TEXAS AT BYU: FIVE QUESTIONS
1. WILL JOHNATHAN GRAY TRIPLE HIS FIRST-GAME YARDS?
Texas’ sophomore running back’s bid to become the first 1,000-yard rusher since Jamaal Charles (2007) didn’t get off to the start everyone expected in the opener. Gray ran for only 28 yards on just six carries. The Longhorns rushed for 359 yards vs. New Mexico State, but Gray’s role was minimal.
2. WILL DAVID ASH STAY SACK-FREE FOR THE SECOND STRAIGHT GAME?
Against New Mexico State, Ash wasn’t sacked and was rarely pressured. But Texas’ line faces a tougher challenge against BYU. The Cougars didn’t record a sack in their loss at Virginia, but it’s tough to garner much from that because of the quagmire in which that storm-delayed game was played. The guy to watch is Kyle Van Noy, the All-American linebacker who notched 13 of BYU’s 34 sacks in 2012.
3. WILL TEXAS CONTAIN BYU’S JAMAAL WILLIAMS?
Last year, six different players rushed for at least 100 yards against Texas. New Mexico State’s Germi Morrison managed only 25, but BYU’s Williams has the potential to be the first to reach 100 against Texas this season. The 200-pound sophomore, who rushed for a BYU freshman-record 755 yards last year, opened with 144 at Virginia.
4. WILL THE HORNS AVOID THE TURNOVER BUG?
Texas had three giveaways in its opener, all in the first half — a fumble by receiver Mike Davis and two interceptions by Ash. Those miscues not only led to the Aggies’ lone score, but also factored into Texas’ slow start. Against outmanned New Mexico State, that merely delayed the inevitable, but the Longhorns — who were even in turnover margin, forcing three themselves — know that similar generosity from now on could be disastrous.
5. WILL DAJE JOHNSON GET EVEN MORE TOUCHES?
The electrifying sophomore averaged only 3.5 touches per game last year. In the opener, he got the ball 10 times — 6 rushes for 62 yards (including a 24-yard TD), 3 catches for 67 yards (including a 66-yard TD) and 1 punt return for 10 yards. He might wind up getting more chances on punt/kick returns against BYU.
— Randy Riggs