BYU Falls To Longhorns On The Road 17-16

(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

BYU at Texas Box Score
BYU at Texas Slideshow

AUSTIN, Texas – Fueled by a strong second-half Texas performance, the BYU football team fell 17-16 on the road to the No. 21 Longhorns Saturday at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in front of 100,995 - the largest crowd ever to witness a BYU football game.

Texas converted its game-winning score after getting the passing game going midway through the fourth quarter. Receiver Jaxon Shipley caught two passes for 34 yards before the Longhorns reached the end zone on a 4-yard run from running back Cody Johnson. After the ensuing extra point, Texas took its first lead of the game at 17-16 with 8:46 remaining.

BYU had two chances to take the lead after the Texas score, but the drives ended in a punt and an interception, respectively, enabling the Longhorns to hold on.

"The difference in the game is making critical plays at the right time, which leads to execution," head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "I liked the way our team tried. I thought they played with very good effort. Our execution didn’t hold at critical moments, so I’ve got to do a better job of helping them find the right execution and consistency at the critical times of the game."

The Cougars led 13-3 at halftime and held Texas to 88 total yards in the first half, but surrendered 201 yards in the second half while slowing down on offense.

Quarterback Jake Heaps finished the day 22 of 38 for 192 yards and one touchdown. Heaps spread the ball around to 11 different receivers, but the ground game could never got going for the Cougars, as BYU picked up just 45 yards on the ground.

Linebacker Spencer Hadley led the defense with 12 tackles while safety Travis Uale had nine tackles and an interception. Safety Daniel Sorensen also helped with eight tackles and an interception of his own.

BYU scored on three different drives in the first half, with two ending in field goals by sophomore kicker Justin Sorensen, including a career-long conversion from 33 yards. Sorensen was 3 of 3 on field goals for the game.

After a three-and-out stop by the defense to start the game, the Cougars were able to get on the board on their first possession. Sorensen knocked a 30-yard field goal through the uprights to put BYU up 3-0 with 9:33 on the clock in the first quarter.

Sorensen would add another just a few minutes later after the BYU defense got another quick stop, this time from 33 yards out with 6:45 left in the first.

The BYU defense stopped another scoring drive when Sorensen tipped a pass, then dove for the interception. BYU failed to score on the ensuing drive, but the special teams pinned the Longhorns inside their own three-yard line with a 40-yard punt from Riley Stephenson.

Texas moved the football for a time, but the defense continued to make big plays, this time on a Travis Uale interception on a long passing attempt, coming down with the ball at the BYU 3-yard line.

The Cougars responded by driving the length of the field, capping the drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass from Heaps to freshman Ross Apo. The drive featured tight ends Marcus Mathews and Austin Holt combining for three catches for 55 yards. 

Texas got on the board with 1:44 left in the first half on a 23-yard field goal after a Heaps interception.

After the half, Texas came out strong. The Longhorns pounded the ball on the ground, rushing six times for 62 yards on the drive, including a 1-yard touchdown run that cut the score to 13-10 with 10:46 left in the third.

Sorensen hit his third field goal of the game on BYU’s next drive, putting the Cougars up 16-10. But it wouldn’t be enough with Texas picking up momentum late in the game and converting the game-winning touchdown.

Next week BYU plays Utah in a first ever non-conference game at 7:15 p.m. MT at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 17 on ESPN2.

CLICK HERE for the postgame notes.

CLICK HERE to view BYU vs. Texas slideshow.