BYU loses by one point to Texas

September 10, 2011    By: Geoff J @ 9:03 pm   Category: Sports

It was close, but the BYU offense sputtered in the second half and Texas pulled out a 17-16 win over BYU today.

Here are some observations from the game:

– The defense is still really good. Holding a team like Texas to 17 points should be good enough for a win.
– Having said that, the defensive backs seemed to miss quite a few tackles in this game.
– The loss probably could mostly be pinned on new offensive coordinator Brandon Doman. While he had some solid moments in the second half, the slow tempo, timidness, and predictability of the BYU offense in the second half pretty much sunk BYU in this game.
– Kudos to kicker Justin Sorenson for going 3 for 3 on field goals. (Too bad the offense failed to score touchdowns on those drives instead though)
– The running game continues to disappoint. DiLuigi is a reliable weapon for BYU but Kariya and Quezada have failed to significantly contribute so far this season.
– Congrats to Ross Apo for getting another TD catch. Unfortunately his two TDs are the only offensive TDs BYU has score this season so far.
– Is it just me or does Heaps have virtually no time to pass so far? Maybe it is the quality of the defenses we have seen so far but this vaunted offensive line isn’t buying him as much time as I would have expected.
– Utah lost a heartbreaker to USC today too. Next Saturday evening after Utah comes to Provo one of those teams will be feeling great and the other will be feeling even worse than they do now.
– I am not too freaked out about Doman chunking things a bit. Mistakes are to be expected with a new, untested offensive coordinator. Hopefully he is a quick study and will get progressively better this season.
– The BYU offense looked really quite good in the first half. The problem is Texas made adjustments at the half and BYU didn’t. Hopefully that won’t happen again.

What are your thoughts/observations on the game?


  1. I agree, the problem was Doman’s inability to make any calls that took even a remote risk, played so safe that BYU never a got a chance at a win. What is most disconcerting is that he couldn’t take advantage of obvious Texas misalignments and missed assignments. That said, Heaps pretty much stunk it up in the 2nd half. he doesn’t seem to have any touch or any ability to place the ball. No wonder Doman doesn’t trust him.

    Comment by Blake — September 11, 2011 @ 12:03 am

  2. Geoff, I think you nailed it. Problem is, you will probably not get too many comments because you are very much spot on.

    Comment by Stephen M (Ethesis) — September 11, 2011 @ 7:29 am

  3. It is ironic to me that Doman seems to be less creative and spontaneous as offensive coordinator than he was at quarterback. Maybe that is why Steve Young and Jim McMahan were so successful both at the college and the pro level, and why Marc Wilson and to a lesser extent Ty Detmer weren’t(if any of you are old enough to remember seeing those guys play)–Young and McMahan seemed more able to make things up as they went along.

    Comment by CS Eric — September 11, 2011 @ 7:37 am

  4. While Doman has some of the blame the fact is that people were frequently out of position – especially in that one interception. I don’t know how much of it is just not executing cleanly (as the players say) and how much is just poor communication. The offense looked good the first half. The second half looked like last week.

    And I think part of the Defense’s problem the second half were all those three and out offensive drives keeping them from getting rest. When it’s so hot out that adds up.

    Here’s the thing. Even in the first half they still weren’t doing great in the red zone. Field goals when they really should have had touchdowns.

    Comment by Clark — September 11, 2011 @ 10:06 am

  5. To add, changing quarterbacks the second half and then rotating between two was brilliant by Texas. I think that also kept our defense off balance.

    Comment by Clark — September 11, 2011 @ 10:08 am

  6. Texas blitzed quite a bit more in the second half. It seemed that, as a result, BYU’s offense was not afforded as much time to make plays, hence the shorter pass plays. Adjustments needed to be made on the fly at that point and they weren’t. Hopefully, they will continue to learn from these early games. Heaps seems to have taken a step backward from where he was at the end of the last year and the offense is not very good in the red(blue) zone this year.

    Comment by Paul — September 12, 2011 @ 8:42 am

  7. One of the announcers on TV commented that at the end of the first half BYU could have managed the clock a little better and may have had a shot at making a field goal. That would have given BYU the game.

    Comment by Clint — September 12, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

  8. I re-watched the 2nd half to see what went wrong with BYU on offense. My conclusions: Heaps was panicky and kept checking down before he had a chance to go through his progressions. Heaps is gonna have to man up, trust his pass protection and hold on the the ball long enough for his receivers and tight ends to make their cuts and get open or we won’t be seeing many throws down the field for a while.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 12, 2011 @ 4:38 pm

  9. What it looked like to me was BYU was ready to play a Texas team with Gilbert as QB. When TX adjusted with their dual QB game (which WAS different), BYU defense seemed lost. And TX defense was ready for BYU’s offense in the second half – I didn’t see much modification on BYU’s part – and, I agree Geoff, Heaps was hurried.

    Comment by wally bob — September 12, 2011 @ 9:21 pm

  10. That’s what I think Wally too. However as I mentioned even in the first half at least some of those field goals should have been touchdowns. Had Heaps and Doman been able to perform in the red zone then I think Texas would have been so demoralized at half time they couldn’t have come back the way they did. Instead we went into the locker room with a very overcomable lead.

    But you’re right about how Texas outdid the defense in the second half. I’ll give the Texas coaches a lot of credit there. I think that even with those adjustments had Heaps not been doing so many 3 and outs that the defense still could have kept Texas down. It’s asking a defense a lot in 100+ weather to keep performing with little rest.

    Comment by Clark — September 13, 2011 @ 7:48 am

  11. At some point you may post about the Utah game. BYU was not merely embarrassed, it was exposed. Here are the problems that were exposed:

    1. The coaches have no clue how to make adjustments either offensively or defensively.

    2. Doman has no clue how to put together a coherent game plan.

    3. Heaps lacks what it takes. He throws low, he floats passes and rarely finds a receiver on a route and misses open receivers consistently. Say what you will, BYU took the best quarterback in the country and turned him into a miserable failure.

    4. BYU special teams are sub-par and have been for at least 3 years.

    I’m blue through and through so it pains me to make the recommendations that follow. BYU looks like an inept high school football team. The biggest part of the problem is coaching. It is time for Mendehall to go and Doman should have gone yesterday. It is embarrassing to be a BYU football fan right now. I say clean house – start at the top and start with a new athletic director, a new coaching staff in its entirety. I wish I could say otherwise, but this football staff is not salvageable. Unfortunately, we’ll have to suffer through the rest of this season before the appropriate changes can made.

    Comment by Blake — September 17, 2011 @ 9:43 pm

  12. No post for last night?

    Seems to me that they definitely played better and more importantly played with heart. Doman improved and wisely didn’t stay on the field. However while Heaps was better than last week he’s nowhere where he was last year. This isn’t just an issue of receivers or the O-Line. It’s Heaps and most likely what training he is getting from Doman. At a minimum they need a dedicated QB Coach.

    The Defense won the game more than the Offense. However as in past years opposing coaches have figured out the weaknesses in our Defense. Once again we have pretty big problems in the secondary. But give the Defense a lot of credit and most importantly give special teams credit.

    It wasn’t a pretty win and there were too many crucial three and outs still. We still struggle in the red zone. Many of the problems of last week are still there but at least it was more akin to the first two games rather than Utah.

    Comment by Clark — September 24, 2011 @ 8:19 am