I am a BYU Alum living in Austin. My wife and daughter are alums, yet my oldest son and his wife, my daughter's husband, my youngest son and his girlfriend either graduated or are currently at UT. Saturday night was interesting at my house, to say the least.
I get to about 3-4 UT games a year. I love everything about the Longhorns, but I clearly bleed Cougar blue. My take on Saturday's game is like this. If you dressed all the Y and UT players in sweats and picked them for a team like on a playground (which is a lot like what the NFL does), 80% of the players picked would be Longhorns. Sure BYU has some pro players like Van Noy and Hoffman, maybe a lineman or two, but UT is awash in superb athletic talent.
My son and his wife flew to Provo for the game wearing their burnt orange and sat in the Texas section. They could not believed what they witnessed. The BYU players according to my son, were in a word...mean. Aggressive, Nasty. I saw it myself on TV. I kept expecting personal fouls to be called on just about every play. Van Noy said in a quote yesterday how much fun he had beating up on Ash. He said, " I loved hitting him. Making him run. Watching him get hit hard by someone else if I couldn't get him. There's just nothing better."
And that my fellow Longhorn friends, is due to coaching. Pure and simple. I always get amused when during after game interviews, the very polite clean cut former Mormon missionaries appear looking for all the world like a massive version of your paper boy. There not perfect guys by any stretch, but these guys are not natural gangster thugs who are just a fly pattern short of the slammer. Over half are married with children for crying out loud.
And they beat up the best athletic talent in the country like a red-headed step child. And enjoyed inflicting it. That tone is set by Bronco Mendenhall. He demands 120% effort and tolerates 0% screw ups and screw offs, from players or coaches. Everyone is held immediately accountable. He fired one of the best QB's in BYU history last year from the OC position because he didn't get the job done. He demands all this because he knows he has less pure athletic talent than just about every other BCS level team they will face. And makes up for it with execution excellence and absolute accountability.
That is sorely missing from the Longhorn program. Don't give 100% on every play? Lose your job. Immediately. If there's not 5-6 D players in on run tackle then your not giving 100% and everyone on the damn team has to run sprints because of it. That's accountability.
When the Longhorns find that again, they will win virtually every game every year. Without it, all the fantastic athletic talent is just wasted.