Maybe BYU should just take the hint and cancel its football season, right here, right now. Go ahead and bag the whole thing. Somebody, some power, somewhere, be it a cosmic force or Mother Nature or something else, is disinclined to let the Cougars play their ball right from jump.
Or maybe it’s a vast, sweeping lesson: Good things come — good football comes — to those who wait.
For a second straight week, in locations separated by more than 2,000 miles, lightning and thunder, wind and rain plowed across the field where BYU was eager to go fast and go hard, causing the Cougars instead to hole up in their locker room and go nowhere — for a while, for only a while.
This time, a storm blew in and then a storm blew the Longhorns out.
File this under things I’ve never seen at any football game at LaVell Edwards Stadium or anywhere else: Auntie Em, Uncle Henry, Dorothy, the Wicked Witch of the West and, yes, Toto, too, blowing through in the minutes before the scheduled kickoff. That’s what happened Saturday night here, I swear, ahead of the BYU-Texas game. Hurricane-force winds rushed on by — in a menacing mass of darkness, along with every bit of dust, dirt and debris found from the Nevada border to the mid-Wasatch Range.
But when the storm passed, and the winds died, after nearly two hours of delay, the real tempest began. And somewhere in that whirlwind, BYU football was made relevant, again. The Cougars beat the favored Longhorns, 40-21, and those numbers reflected an impressive truth: BYU deserved exactly what it got — a big, big victory.
Texas flat-out couldn’t stop the Cougars.
After its skittish performance against Virginia, BYU on this occasion played impressive football — on offense and defense. The execution when it had the ball was clearly improved, starting with the big men up front and ending with a run game that stunned the Longhorns.
It stunned the Cougars, too, but left them jubilant after they broke a 55-year-old school single-game rushing record, gaining a symmetrical 550 yards on the ground.
In the first half alone, BYU rolled for a ridiculous 349 rushing yards, including 166 from Taysom Hill and 108 from Jamaal Williams. Texas, on the other hand, had just 59 on 18 carries over that span.
Hill wound up with a total of 259 rushing yards and three TDs.
A realization that emerged through this game that is a bit jarring to Cougar traditionalists: Hill isn’t ever going to be anything close to Ty Detmer or Jim McMahon or Steve Young. He’ll never be a typical or prototypical BYU quarterback. He struggles to throw the football accurately. He struggles to throw the ball, period. The kid completed 4 of 17 passes for 62 yards and a pick in the first half on Saturday night. Over stretches in the second half, he did better. At game’s end, his passing numbers looked like this: 9 of 26 for 129 yards.
But Hill can run and maybe he’ll become efficient enough with his arm one day to win games through the air, but, more likely, wins will only come in tandem with his more natural gift: his feet.
That fact is what it is.
And it was devastating to Texas, as demonstrated when Hill zigged and zagged for a touchdown, leaving a trail of frustrated Longhorns behind him, finishing off a 79-yard drive with 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter to make the score: 34-14.
The chronology of what happened against Texas went like this: The Cougars took the lead early, then lost it, then took it again, then lost it, then took it back. And kept it, extending it through to the end, as a tough defense put the hammer down.
Let’s say it all plain here: Either the Longhorns run defense sucks or the BYU offense is Oklahoma’s of 50 years ago. Neither choice was good news for Texas on Saturday night. The Cougars, though, would take it.
GORDON MONSON hosts “The Big Show” with Spence Checketts weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on 97.5/1280 and 960 AM The Zone. Twitter: @GordonMonson.