The Texas Longhorns will be out for revenge when they host the BYU Cougars after suffering an embarrassing 40-21 road loss against them last year during Mack Brown’s last year as head coach.
The Longhorns are hoping to prove they are a new team this year under Brown’s replacement Charlie Strong. They got off to a good start with a 38-7 win over North Texas in their season opener.
Point spread: The Longhorns opened as 4.5-point favorites; the total was at sitting around 47 at Memorial Stadium, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (line updates and matchup report).
Odds Shark computer prediction: 28.5-17.9 Longhorns
Why the BYU Cougars can cover the spread
If the Cougars run the ball like they did last year against Texas, they will not only cover the spread again but also pull off another upset. BYU had a school-record 550 rushing yards against the Longhorns, the most the proud school has ever allowed on the ground.
Quarterback Taysom Hill and running back Jamaal Williams did most of the damage with 441 yards between them to lead the Cougars, and the junior Hill is an even better passer now than he was when he faced Texas last year. Hill completed just nine of 26 passes for 129 yards with one interception and no touchdowns in the last meeting, but he is coming off a 308-yard, three-TD performance in a 35-10 rout of UConn last week.
He also ran for 97 yards and scored two TDs on the ground against the Huskies, proving he is one of the best dual-threat signal-callers in the country.
Why the Texas Longhorns can cover the spread
The Longhorns can’t play any worse than they did last year against BYU, and even then they were able to stay close during the first half before the Cougars literally ran away with the game. Texas trailed the Cougars 17-14 at halftime and already looked a lot better defensively last week under Strong in the win over the Mean Green.
The Longhorns picked off four passes, limited North Texas to only three completions on 17 pass attempts and held the opposition to 94 yards of total offense in the 38-7 rout. The Cougars will be a much tougher test, but they are 1-4 against the spread in their last five road games, while Texas is 5-1 straight up in its last six at home with a 4-2 mark ATS.
The loss to BYU last year was the beginning of the end for Brown in Austin even though his team did rebound with a six-game winning streak later in the season.
Surrendering 40 points or more in two of the Longhorns' first three games with the OVER cashing four times in the first five, including the loss to the Cougars, was enough to show the Texas faithful they needed a change.
The Longhorns have simply too much talent to play that poorly again defensively, and Strong looks to be the right man for the job so far.
Both teams like to run the ball, making for a low-scoring game, and the trends match that style perfectly. The UNDER is not only 5-0 in the last five games overall and at home for Texas but also 7-1 in the past eight road games for BYU.
- The total has gone UNDER in six of BYU's last seven games.
- Texas is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games.
Note: All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury updates and line move updates and get the free odds-tracker app.