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AUSTIN, TEXAS - The BYU Cougars dominated the first half of the game, however questions arose in the second half as the No. 21 Texas Longhorns stole away the game, 17-16. Here are our instant observations following the Cougars' heart-wrenching loss in Texas.
- BYU struggled to score touchdowns in the red (blue) zone. The Cougars scored three field goals leaving needed points off the scoreboard. BYU failed to score touchdowns from the Texas, 13, 16, and 15-yard line, if even one of those was converted for a touchdown it may have put BYU just out of reach for the young Texas team.
- The Cougar defense looked great in the first half, the outside linebackers put positive pressure on the quarterback. The pressure frustrated Texas and put them in a position to try out three different quarterbacks through out the game. In the second half the defense struggled to stop Texas as they scored two touchdowns to give the Longhorns the first lead of the game. Ultimately the Cougars could not come up with enough stops allowing Texas to run out the clock and walk away with a victory.
- Texas' rushers came out in the second half and provide them with a much-needed spark. D.J. Monroe had two huge runs that led the Longhorns to their first touchdown. The running game allowed the offense to set up the play action and attack through the air allowing Texas to come out with a victory.
- Jake Heaps came with confidences, delivering precise throws and making great reads in the first half. In the second half the Cougars could not get into rhythm and settled for too many field goals and did not convert enough touchdowns. Heaps had a critical interception with four minutes to go in the fourth, crippling BYU's chance to score. BYU never got the ball back.
- Brandon Doman seemed to have a lot more confidence in his play calling. . The Cougars maintained a healthy balance between running and passing. Keeping the Texas defense honest. Play calling on third down was fantastic in the first half. In the second half BYU could not get back in rhythm, Doman may have been too conservative in his play calling, struggling to disguise their plays. Texas seemed to know what was coming at them every time. BYU only had five drives in the second half and was held to three-and-out four of the five times.
- It was a tough loss for BYU. The Cougars seemed to have the game in hand and slowly let it slip away. If the Cougar's can maintain the spark they had in the first half it could be a promising season. If the Cougars perform like they did in the second half BYU will be in for another long season.