1. WOULD JOHNATHAN GRAY TRIPLE HIS FIRST-GAME YARDS?
Gray started Texas’ season opener, but had only six carries for 28 yards. He had 13 carries for 90 yards against BYU, averaging 6.8 yards a carry. Thirty-seven of those 90 yards came on one run.
During the preseason, Gray said his goal was to become Texas’ first 1,000-yard rusher since 2007. He has 118 yards with 10 games to go.
The Longhorns’ running game experienced a dropoff from the opener. Malcolm Brown had only three carries. He had 15 yards, 9 of them coming on one play. Joe Bergeron had 3 yards on two carries, though one of them was a 2-yard touchdown that gave Texas the lead — briefly.
2. WOULD DAVID ASH STAY SACK-FREE AGAIN?
New Mexico State had 28 chances to sack him in the opener, but the Longhorns quarterback stayed clean. BYU, which didn’t record a sack in its opening loss at Virginia, got to Ash and Case McCoy four times — three sacks on Ash. As expected, BYU’s All-American linebacker Kyle Van Noy was a pass-rushing menace.
Ash was injured on a scramble. He was harried for much of the night by BYU’s pass rush.
3. WOULD TEXAS CONTAIN JAMAAL WILLIAMS?
BYU’s tailback, who put up 144 yards against Virginia in the opener, had a relatively quiet 182 yards against the Longhorns. We say relatively quiet because you had a quarterback going off for 259 yards on the same record-breaking night. Williams averaged 6.1 yards a carry.
4. WOULD THE HORNS AVOID THE TURNOVER BUG?
Texas had three turnovers in its opener and surely the Longhrons know they can’t do that against the tougher teams on the schedule. Last week, Ash had two first-half interceptions and Mike Davis fumbled. The Longhorns didn’t commit a turnover against BYU and took two away themselves.
5. WOULD DAJE JOHNSON GET MORE TOUCHES?
Johnson, who averaged 3.5 touches a game last year, finished with only 2. Two carries. For 4 yards. But he hurt his ankle on Texas’ first drive and never returned. Last week, he had 10 touches and was an impact player — six carries (62 yards, 1 TD), three catches (67 yards, 1 TD) and a punt return.
His injury status — he was seen with crutches and a walking boot after the game — will be a major storyline for the Longhorns this coming week.
— Richard Tijerina