3 reasons BYU could be in for a letdown against Houston

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Fua, starting outside linebacker for BYU, celebrates with teammates during BYU's narrow victory over Houston in 2013. (Photo courtesy BYU Photo)

Fua, starting outside linebacker for BYU, celebrates with teammates during BYU’s narrow victory over Houston in 2013. (Photo courtesy BYU Photo)

Most Cougar fans are probably still basking in the afterglow of BYU’s epic beat down of Texas for the second year in a row, but just how long will that joy last? If history bears itself out, not much longer.

Below are three reasons the Cougars could be in for a letdown this week against Houston.

1. Third time’s not a charm

Despite all of the success Bronco has achieved at BYU, his teams have often struggled out of the gate — most notably in the third game of the season where he has compiled a 1–8 record.

The games have run the gamut from heartbreakers against TCU, Boston College and Tulsa, to blowouts against Florida State, and most recently losses the past three seasons against Utah.

2. Houston, we have a problem

Luckily, the Cougars won’t be facing the Utes this season, but a victory against Houston isn’t a foregone conclusion.

Last year, BYU was lucky to escape Reliant Stadium with a win, needing a 28-yard touchdown strike from Taysom Hill to Skyler Ridley with just under 2 minutes to go to seal the one-point victory over the Cougars in red.

Houston returns starting QB John O’Korn, who despite throwing for three interceptions last year against BYU, still managed 363 yards and three scores.

The good news for BYU is that O’Korn and the Houston offense struggled early this season, losing to University of Texas-San Antonio in its opener before recovering with a blowout victory against Grambling.

3. Too much, too soon

The last time BYU opened the season with two victories on the road was 2009, when the Cougars went into Jerry World and beat Oklahoma and then followed it up with a win against Tulane.

That year BYU came into its home opener with a lot of hype and hope for a special season, but that hope was quickly dashed when Florida State came to town and capitalized on five Cougar turnovers to earn a 54–28 victory.

It will be interesting to see how this year’s team responds to success. It is a small sample size, but they seem to be more prepared and focused than in years past. The offense already seems to be in midseason form and the defense, despite the loss of several starters and key contributors from last year, has been solid.

But we still don’t know how this team will react when the chips are down. Even though the offense sputtered somewhat in the first half against Texas, the team has yet to trail this season. Will they founder like in years past or show resolve like they did in eking out a victory against Houston last year. My guess is the latter rather than the former, but only time will tell.

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Jon Eyre has worked in marketing communications at a number of high tech companies in Utah Valley for the past nine years. He is a 2003 graduate of BYU, and worked as a graduate assistant for the school's Sports Information Department for the 2003 and 2004 football seasons. When he isn't working, Jon spends his time scouring the internet searching for obscure indie bands, trying to decipher the meaning of Lost, or hanging out with his wife and three children.

3 Comments

  1. AvatarBob Webster Reply

    Thank you John, for an honest view of Houston. They are dangerous, and could very well pop BYU’s victory bubble! Thursday is desperation time – not homecoming hype hysteria. They are from Texas, and deserve the same as TX received. Play like it from the kickoff ! The 1st Qtr is NOT a warm up period.

    BYU did NOT play dominating ball in the 1st half @ TX! We had one exceptional 3rd quarter – that’s all. Both UCONN & TX stuffed our dive plays; the O-Line is NOT yet dominating. Hill is getting sacked. Our deep backs have been vulnerable to the bomb in both games. And Houston has a Bomber QB!

    BYU Bob
    Pleasant Grove, UT.

  2. AvatarDennis Bean Reply

    Yes John, your right. It is lucky that the Cougars don’t play the Utes this year. Lucky for the Yewts. Lucky that they won’t have Taysom’s cleat marks on their backs and won’t have to stop his passing or the retooled Cougar O-Line and bevy of good WR’s. Yes the PAC 12th is very fortunate for that I agree with you that is lucky.

    Honestly, your article is a joke. I didn’t even finish reading it because the first two reasons you listed for a letdown were really lame. BYU will have some tough games this year, but this will not be one of them. Houston was completely destroyed by a UTSA team in week one that lost to an average Arizona team in week two. Beating up on D2 or D3 Grambling says nothing for your program. No you are wrong there John. BYU will win this one going away. Houston will find out that the going against this group of Blue Cougar DBs is very difficult. With the depth therein it will be no problem at all to play a base nickel defense and shut down their passing attack and then they have nothing because they have no running game.

    Can’t wait till Thursday and you’ll see that you have no basis for this article you wrote. Utah has a much more probable chance of losing to Michigan than BYU does to Houston. But with that said I think they both will win this week. But if Utah loses to Michigan, since they chickened out of the BYU games for the next two years, it will be just fine with me.

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