Here is everything you need to know ahead of the matchup between the BYU Cougars and the Texas Longhorns.
Saturday, Oct. 28; 2:30 p.m. (CT); Darrell K. Royal Stadium; Austin, Texas
Radio: BYU Radio (Greg Wrubell, Hans Olsen, Mitchell Juergens); Longhorn Radio Network (Craig Way, Roger Wallace, Will Matthews)
Records: BYU (5-2, 2-2); Texas (6-1, 3-1)
Rankings: BYU not ranked; Texas ranked No. 7 (AP)
Series History: BYU leads, 4-1-0
Last Meeting: BYU 41, Texas 7 (2014)
Line: Texas (-17.5)
Fun Fact: BYU is one of the very few teams that has given Texas problems historically, with the Longhorns’ only victory coming in 2011, a 17-16 victory in Austin. The average score when these two meet up has been 33.2-13.6 in BYU’s favor.
QB Kedon Slovis
The vast majority of BYU’s offensive success has come via Kedon Slovis’ arm in 2023. Through seven games, Slovis is completing 56.6% of his passes for 1,519 yards and 12 touchdowns with four interceptions. Last week, the Cougars found a running game against Texas Tech, leading to one of Slovis’ more efficient games of the year, going 15-27 for 127 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions and just one sack.
The Cougars’ defense is coming off a dominant performance against Texas Tech after forcing five turnovers against the Red Raiders, including three interceptions from their secondary. Eddie Heckard, Jakob Robinson, and Ethan Slade each had one interception a piece and combined for 92 yards in returns off of those picks. With Quinn Ewers out this week, the BYU secondary will play a role.
QB Maalik Murphy
It appears that Texas will be without their starting quarterback for at least the next couple of games after Ewers suffered a Grade 2 sprain with his AC joint. In his stead, Maalik Murphy is expected to step in and make his first career start for the Longhorns. After an impressive showing in the spring, Murphy has all the upside in the world and could actually elevate the offense with his threat as a runner. Seeing how he looks in the spotlight will be interesting though, as you just never know until you see it.
LB Anthony Hill Jr.
This is going to be a week where the Texas pass rushers have a chance to get after the opposing quarterback as BYU enters the game as one of the worst rushing offenses in the country. That means the edge rushers can be turned loose and it could lead to a big game for true freshman Anthony Hill Jr. A former five-star recruit, Hill co-leads Texas with three sacks on the year and should get a chance to build on that this week.
The Cougars will come into this game with some confidence, which says a lot considering what we saw the last time they came to the Lone Star State to play a football game. Confidence can do a ton for a team, and coming into DKR with a good feeling about their ability to have success. However, Texas represents the biggest challenge BYU has faced to this point in the year, and things could go south quickly if they don’t get off to a hot start.
What does Maalik Murphy look like in his first start? There’s no shortage of talent in the Texas quarterback room, but the experience is minimal, as nobody has started a game under center outside of Quinn Ewers. Murphy is a special athlete who has an absolute cannon for an arm and is a legitimate threat as a runner. However, being a successful quarterback at the FBS level is more than being an athlete, it’s being able to command an offense. Can Murphy run Steve Sarkisian’s scheme at full throttle, or is the playbook limited under the new guy?
PREDICTION: Texas 38, BYU 13
Texas is coming into this game after squeaking out a win over Houston and losing its starting quarterback in the process. While that might look like good news for the Cougars, I think it’s actually the exact opposite. After their performance last week, I think the Longhorns’ return home is going to pay off. I expect a couple of flash plays from Maalik Murphy that make folks wonder if Ewers will get his job back. While it’ll be too early for that to be a legitimate question, I do think Murphy and the UT offense have a good day, while the Texas defense makes life tough on the Cougars. Give me Texas to win and cover.