College Football Picks: Texas vs. BYU

Doug Upstone

Thursday, September 5, 2013 6:18 PM UTC

Thursday, Sep. 5, 2013 6:18 PM UTC

The Texas Longhorns will get a shot at taking down the Brigham Young Cougars. Let's have a look at these two teams and how they matchup for our college football betting.

Texas scored 56 points in just over 30 minutes and racked up a school-record 715 total yards of offense against New Mexico State last week. Chances are BYU at home will not make life so easy for the Longhorns. This fact should be considered when entering your college football picks.

After three undistinguished seasons, head coach Mack Brown believes Texas is back on track to be a Big 12 champion again. Brown’s Longhorns had 10 or more wins from 2001-09 and ended recruiting players who thought putting on the burnt orange jersey would be good enough and the program suffered with its only losing season under Brown in 2010 at 5-7. 

Coach Mack altered the coaching staff and started finding hungrier players who had a desire to work hard and wanted to win. The 17-9 record the past two years is an improvement, but the upperclassmen have dealt with all the criticism and are prepared for success. "The guys are older now. We've been in that situation ... and we've failed before," starting quarterback David Ash said. "So much of football is about morale and believing."

This confidence began to show up late last season for Ash and he has taken the reigns as the leader of the Horns. Now they have to prove what they have learned in a rugged environment.

Independence not what it was cracked up to be for BYU

When BYU left the Mountain West Conference and tinkered with the idea of moving to other conferences like the Pac-10 at the time, they thought they had the world by the tail. Fast forward two years and the Cougars barely make a bleep on the national scale.

BYU is not a national program and when you lose at places like Virginia as a three-point favorite, despite having seven more first downs and outgaining the Cavaliers by 139 yards, nobody notices.

The Cougars are putting in a new spread offense under offensive coordinator Robert Anae and sophomore quarterback Taysom Hill was a miserable 13-40 passing in the opener. The weather conditions were not ideal, however, Hill over and under threw receivers repeatedly. 

The one offensive bright spot was running back Jamaal Williams, who gained 144 yards on 33 carries. 

Betting News on This Encounter

Texas opened as a 5.5-point NCAAF odds favorite and has been bumped up to 7.5 at most wagering outlets, with a total of 55. These teams met two years ago in Austin, with the Longhorns winning 17-16 as 7.5-point home favorites.

Insiders Look

Texas has a decided speed edge across the field in this contest. The Horns are explosive offensively and Ash needs to deliver the ball on time. The game plan has to involve creating favorable matchups to exploit the quickness edges.

Texas is 11-6 ATS as away favorites since 2008 and has won 11 straight non-conference road games (7-4 ATS); last losing to Stanford 13 years ago. 

If teams make their biggest improvement from Week 1 to Week 2, this would be great timing for BYU. Hill has to be on target to keep the Texas defense off balance, because assuredly, the Horns defense will be looking to take away the run first. BYU cannot go 7-for-23 on third down again and hope to win.

Since coach Bronco Menendall’s second year in Provo, the Cougars have not surrendered more than 22 points a game on a season and are led by LB Jeff Van Noy. What BYU has to avoid are the big plays and make Texas go the length of the field continually. BYU is 10-1 ATS off a road loss by three or less.


Selection Time

While it is certainly tempting to take a home underdog for our sports picks, who are 38-5 SU at home since 2006 and 17-9 ATS off a loss, the BYU offense is in a state of flux and Texas knows how to win on the road under coach Brown.

Free College Football Pick- Texas -7.5 Bet365

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