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BYU struggled in the passing game after a lengthy weather delay and Hill never really got it going. No receiver had more than 59 yards in the air and senior JD Falsev was the only one to reach the endzone. The Cougars will have to hope someone steps up this week and define themselves as a legitimate receiving option in this new offense.
Texas had no problem keeping Ash upright last week, surrendering zero sacks and the offensive line kept its composure, incurring only one false start penalty.
One of BYU’s biggest weaknesses in the opening game was the play up front, as the Cougar offensive line surrendered three sacks and six tackles for loss. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall admitted Tuesday the team had to put a priority on playing better up front if the new offensive scheme has any chance of success.
Defensive Line and Linebackers
Texas’ defensive front harassed New Mexico State all day, producing two sacks and seven tackles for loss Saturday. Junior defensive end Cedric Reed terrorized the Aggies, racking up 10 tackles, one tackle for loss, two quarterback hits and a sack. Junior linebacking duo Steve Edmond and Jordan Hicks combined for 15 tackles. Sophomore linebacker Dalton Santos had six tackles of his own, one tackle for loss and two pass breakups.
BYU’s line didn’t register a sack against Virginia, but racked up plenty of tackles behind the line, totalling seven tackles for loss. Defensive tackle Eathyn Manumaleuna, who was named to the Outland Trophy watch list before the season, posted eight tackles and a tackle for loss. Senior linebacker Kyle Van Noy showed why he’s considered the most talented player on the Cougar defense, getting 3.5 tackles of his own, 2.5 tackles for loss and a pass breakup.
Edge: Even (If BYU can play better along the offensive line)
Senior safety Adrian Phillips is the focal point of the Longhorns’ defensive backfield and played to his reputation against New Mexico State, racking up six tackles, registering a pass break up and grabbing an interception. However, Texas struggled in the passing game, giving up 242 yards through the air.
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