The Good & the Bad from BYU-Houston

Casey Lundquist

BYU outscored Houston 22-0 in the fourth quarter to improve to 5-0 on the season. BYU's coaching staff deserves a lot of credit for making the necessary adjustments throughout the game. Here is the good and the bad from BYU's victory over Houston.

The good

After allowing Houston to march down the field on the first drive of the game, the BYU defense held Houston to a field goal led by a TFL from Gabe Summers. For a game that was close in the fourth quarter, that was a big moment early in the game.

First offensive play of the game is a 78 yard touchdown pass to Dax Milne. What's not to like?

BYU's defense responded on the second drive of the game with a quick three-and-out on the second drive of the game.

Another quick TD drive from BYU's offense on the second drive of the game. Zach Wilson with a nice run to cross midfield. A trick play to Isaac Rex on the next play was executed to perfection and put BYU in the redzone. 

Houston was driving when a TFL by Max Tooley on third down set up a fourth down for Houston. Houston's first down conversion on the next play was called back by 

BYU had 178 yards in the first quarter alone. For reference, Houston allowed 211 yards last week against Tulane.

BYU's defense made adjustments at halftime after allowing 17 Houston points in the second quarter. Isaiah Kaufusi got home with the blitz off the edge early in the third quarter with a nice strip sack. Tune recovered his own fumble on the play. That play exemplified a few of the schematic changes that BYU made in the second half.

BYU was on the ropes in the second half down by two possessions - a quick TD drive put BYU back in the game. The touchdown was set up by a beautiful pass downfield from Zach Wilson to Dax Milne. Notice the Dax Milne theme? That won't be the last time you hear Dax Milne's name.

BYU executed one of the most beautiful onside kicks I've ever seen. Jake Oldroyd chipped the ball 11 yards downfield to Talmage Gunther.

Although BYU didn't capitalize on the recovered onside kick, a beautiful punt by Ryan Rehkow pinned the red Cougars inside their own 10 yard line. BYU's defense would go on to force a Houston punt.

Zach Wilson executes a beautiful shovel pass to Masen Wake inside the 10-yard line for a touchdown. The Kansas City Chiefs ran that play to perfection a few weeks ago.

On the next possession, a stunt from BYU's defensive line turned into a huge sack on third and long giving BYU the ball back midway through the fourth quarter. That stunt was executed to perfection and Zac Dawe came up with a game-changing sack.

Chris Wilcox deserves a shoutout. He played shutdown man defense in the fourth quarter.

BYU made the necessary adjustments on both sides of the ball in the second half. Both the coaching staff and the players deserve credit.

George Udo made one of the most important defensive plays of the game. Tune scrambled to his right with grass in front of him but Udo used his speed to catch Tune behind the line of scrimmage. That tackle created a long third down and an eventual punt.

I really liked the play calling late in the fourth. BYU could have gone conservative when they had a three point lead, but Coach Grimes let Zach Wilson throw and it paid off. Zach Wilson threw an excellent ball in the corner of the endzone to Dax Milne to put BYU up by two possessions.

Again, BYU deserves so much credit for making necessary adjustments in the second half. BYU improved to 4-0 for the first time since 2008. 

What other plays impressed you on Friday night?

The bad

BYU's defense was gashed in the passing game in the first half.

BYU struggled to stop the run in the second quarter which set up the play-action pass. Houston scored 17 points in the second quarter.

Like last week, BYU gave Houston a free play after Tyler Batty jumped offsides. Houston took advantage and completed a deep throw downfield.

BYU did not mix up looks on defense in the first half making life way too easy for the Houston offense.

Like we saw against UTSA, penalties stalled a few of BYU's drives. 

I liked the call to go for it on fourth down deep in Houston's territory. However, I didn't like BYU's play calling in short-yardage situations. I would like to see a bootleg or even a speed option that Houston struggled to defend in the first half.

The referees really slowed down the game with lengthy reviews. 

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Comments (9)
No. 1-6

A Black Houston player after the game spits on a white BYU player when they are going off the field. If it had been the other way around, there would have been a riot. I feel the Houston coach should discipline his player with at least a one game suspension, if not more games. What's your take?


After the game was over and the players were paying respect to the other team, a black Houston player spit on a white BYU player. If it had been the opposite scenario there would have been a riot. What has the Houston coach done to the Houston player? My thought is he should be suspended. What's your take?

Casey Lundquist
Casey Lundquist


I thought it could have gone either way. In my opinion, unless it's clearly targeting, I don't think the player should be ejected. I didn't think it was clear enough to warrant a targeting call and it took way too long to sort out.

It was kind of an ironic scenario that the guy who intentionally headbutted could stay in the game...but that's what the rules state. I just disagree with the rules.


Having spent to much time on above, I think the biggest goods from that game were the fight BYU showed to get back in it and the adjustments the coaches made. I felt last year that 1/2 time was not our friend. The other teams’ coaches made adjustments and we never did. This time we brought more pressure, ran some games on the defensive line, our coverage was changed up, some changes in run defense as we suddenly shut down the guy we couldn’t bring down for most of the game. On offense they moved to more wide receiver screens and things like that to let the ball carrier pick up yards after the catch instead of having Zach always looking downfield


What is your take on the targeting play? I saw Harper come up aggressively to make a stop , he lead with his inside shoulder but because the runner was moving laterally ( he is fast) the runner essentially ran into his helmet. Meanwhile the runner well after the play intentionally head butts Micah. That head butt probably doesn’t hurt anyone but clearly risked causing a brawl. I don’t see the justice of the ruling that instead of 3rd and long ( even without the personal foul on them) it ends up being 1st and 10 for them with Harper ejected.