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BYU moves past Virginia, ready for Texas

PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - After a disappointing loss in their season opener, the Cougars move on to 15th-ranked Texas.
PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - It was the not the season opener BYU fans were hoping for. But the Cougars have no choice but to move on from Saturday's 19-16 loss to Virginia, because a much better Texas team is coming to LaVell Edwards Stadium Saturday night.

"There are obviously a lot of things we need to improve on to get better," said quarterback Taysom Hill, who completed just 13 of 40 passes against the Cavaliers. "But it's early in the season. We can't sit and dwell on a loss like this."

"It's over now," added Jamaal Williams, who rushed for 144 yards on 33 carries. "I had my boo-hoos after the game. I talked to my mom and coaches from back home. So, my mindset is on Texas now."

The new go fast, go hard offense didn't go anywhere for much of the game. Outside of a 92-yard drive in the second half, the Cougars struggled in their fast-paced offense for most of the game. Much of the fault lies with the offensive line, which struggled in both the run game and pass protection. Tuesday, offensive coordinator announced that Ryker Mathews and Solomone Kafu would be replaced in the starting lineup.

"Every spot [on the line] is being challenged," head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "Where we start for this starting five will be really interesting to see."

As for Hill, he obviously needs to play better than he did at Virginia, but Mendenhall said much of the blame lies with the receivers and the line.

"I don't think that delivering the ball was as much of an accuracy issue as it was the guys catching it," Mendenhall said. "We had too many drops in critical situations."

Leading receiver Cody Hoffman missed the Virginia game with a hamstring injury, but could return against Texas.

As for the fast tempo, BYU did get off more plays than usual, but the execution was not there. The tempo even through Mendenhall off a few times.

"What was unique was managing a game at that tempo," Mendenhall said. "I have a lot to learn in how fast, if we score or don't score, we're back on the field."

Then again, if Jamaal Williams catches the ball on that critical 3rd and 6, instead of it deflecting off his hands and into the arms of Anthony Harris, setting up the game-winning touchdown for Virginia, the Cougars will be telling a different story.

Knowing that, they are confident they can turn things around against high-powered Texas, which just put up a school record 715 yards in a 56-7 win over New Mexico State.

"Obviously there is that mentality that we're frustrated," said Hill. "We were right there and had a great opportunity to win the game, but guys are hungry and left our team meeting wanting to play right now."

"We really came out with a chip on our shoulder at practice today," said Williams. "We came out with some fire, angry from the Virginia game, and ready to show people that we can beat Texas."

"I think our team is optimistic, encouraged and feels like there was progress made," said Mendenhall. "However, it also gave us a clear idea of what areas we need to work on. So, the brutal facts are we need to get better."

The Cougars and Longhorns kickoff at 5:00 p.m. Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium.


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