Sunday, September 7, 2014

NR/25 Football falls to BYU, 41-7

BYU quarterback Taysom Hill accounted for 280 total yards and three touchdowns as the Cougars (2-0) defeated No. NR/25 Texas (1-1), 41-7, Saturday night at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

In his first career start, Texas quarterback Tyrone Swoopes played well, going 20-for-31 for 176 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Wide receiver John Harris snagged a career-best eight catches for 77 yards and scored once, while Jaxon Shipley caught five balls for 36 yards to become the eighth player in Texas history to reach the 2,000-yard receiving plateau.

On its opening possession of the contest, BYU's offense rode its running game on a seven-play, 35-yard drive into Texas territory. Having advanced to the UT 30, the Cougars faced a fourth-and-one decision and chose to go for the first down. The snap, however, sailed high over the head of quarterback Hill, rolling past midfield as the signal caller raced back to corral the loose ball. Hill could only manage an incomplete pass down the right sideline as the Longhorn defense held firm.

Texas' offense responded right back with a 10-play jaunt of its own as Swoopes went 4-for-4 passing for 41 yards on the drive. Following a Longhorn penalty on third-and-3 at the BYU 13, Texas kicker Nick Rose pushed a 43-yard field goal attempt wide right.

BYU took the lead with 3:30 remaining in the first quarter as the Cougars utilized an eight-play, 71-yard drive in taking a 3-0 advantage. BYU had moved to a first-and-goal at the 8-yard line, but a fumbled snap, an incomplete pass and a five-yard run from Hill necessitated the 21-yard try by Trevor Samson.

A fumble by running back Johnathan Gray set the Cougars up in prime field position at the Texas 23 with 8:58 remaining in the first half. On third-and-inches at the 7-yard line, Texas' defense again delivered a big play as Shiro Davis registered a sack, forcing another Cougar field goal try that was converted for a 6-0 lead.

With just 1:44 left in the opening half and BYU again threatening at the UT 24, Quandre Diggs made arguably the play of the half, killing the Cougar drive with an impressive, over-the-shoulder interception in the back corner of the end zone.

But BYU wasted little time taking control of the match-up during the third quarter as a trio of TD scampers from Hill and a 16-yard TD rush by Adam Hine boosted the Cougar advantage to 34-0.

Texas got on the scoreboard with under a minute remaining in the third stanza as a 13-play, 75-yard drive was capped on Swoopes' first career TD pass. The Whitewright, Texas, native's scoring toss to Harris covered 13 yards, cutting the Longhorn deficit to 34-7.

A Hill fumble on a sack by defensive tackle Malcom Brown got the 'Horns back in business at the Cougar 42-yard line with 12:31 remaining, but a third-down interception and subsequent 30-yard return by BYU's Mike Alisa ended UT's scoring threat with no damage.

Following the Longhorn turnover, BYU wrapped up the scoring with 8:05 to go as Hine scampered in from eight yards out to finalize the 41-7 margin.

Next Saturday, Texas heads to the road for the first time this season, venturing to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, to face No. 11 UCLA. Kick-off for the matchup between the Longhorns and Bruins is set for 7 p.m. Central and is slated to be broadcast live on FOX.

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