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Instant Takeaways From BYU’s Loss Against One-Time Big 12 Foe Texas

Oct 28, 2023, 5:14 PM

BYU Football, Texas Longhorns, Kedon Slovis...

AUSTIN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 28: Kedon Slovis #10 of the Brigham Young Cougars throws a pass under pressure by Barryn Sorrell #88 of the Texas Longhorns in the first half at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on October 28, 2023 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

AUSTIN, Texas – The BYU football program took a step back with a blowout loss to the No. 7 Texas Longhorns.

Takeaways from BYU’s loss at No. 7 Texas

The Longhorns hosted the Cougars at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas on Saturday, October 28.

RELATED: BYU Struggles On Offense, Loses To No. 7 Texas

BYU fell to Texas, 35-6.

Here are my instant takeaways from the game:

Darius Lassiter makes big catches 

BYU wide receiver Darius Lassiter has been a rare consistent bright spot for the BYU offense. Last week he made a highlight one-handed catch that has now become a t-shirt.

Then in the third quarter of Saturday’s game against Texas, he hauled in an acrobatic grab for 47 yards on a fly route.

There was an opportunity in the fourth quarter for him to come up with another big catch on 3rd & 6 with 9:11 remaining in the game; he had his hand on it but it popped up and resulted in a Texas interception.

The flashes from Lassiter have been great this season. But like anything with this BYU offense, it’s hard to find a complete product.

Third down offense hit new lows

BYU’s offense has struggled in a lot of areas this season. An area that has hit a new low under offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick is third down conversions. Through three quarters, BYU only picked up one of its 10 third down attempts. That’s a 10% conversion rate.

BYU’s second third down conversion was courtesy of Texas offsides in the fourth quarter. That didn’t officially go in the stat books, but it was a challenging day on third down for BYU.

They did pick up their second conversion on the same drive three plays later. But then another three plays later on third down, Kedon Slovis tossed an interception that the Longhorns returned inside the BYU 10-yard line.

Far too often, BYU was behind the sticks on second down, leaving them with long third downs.

In order to convert more third downs, they need to be better on first downs. BYU needs to turn to a short passing game to replace its ground attack. The rushing yards just aren’t there. It’s game eight.

Clock management is an issue for BYU

A growing trend for BYU football this season has been clock management. BYU had a game where they burned a timeout out of the halftime break. Now they can add the misunderstanding about the new timeout rule.

During the second quarter, BYU had a solid 15-play drive that ended in a field goal. It needed to end in a touchdown.

On 4th & Goal, BYU burned a timeout to gather their thoughts. That’s OK. As they returned to the field, BYU looked like they were set to call another timeout to discuss the look Texas put on the field. The only problem, you can’t do that anymore in college football.

A team can not call back-to-back timeouts at any point in a game. BYU’s offense was walking off the field looking as though they had zero idea that the timeout they were trying to call was not allowed.

BYU had to take a false start penalty, forcing them into a field goal attempt.

Then in the fourth quarter with 9:01 remaining, down 28-6 with two timeouts remaining, BYU burned another puzzling timeout before taking a snap to start the drive.

Those types of mistakes can’t happen in any Big 12 game. Those mistakes get amplified when you are facing a top-ten team in the country.

BYU defense put up a strong showing under difficult circumstances

The Texas offense got cute with their red zone decisions. They wanted to make an emphatic statement that their offense was going to close out the game and punch it in with a pair of touchdowns. BYU’s defense had other plans.

On two different 4th & goals from the BYU two-yard line, BYU’s defense produced goal line stands. First, it was Jakob Robinson shedding a blocker to make a tackle. Then it was Tyler Batty and Eddie Heckard coming up with the stop on the second goal-line stand.

Jay Hill’s defense couldn’t come up with a third goal line stand after being placed in a tough bind following a fourth quarter interception from Slovis that Texas returned inside the BYU 10-yard line. Maalik Murphy tossed a touchdown pass to AD Mitchell to close the door on the game.

But BYU should come away from Austin feeling good about where the defense is heading into the final month of the season. They produced two turnovers, got a sack on Maalik Murphy, and rattled him throughout the day in his first career start.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com 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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Instant Takeaways From BYU’s Loss Against One-Time Big 12 Foe Texas