Texas and BYU will meet for only the fourth time when they meet in Provo on Saturday. What happened the last time they played?
Texas 17, BYU 16 — Sept. 10, 2011.
The Longhorns pulled out a pivotal game at Royal-Memorial Stadium in what turned out to be a pivotal game of the post-apocalypse era of Mack Brown’s tenure as coach.
That was the game in which Garrett Gilbert — the Next Big Thing at quarterback when he arrived at Texas in 2009 — lost his starting job.
Gilbert had thrown 17 interceptions against 10 touchdowns in 2010, but won a four-man competition for the starting job in 2011 and kept it after Texas’ 34-9 victory over Rice in the season opener.
A week later, though, Gilbert completed two of his first eight passes, was intercepted twice and then was booed by fans at DKR. He was replaced in the second quarter.
Texas, trailing 13-3 at halftime, was rallied to victory by then-sophomore Case McCoy and then-freshman David Ash. The two backups sometimes rotated snaps that night. McCoy took most of them on the drive to the winning touchdown.
McCoy twice hit Jaxon Shipley for big gains before Cody Johnson scored his second touchdown of the night, a 4-yard run with less than nine minutes to go. He also had scored on a 1-yard run in the third quarter.
BYU’s Jake Heaps threw for 192 yards and a touchdown, but was intercepted twice — by Adrian Phillips and Quandre Diggs — and Texas held the Cougars to field goals of 30, 33 and 32 yards.
Both of the starters that night are still playing. Just not for their original teams. Heaps is now at Kansas. Gilbert’s at SMU, having never returned to the field for the Longhorns after leaving it that night against BYU.
Mack, on leadership: Only two freshmen played in the opener — offensive lineman Kent Perkins and wide receiver Jacorey Warrick. Sixteen first-year freshmen played last season, two fewer than 2011.
Longhorns coach Mack Brown was asked about the difference having a veteran lineup makes.
“The biggest change is we have leadership now that we don’t have to develop,” Brown said. “We’ll continue to develop younger leaders, but we know who they are. We still need the enforcer-type guy to step up sometimes and be the Roy Miller, the Sergio Kindle or the Brian Orakpo to say, ‘Uh uh, we’re not doing this.’ But I’m starting to see that more out of guys like Jackson Jeffcoat.”
The phantom 18-yarder: Texas’ defense allowed only one run of more than nine yards against New Mexico State, a 15-yarder by quarterback Andrew McDonald on an apparent broken play late in the first quarter.
But when defensive coordinator Manny Diaz first looked at the post-game stats, he thought the Aggies had made an 18-yard run as well.
“I was so angry,” Diaz said. “I kept looking at the numbers. I said when did we give up an 18-yard run?”
Then he got his answer.
“It was a fake punt,” he said. “That was the longest run we gave up.”
Move over, Woody: A win over BYU would move Brown into a tie with former Ohio State coach Woody Hayes for 10th place on the all-time coaching victories list. Brown, who is 237-117-1 for his career, moved from 14th to 11th on the all-time list during the 2012 season, passing Michigan’s Bo Schembechler, Iowa’s Hayden Fry and Ohio State’s Jim Tressel along the way.
Hayes won 238 career games, including five national championships with the Buckeyes.
Brown likely will finish this season at No. 10 on the list — barring a 13-0 national championship run. Lou Holtz, with 249 wins, is No. 9 on the list, 12 more wins ahead of Brown.