent on Saturday.
Using pure numbers is always limited in football. Each game has its own little nuances that make it impossible to compare one to the other using just numbers. Bottom line, I was probably equally impressed with the defense as the offense on Saturday.
3. The Big Play.
BYU did not give up many big plays. There was the 57-yard TD pass in the first quarter. A 30-yard pass and a 37-yard run were the big plays on Texas' other scoring drives. Except for a 45-yard pass in the final minute of the game, those three plays were the only big plays allowed. That goes a long way in explaining why BYU came away victorious.
Cody Hoffman was Cody Hoffman. Due to Hill's struggles, he only had two receptions, but they were beauties. Both over 30 yards, both down the sideline, both acrobatic.
Ross Apo had a few chances to take the next step, but missed on them. He finished with just one grab for 12 yards.
Other than Hoffman, no receivers were able to get open down field for a pass longer than 16 yards.
5. Can BYU get a statement/signature win?
This win definitely made a statement. ESPN had a link to the game recap near the top of its college football home page all weekend. National radio shows were taking about the game. As a result of BYU's 550 rushing yards, Texas fired its defensive coordinator then next day.
How the season plays out will define just how big of a statement/signature win this will be. Does Texas crater like so many other highly ranked teams have done after early season losses to BYU? Does BYU have a roller coaster season, or is this the beginning of a long win streak that lands BYU in the national rankings at season's end?
| || |