New year, same Texas run defense

BYU QB Taysom Hill ran for 258 yards and three touchdowns on Saturday
BYU QB Taysom Hill ran for 258 yards and three touchdowns on Saturday. (USATSI)

It's becoming a bit of an annual tradition in college football. Every year is the year that the Texas Longhorns are finally going to get out of their recent funk and challenge for a Big 12 title and a national championship.

Well this year is not the year if Saturday night's loss to Brigham Young is any indication.

It turns out that it doesn't matter if you have 19 returning starters and this is your most experienced team. Apparently numbers like that are all good for preseason prognostications, but those numbers don't keep BYU from putting up some numbers of its own against you.

BYU completed only nine of its 27 pass attempts on Saturday night, but it turns out that doesn't matter if you rush for 550 yards. Yes, you read that right. The Cougars ran for 550 yards on 72 carries -- 7.6 yards per carry. When it was all said and done, the Cougars had 41 points and 681 yards of offense.

The most rushing yards the Longhorns had ever allowed in a game before Saturday night's loss was 452 yards against Rice in 1997.

Now, one loss doesn't exactly derail the Longhorns season. It's entirely possible that Texas could finish 11-1 and as Big 12 champions. But, after seeing Saturday night's performance, if BYU -- a team that could manage only 16 points against Virginia last week -- can rack up 41 points and nearly 700 yards of offense, what in the world is Baylor going to do against this Longhorns defense?

How about Oklahoma State, or Oklahoma?

If this was merely a one-game trend, it could be dismissed easier, but it's not. We can't forget that the Longhorns defense allowed 191.38 rushing yards per game and 4.62 yards per carry last season. Those numbers were respectively ranked 90th and 86th nationally last season.

After Saturday night's performance there isn't much reason to think things will change in 2013.

I guess there's always next year.

CBS Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at CBS Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

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