BYU vs. Texas postgame notes & quotes


Team Notes

BYU defeated Texas 41-7 in Austin, Texas. BYU improves to 2-0 on the season and 540-393-26 all time. The Cougars are 4-1 all-time against Texas and 2-1 on the road.

The Cougars improve to 75-11 under head coach Bronco Mendenhall when allowing less than 24 points. They are 37-2 in the same timeframe when scoring 40 points or more.

BYU led 6-0 after two quarters of play. When leading at halftime, the Cougars are 2-0 this season and 68-8 under head coach Bronco Mendenhall. When leading after three quarters, BYU is 71-4 in the Mendenhall era.

The Cougars scored in all four quarters. Under Mendenhall, BYU is 41-4 when scoring in each quarter.

BYU scored 28 points in the third quarter—the first time BYU scored 28 or more on the road since a 41-20 victory against Hawai’i in 2011.

This game marks 12 consecutive games BYU has intercepted at least one pass, tied for the longest streak since Mendenhall was the head coach.

For the second straight week, the Cougars held an opponent to less than 100 yards rushing.

The Longhorns entered the game ranked No. 3 nationally in total defense, but allowed 429 yards of total offense.

Sophomore linebacker Harvey Langi and sophomore receiver/punt returner Mitchell Juergens carried the team and special teams flags, respectively. Former kicker Chris Germann (1984-87) carried the alumni flag.

Official attendance for the game was 93,463.

Player Notes

Taysom Hill

Junior quarterback Taysom Hill passed Jake Heaps on the BYU all-time passing list to claim the No. 17 spot with 3,852 passing yards in his career. With 99 rushing yards, he also moved up the all-time rushing list to pass No. 12, passing JJ DiLuigi. Hill now has 1,876 rushing yards. He rushed for three touchdowns, tying a personal best. The last time he rushed for three TDs was against Texas in 2013.

Jordan Leslie

Senior receiver Jordan Leslie led all receivers with seven catches and 85 yards. Leslie has now caught a pass in 30 consecutive games.

Robertson Daniel

Senior defensive back Rob Daniel forced one fumble, the third of his career. He also recovered two fumbles, his first as a Cougar. He added six tackles.

Alani Fua

Senior linebacker Alani Fua recorded his first sack of the season and sixth of his career in the second quarter. He finished with five total tackles, one quarterback hurry and one pass breakup.

Dallin Leavitt

Sophomore safety Dallin Leavitt recorded his first career sack and led the team with seven tackles, including two tackles for loss, both personal bests.

Adam Hine

In the third quarter, junior running back Adam Hine scored his second career rushing touchdown on a 16-yard rush. He then rushed for his third in the fourth quarter. Hine rushed for 29 yards on four carries with an average of 7.2 yards per carry.

Michael Alisa

Senior linebacker Michael Alisa notched the first interception of his career and added a forced fumble to go along with four tackles, tying his career high.

Jherremya Leuta-Douyere

Junior linebacker Jherremya Leuta-Douyere forced a fumble for the second consecutive game. He added two tackles on the night.


BYU Postgame Quotes


Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall

Opening Statement: First off, I’d like to just say what amazing environment it is to be here. It’s first-class football and first-class institution and it’s an amazing experience for our players to come into an environment like this. That’s the college football experience. For all the fans that were there – I don’t know how many, 100,000ish – what an amazing experience for our team.

Secondly, really lucky to be working with the coaches I am. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to just step away and be the head coach. [Defensive Coordinator] Nick Howell did a fantastic job getting our defense ready. [Offensive Coordinator] Robert Anae made some great adjustments at halftime that allowed us to break the game open. Really nice leadership team at this point and it feels great to be in a different role and just have really capable, competent, and trustworthy people around me. I’m very fortunate for that.

Our team did what we had to do to win the football game. I think we played so well in so many phases. Ultimately [quarterback] Taysom Hill is a phenomenal player. He made a lot of great decisions, but there are just some sheer athleticism things that aren’t coachable. He is just more poised than he was a year ago. He’s better at leadership and the game is slowing down for him. His throwing the ball is more accurate. That was against a strong Texas front that got Taysom – three, four, five, I’m not sure – so certainly they were very skilled as a defensive football team, which makes it even more difficult to score the amount of points that we did. It’s just a great win for our program. We’re going to enjoy it as long as possible, which is probably the plane ride home.

On second half adjustments: There were just three adjustments once it became clear what Texas’ plan was – they had a good plan. They are physical, they are talented and had planned similar to what some teams did a year ago. Once it became clear what that plan was going to be, we had been working all offseason on some of those adjustments and we put those in place and they worked really well.

On defending Texas QB Tyrone Swoopes: We didn’t really make that many adjustments. The exact same plan we had in place for [David] Ash was what we had in place for their quarterback for this game. Based on what they might do, on the back of our defensive plan, we had other things that had worked in the past based on what we anticipated that he might do. Those are things that are just built into our defensive system. We didn’t really acknowledge the quarterback position that much.

On QB Taysom Hill: I never know what Taysom is going to do at the end of the play. There’s times where I wish he would slide and then he’ll hurdle someone and score a touchdown and then you don’t want him to slide. Then there are some plays where he’ll slide and they’ll hit him hard. He has a great instinct. I’ve tried to just stay out of his way and help build his confidence. He’s seeing things really well right now. He knows much faster this year than a year ago when he makes a mistake, what to do about it and he normally has that figured out by the time he comes to the sideline.

Junior QB Taysom Hill

On if they got frustrated after moving the ball but scoring no points: I wouldn’t say frustrated was the word. I think we just needed to clean things up and execute better. I took a couple of shots down early in the first half. Just down in the end zone, things get narrower and we need to execute on a higher level. We’ll get that on film and we’ll see what we can do to clean that up.

On if he felt it was matter of time for them to start scoring points: Honestly in my mind, and I felt the vibes from the team that it was just a matter of time. A lot of that that was that our defense was playing so well that had great field position and it allowed us offensively we had momentum and their defense was on their heels.

Junior DL Remington Peck

On what this win means to BYU and its fans: It’s one if the unique things about BYU. We travel and they are willing to go anywhere. Coming to a place with 95,000 opposing fans. 15,000 of our fans came here and it really means a lot.

On the impact of Tysom Hill’s running touchdown on the defense attitude: I say this all the time with Taysom, I say “You make our job a lot easier scoring points.” It takes the pressure off and it just relieves everybody when the offense is scoring. So when you have a big play like that, the offense excited the whole team and we need to go out there and do something as well. It was fun.

Senior WR Jordan Leslie

On his juggling catch: I came out of my break and was open and I look back and saw Taysom get hit. I kind of saw the ball floating in the air and came back to make the play. The defensive back broke it up a little but I had the concentration to pull in the catch.


Texas Postgame Quotes


Head coach Charlie Strong

Opening statement: It's an embarrassment. It's an embarrassment to this program. It's an embarrassment to this university, and I knew it, and I didn't do anything about it. And I take responsibility and all the blame for this loss. I knew during warmups we weren't ready to play. I called the team up and told them we're not ready to play. Our focus isn't there. We're getting ready to play a really good football team and we're going to get embarrassed if we don't watch out, and that's what happened tonight.  We just didn't play well. You look at the quarterback position, and I say this, the young man played unbelievable.  Just had an unbelievable game.  I know he may have thrown an interception there late, but for him to be a first time starter and come out and compete as well as he did, was unbelievable. Did I look at us defensively?  You have to win games and play great defense if you're going to win games. You have to. We gave up 28 points in the third quarter, allowed their quarterback to think we went into this game saying that we were going to stop the quarterback from running the football, and we did not allow that to happen. Third quarter, to give up 28 points, you can't do that if you think you're going to play great defense.  It wouldn't ever happen. We've still got a ways to go. We still have games left to go play.  We're going to come together and learn from this. It will be a great learning experience and we'll be able to grow from it, and see if we can fight back through adversity and put this team back together and continue on and go play the next few.

On how big a setback this loss is: I don't know if it's a setback. It's just all about focus, and it's all about going in and being a disciplined football team. That's what we were not tonight. You look at the first half, 6-0. Then you go out there in the third quarter and just we get in on it and allow the quarterback to break the long one, and even though you play short field, it doesn't matter.  We get into third down and just make a play.

On what indication he had the team was not ready to play: Just the whole demeanor; how they took the field and just how they carried themselves. You can notice it. If you've been around them long enough, you know. I knew that and I told them that. I told them before we ever went out. I said we're not ready to play. We're not ready to play. This is a good football team. We're probably going to go out here and get embarrassed.

On the difference between the first and second half: Well, you look at us the second half, and we kicked the ball off and go out there and we don't stop them.  We get them to third down and the quarterbacks are going to run the ball.  We don't make the stop, and then we get it back to short field.  You look at the kicking game.  The kickoff return team ended up just being on the short field with the returns and then the defense goes out and they should have stopped them.  There is no reason for us not to. But you can't go out in the second half and then the third quarter you gave up 28 points. There is no reason for it. You have to play better defense than that.

On the turnovers: You look at the first half, they really didn't hurt us because we went out and gave one scored a field goal. But turnover-wise, you don't ever want to turn the ball over, and we did.  We turned it over.  But still though, when you do turn it over, we were able to get a couple of turnovers ourselves.  But we had to go out there and stop them when we do.

On the team’s demeanor and the affect of injuries and suspensions: They don't have nothing to do with it.  Those guys were on offense, so the suspension and the week had nothing to do with the way we played tonight. We had guys out there. You look at the first half, it’s 6-0, that had nothing to do with it.

On taking pride in their play and how they build on that:  You set up games and go play.  This will be a great game to see how we're going to grow from it.  We're going to learn from it, and we'll see with this game just where we are and just how well the leadership will step up now and if the seniors can take the leadership and go lead this football team and go finish the year out.  We're looking at it.  It's the second ballgame.  We still have 10 to go play.

On if he was pleased with how things had gone at halftime:  Well, the thing at halftime you were playing well enough that it was only 6-0.  Third quarter we gave up a score, and we gave up another score, and you have to be able to bounce back and we didn't bounce back.  We just -- when you go through it and you have a turnover or two or you give up a score, it's all about adversity now.  Now your back is against the wall.  Now let's go stop them on defense, and we didn't go stop them on defense.  It was one where we just went out there and they hit the long run on us, and they get the ball down.  It was just like an easy score.  We can't do that.  We can't allow that to happen.

On what he learned about his team tonight:  Well, just how to fight through adversity.  When things go bad, can we just continue to play?  You look at you play an unbelievable first half on defense, and then you come back like I said second half and didn't play so well.  But can we pick ourselves up and brush ourselves off and just continuing to play.

On if part of the defense’s problem in the second half was being on the field too much:  No, that has nothing to do with it.  It's just knowing defense.  You get them to third down, so when you get them to third down, you have to get off the field.

Defensive coordinator/secondary coach Vance Bedford

On head Coach Charlie Strong saying the team was not ready to play: We didn't play very well.  It was 6‑0 at halftime.  We came up in defense and gave up 28 points.  When you give up 28 points in one quarter, you're not ready to play.  He's right about that.  We didn't tackle like we needed to tackle.  The quarterback is a Heisman Trophy candidate, if you watched this game today because we didn't tackle him.  We should have tackled him five more times.  He came through it, threw a couple of passes when he should have been sacked, ran the ball when he should have been sacked.  So we made a guy look good, and he is a good player.  Like I told you guys earlier, reminds me a little of Tim Tebow.

On if defenses get tired playing against a quarterback like Taysom Hill: No, we rotated guys in.  We just didn't tackle, and we reach in and grab.  That's what tackling is all about.  You finish. Finishing means you take one more step instead of reaching and grabbing.

On Quandre Diggs’ interception keeping it close at half: Kept points off the board.  Got the ball out of a two‑minute drive, made a play to finish it to go in 6‑0.  The guys felt good.  We have to come out and tackle and continue to do the same things we're doing, and we just didn't get it done.  We didn't tackle very well.  We let the quarterback again, we put him in a Heisman race.

On if Taysom Hill made himself look better than he actually is: No, I said that to the people I talked to early in the week.  I said he reminded me a little of Tim Tebow.  He's a 235‑pound guy with a strong, good arm.  He's sitting back there, and if you don't get him down when you have your arms around him, he's going to come through and make plays, which he did tonight.  My hat's off to him.  He did a tremendous job, and their coaching staff did a tremendous job also.

Assistant head coach for offense/QBs coach Shawn Watson

Opening statement:  We knew what our situation was going in with all we've been through this week.  [Sophomore QB] Tyrone [Swoopes] did I thought a great job in his first start.  I saw a lot of things that we can build on.  I'm really encouraged by what I saw in his play.  So at halftime we were going to stick with our speed plan.  We had some tough field position in the third quarter.  It's tough when you get backed up like that.  It kind of takes you out of that aspect of your game.  It was encouraging to see Ty just work the way he did.  I'm really encouraged by what I saw.

Junior RB Johnathan Gray

On if he feels embarrassed: Yeah, they came in our place and beat us and we don’t want that to happen. We’ve just got to go back to the drawing board and get prepared for the rest of the season.

On what shocked him tonight: They beat us the last two years and they beat us at our place. That hits the heart and that’s embarrassing. So like I said, we’ve got to go back to the drawing board and get it fixed.

Senior WR John Harris

On the second straight loss to BYU: It hurts a lot. It almost feels like we went back to Utah and lost that game again. It hurts a lot but we’re going to move on from it, we’re going to learn from it, and we’re going to move on to the next one and get the next win.

Senior LB Jordan Hicks

On having BYU in check but then letting it go downhill: I can’t say it is. Like I said, they had good field position and we just went out there and didn’t execute and that’s the defense’s fault. We have a chance to stop them and that’s what we take pride in and we didn’t do that, we didn’t get that accomplished.

Senior DT Desmond Jackson

On how tough it is to lose: I have to give BYU their credit. They came out here prepared and the only thing we can do is look forward and get ready for UCLA.