No. 7 Texas (7-1, 4-1 Big 12) overpowered BYU (5-3, 2-3 Big 12) from start to finish as the Longhorns coasted to a 35-6 home victory over the Cougars Saturday afternoon at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
With the win, Texas picked up its second win over BYU in program history. The Cougars still lead the all-time series 4-2, including two blowout wins before Saturdays’ setback.
Texas redshirt freshman quarterback Maalik Murphy made his first start and threw for 170 yards and two touchdowns in his debut. Murphy replaced Quinn Ewers, who was sidelined with an injury to his throwing shoulder sustained in last week’s win over Houston. The game marked BYU’s third consecutive time facing a backup quarterback.
Murphy had a few shaky moments in the first half with an interception and lost fumble. But before the half was finished, he connected with Adonai Mitchell on a 30-yard touchdown pass, to give the Longhorns’ all the points they really needed since the Cougars struggled to move the ball once again.
BYU quarterback Kedon Slovis completed 24-of-39 passes for 197 yards with two interceptions. Aidan Robbins led BYU on the ground with 17 carries for 56 yards, while Darius Lassiter posted a team-high five receptions for 75 yards.
Despite the offensive struggles, BYU’s defense showed a lot of fight, posting seven tackles-for-loss, forcing two turnovers of its own, two fourth-down stops while stuffing the Longhorns on two trips inside the 10 yard-line.
Safety Crew Wakley led BYU with nine tackles, including 1.5 tackles-for-loss, a pass breakup and an interception. True freshman Siale Esera notched a career-high eight tackles, including one for loss. AJ Vongphachanh and Blake Mangelson were next on the team with seven tackles a-piece.
While the loss stings for Cougar fans, many were glad the loss at least came against a former BYU player. Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian not only played at BYU, but was part of a rich quarterback tradition the Cougars had in the 80s and 90s. Sarkisian was named an All-American and led the Cougars to an NCAA-record 14 wins, including a Cotton Bowl victory and No. 5 ranking to finish the 1996 season.
Here’s how fans and the media reacted after the game:
a couple of Cougs🤙 pic.twitter.com/FNO3h1QBH4
— BYU FOOTBALL (@BYUfootball) October 28, 2023
The only solace I have for this game is losing to Sark.
— Beards and (0%) Beers (@washboard4) October 28, 2023
BYU’s defense gave them every chance to be in this game.
They played their BUTTS off in this game.
— Hans Olsen (@975Hans) October 28, 2023
BYU’s defense did MORE than enough to give the Cougars a chance to win this game in Austin. Tough reality.#BYUSN
— Spencer Linton (@Spencer_Linton) October 28, 2023
Put this man in the white house. Just created world peace 🤣
— Ethan Nielson (@ElectricMeyhem) October 28, 2023
BYU fans: At least Utah is losing.
Utah fans: At least BYU is losing.
— LJ ⛳ (@LJLewis_11) October 28, 2023
BYU is the best catch university in the world! pic.twitter.com/x5iikuThaj
— 🍍Andy Splatz🍍 (@AndySplatz) October 28, 2023
Darius Lassiter is absurd pic.twitter.com/Jsr7iI7bln
— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) October 28, 2023
Gotta tip your hat to Darius Lassiter, Texas fans. What a catch in double coverage by the BYU senior receiver. #HookEm
— Danny Davis (@_dannydavis) October 28, 2023
I was sitting their saying Holy shit their is so much Blue in the stands……. It didn't matter when it was all said and done Hook'Em
— HairyOrangeWookie (@BrandinOfferman) October 29, 2023
Thought it was cool their team ran out with a Texas flag
— Nate Gunderson (@GundersonNathan) October 29, 2023
They stayed til the end too. Had some great conversations with them. One guy came dressed aS Taysom Hill for his Halloween costume-pretty funny.
— Dr. Van Nostrim (@jafwolf) October 29, 2023
— DeMarvion Overshown (@AGENT0__) October 28, 2023
Coach Sarkisian spent over 2 minutes praising Maalik Murphy for not transferring despite Quinn & Arch's commitments to #Texas
"I want to be candid on this, he didn't stay because of NIL…he stayed because he wanted to be a part of this team and he just wanted to make sure that… pic.twitter.com/AsHBEmChwT
— Cory Mose (@Cory_Mose) October 29, 2023
Maalik Murphy is gonna surprise a lot of people today 👀
— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) October 28, 2023
Exact same play that Quinn hit on in the bama game pic.twitter.com/Yw0KkNg6tT
— THE EYES OF TEXAS 🤘🏻 (@KyleHibberts6k) October 29, 2023
Maalik Murphy interacting with the fans after the 35-6 win over BYU! pic.twitter.com/Nvkt1cB3TU
— Hook'em Headlines (@HookemHeadlines) October 28, 2023
Will BYU consider playing backup QB Jake Retzlaff at some point next week if the Cougar Offense continues to struggle?
— Jarom Jordan (@jaromjordan) October 28, 2023
It’s not all on Slovis. O-line and run game make it hard for any QB.
Get to 6 for the bowl, then give the other two a shot to see if one could compete for it next year or not.
— Joe Nabrotzky (@JoeNabrotzky) October 29, 2023
#BYU head coach Kalani Sitake when asked if he and the coaches discussed a QB change for a “spark” against Texas.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) October 29, 2023
The BYU defense holding Texas to 354 total yards and forcing 2 TO’s on downs was shocking. They did their part. Offense put them in brutal spots all day.
Give the defense their flowers though.. They played good enough to win. https://t.co/QZvUH83Fwr
— Terrell Williams (@4Wade2021) October 29, 2023
Lot of blue amongst the burnt orange here in Austin! pic.twitter.com/dlpmiWEZNm
— Hans Olsen (@975Hans) October 28, 2023
Y’all showed up BIG today and every single BYU fan was so friendly and kind. 🙏🏻 up for all fans/players returning home safely. 💙🤘🏻
— WendyKJ 🤘🏻🧡 🏴☠️ (@WendyKJ) October 29, 2023