PROVO, Utah (AP) — Texas gave the perfect lesson on how not to play run defense.
The 15th-ranked Longhorns missed tackles, missed defensive assignments and allowed BYU to run the ball up and down the field at will. In the end, it added up to a school-record 550 rushing yards for the Cougars and a 40-21 loss for Texas on Saturday night.
"We didn't get done what we needed to do on either side of the ball," Texas coach Mack Brown said.
Taysom Hill took the lead in running through the Longhorns' defensive line for four quarters. He finished with 259 yards rushing — the second-most in school history — and three touchdowns on just 17 carries, guiding the team's new read-option offense to break a team rushing record that had stood for 55 years.
The elusive Hill scored on runs of 68, 20 and 26 yards. His 68-yard scamper was the longest ever by a Cougars QB, surpassing other distinguished BYU luminaries such as Jim McMahon and Steve Young.
Hill's total was also the highest by a QB since former Texas great Vince Young had 267 in 2005.
"We expected to run on them," Hill said. "We didn't expect to break the school record. But, hey, it was working and we were able to move the ball efficiently on the ground. There was no need to go away from it, so we didn't. This was the result."
Hill even came close to breaking BYU's single-game rushing record of 272 yards, a mark set by quarterback Eldon Fortie in 1962. He thinks he could've, too, but coach Bronco Mendenhall told him to take it easy on BYU's final drive of the game, not risk any sort of injury. Following orders, Hill slid down when defenders got close to him.
"There at the end, there was some opportunities where I could have pulled it and ran," Hill said. "But there was no need. I'm not trying to pad a stat. The only stat I'm trying to get is a win and we got it."
Jamaal Williams had a career-high 182 yards and Paul Lasike added 87 along with a score.
Things turned sour for the Longhorns when a roughing the kicker penalty gave BYU new life in the second quarter. The Cougars trailed 14-10 after a short TD run by Joe Bergeron and Texas stopped the Cougars on the ensuing drive. But a couple of Longhorn players ran into Scott Arellano on the punt and gave BYU a first down.
The Cougars cashed in on the mistake, taking the lead for good on a 20 yard TD run from Hill that made it 17-14 with 7:48 left before halftime.
Brown felt his team lost momentum on more than that play alone.
"They moved it on the first drive," Brown said. "I don't think one play can make a difference in the ball game. You got to be able to stop them after that. Give them credit. They took the momentum from us, kept it and we couldn't get it back."