Texas vs. BYU: Longhorns Defense Once Again Gets Bullied

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Texas vs. BYU: Longhorns Defense Once Again Gets Bullied
Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

A torrential downpour and lightning delayed the start of Saturday's game between BYU and Texas for nearly two hours. But only when the rain let up, did the deluge really begin. 

Led by quarterback Taysom Hill, BYU ran berserk over Texas with 550 yards on the ground against the 'Horns in a 40-21 upset. 

For those wondering, yes, that's a school record. For both sides. 

The Cougars were relentless by running 99 plays against the Longhorns, 72 of which were on the ground. Hill led everyone with 259 yards rushing with three touchdowns and several long breakaway runs. 

Not bad for a guy just a year removed from a season-ending knee injury. And Texas was utterly helpless trying to stop him. 

The stats were startling. Texas' tackling and play at the line of scrimmage were even more so. Many of the issues that plagued the Longhorns last year on defense popped right back up Saturday night.

What did Mack Brown think of it all? Well, he didn't want to talk about it, per Geoff Ketchum of Orangebloods.com.  

But he's going to have to answer for it sooner or later. That sound of teeth gnashing in Austin isn't from Bevo, it's from Longhorns fans questioning how much longer defensive coordinator Manny Diaz should be employed—and probably how much longer Brown should be too. Though UT's defense was considered talented on the individual level, last year's squad finished as the worst statistically in the history of the program.  

With the return of defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat and linebacker Jordan Hicks, the preseason expectations for this unit were high. But, once again, the Longhorns got pushed around without giving so much as a push back. 

The missed tackles in the open field. The bad angles. No push up front. They were familiar problems. 

Questions about this program's toughness under Brown will continue to circulate radio shows, message boards and blogs like these until Texas proves otherwise. Brown's not one for rash decisions, so it would be nothing short of shocking if a major shake-up were announced during Monday's Big 12 teleconference. 

It was, after all, one bad game. But boy was it bad. 

In that regard, the focus on Diaz is warranted. Defense has been a liability oftentimes for UT the past couple of years. If it doesn't show significant improvement this season, a decision about Diaz's future won't be so rash come December.  

Ben Kercheval is the lead writer for Big 12 football. You can follow Ben on Twitter @BenKercheval

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