07 Sep

By

Lightning Strikes: BYU Rains down on Texas in 40-21 Win

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David Ash was on the run all night against a furious BYU defense.

Say what you want about the 2013 Texas football team; they're making history.

A week after the Texas offense set a school record in yardage, the Texas defense surrendered a school-worst 550 rushing yards to the BYU Cougars in a shocking 40-21 loss. BYU quarterback Taysom Hill looked like the second coming of Steve Young against an undisciplined Texas defense, running for 259 yards and three touchdowns. There's no way to spin it. The Cougars outclassed the Longhorns in every area of the game.

BYU's success in the run is puzzling when you consider that Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz said the team specifically game planned for it.

To add injury to an insulting game, David Ash went down with an undisclosed injury late in the game. All due respect to Case McCoy, but the Longhorns are in for a long season if he has to take the reins. Daje Johnson also went out in the first quarter but it would be absurd to think his absence made that large of a difference.

A win looked within reach for Texas early in the second quarter, with the Horns up 14-10 and looking poised to make a defensive stop. But a roughing the punter penalty kept the Cougars' offense on the field and stunted any momentum Texas had on the road. From there, Hill scored on a 20-yard run and the Cougars never looked back.

If there was a highlight for the Longhorns, it came in Mike Davis's performance. The receiver had eight receptions for 114 yards and two touchdowns.

The time for excuses is done for a Texas team that sported 19 returning starters. Any optimism from the season opener against New Mexico State is gone and the Longhorns must bounce back when Ole Miss comes to Austin next week to quiet the critics. As it is, a team that looked like a potential Big 12 title winner now faces an identity crisis. We will see the true heart of this team next week.

James Schleicher is the publisher of Horns Illustrated magazine. He's also a fifth generation Texan and lifelong Austinite. Follow @HornsIllus twitter to keep up with all things Horns Illustrated.