Looking Back At History Of BYU-Texas Football Series

Oct 25, 2023, 10:31 AM | Updated: 11:49 am

PROVO, Utah – One man brought the BYU/Texas football series to life in 1987.

That man was Lou Holtz.

You’re probably thinking, wait, THAT Lou Holtz? Yes, the former Notre Dame headman and your favorite former ESPN analyst, Lou Holtz.

Before Holtz was at Notre Dame, he was the head coach at Minnesota. He took the head post in Minneapolis after a seven-year stint in Arkansas in the winter of 1984.

Holtz’s first line of business as the head coach of the Gophers was to lighten up future schedules. Two of those teams that he wanted to remove from Minnesota’s future schedules were BYU and Texas.

Minnesota had home-and-homes with BYU and Texas for the 1987 and 1988 seasons.


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The Longhorns and Cougars suddenly needed games. Texas AD DeLoss Dodds and BYU AD Glen Tuckett came together and brought together a series that no one ever expected to happen.

Since 1987, BYU and Texas have met five times on the football field. This Saturday will be the sixth and likely final meeting these two programs ever have against each other. It will be a memorable one as it will come as two Big 12 foes.

September 12, 1987: BYU 22, Texas 17

Texas Memorial Stadium (Austin, Texas)

The first-ever meeting saw BYU roll into Austin with Bob Jensen at quarterback and escape with a victory over the Longhorns. BYU’s defense produced a big performance, producing a sack in the third quarter. Kicker Leonard Chitty had a pair of field goals and BYU came away with the five-point win.

September 8, 1988: BYU 47, No. 19 Texas 6

Cougar Stadium (Provo, Utah)

BYU rolled through Texas in Provo. The Longhorns star tailback Eric Metcalf was suspended for taking money for a summer school session before the game kicked off. Imagine that sort of suspension in today’s college football.

Anyway, Sean Covey was dealing to the tune of 323 yards as BYU got a signature win over a mediocre Texas squad.

September 10, 2011: Texas 17, BYU 16

Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium (Austin, Texas)

Often forgotten in this game is that BYU had a 13-0 lead in the second quarter. BYU’s offense, which was revamped with Brandon Doman as offensive coordinator, struggled out of the gates with the increase of competition on an Independent schedule.

Texas rolled with Garrett Gilbert at quarterback, then had Case McCoy and David Ash play in the game. Despite having three different QBs, the Longhorns squeaked out their lone victory over BYU.

September 7, 2013: BYU 40, No. 15 Texas 21

LaVell Edwards Stadium (Provo, Utah)

Thunderstorms delayed what would be a monsoon of rushing yards from BYU against a lifeless Texas team. Less than four years after playing for the National Championship, Texas coach Mack Brown unofficially saw his tenure come to an end in Provo.

Taysom Hill rushed for 259 yards and Jamaal Williams popped off another 182 in BYU’s “Go Fast, Go Hard” offense that left Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz with a pink slip the following day.

September 6, 2014: BYU 41, Texas 7

Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium (Austin, Texas)

BYU is well aware of big-name opponents downplaying their effort level against the Cougars after losses. Did they want to be there? That sort of thing.

There was no question Texas wanted to get revenge for what happened against BYU the year before. The September 2014 issue of Texas Monthly featured new Texas head coach Charlie Strong with Texas AD Steve Patterson. On the cover, the headline read, “Can a new athletics director and a new attitude return UT to glory? (Or at least beat BYU?)”

Taysom Hill had other plans.

The hurdle from Hill is one of the iconic moments in BYU football’s history.

Hill rushed for 134 and passed for 181, accounting for three touchdowns as BYU steamrolled Texas again.

October 28, 2023: BYU at No. 7 Texas

Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium (Austin, Texas)

Win or lose on Saturday for BYU, the Cougars should thank the Longhorns before they leave Austin. Without Texas getting antsy and wanting to leave for the SEC, BYU isn’t in the Big 12.

That’s the ultimate victory for BYU.

But one last time in Austin as conference foes should make for an entertaining stage.

Date: Saturday, October 28, 2023

Location: Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium

Kickoff: 1:30 p.m. (MT)


Radio: KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM) — Extended pregame coverage begins at 9 a.m.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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Looking Back At History Of BYU-Texas Football Series