PROVO — For the second time in as many weeks, severe weather played a major role in a BYU game.
About an hour before kickoff Saturday afternoon at LaVell Edwards Stadium, a massive storm featuring gale-force winds and black clouds rolled into Utah County, dropping sheets of rain and forcing both teams to the locker rooms. Fans sought shelter under the stands at Edwards Stadium.
As a result of the bad weather, the game was delayed for 1 hour, 52 minutes. Instead of kicking off at 5 p.m., the contest started at 6:52 p.m.
Last week, the Cougars’ season opener at Virginia was delayed 2 hours, 9 minutes due to a lightning warning at the end of the first quarter, forcing the evacuation of Scott Stadium.
When the game resumed, a deluge of rain continued to fall down, creating sloppy, swamp-like conditions.
The good news for BYU is, there’s no way Mother Nature will interfere next Saturday. The Cougars have a bye week.
CHANGING OF THE GUARD: BYU offensive coordinator Robert Anae announced early in the week that there would be changes on the offensive line.
Anae said left tackle Ryker Mathews would not start at that position against Texas, and that, instead, Michael Yeck would protect quarterback Taysom Hill’s blind side.
And that’s what happened.
But in a somewhat surprising move, Mathews started the game at right tackle. The Cougars’ other starters on the line were Brock Stringham (right tackle), Manaaki Vaitai (left guard), and Nick Alletto (center).
The Cougars did rotate linemen during the game, as true freshman Brayden Kearsley also saw his first collegiate action at right guard.
The changes clearly paid big dividends, as BYU rushed for 349 yards in the first half, and set a single-game rushing record. Going into the fourth quarter, the Cougars ran for 485 yards, breaking the previous record of 465 set against Montana in 1958.
FLAG BEARERS: Former BYU linebacker Danny Frazier (1978-79) carried out the alumni flag, safety Craig Bills carried the team flag and linebacker Jherremya Leuta-Douyere carried the special teams flag.
INJURY UPDATE: BYU senior wide receiver Cody Hoffman, who was sidelined for the Virginia game due to a hamstring injury, started against Texas. He had his first reception of the season, a 32-yarder down the sideline, in the first half.
Linebacker Uani Unga played significant snaps despite having suffered a chest and rib injury at Virginia.
Texas running back/wide receiver Daje Johnson suffered an ankle injury. He did not return to the game.