Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on ABC.
“I’m excited and I feel like the vibe of the team is everyone is really excited playing a big-time team like Texas,” said BYU offensive lineman Paul Maile. “As a blue blood, they’re usually always really good so we’re going in there with a chip on our shoulder.”
Ahead of the showdown, here are three things fans should be aware of:
Both BYU and Texas picked up bounce-back victories during week eight of the NCAA football season.
“I said this postgame last week on Saturday night, that there’s still room for improvement,” said BYU head coach Kalani Sitake during his weekly press conference. “But the thing that I am really thankful for is that we play with high effort, high energy, a lot of that came from the fans and we are going on the road now so, we have to generate that ourselves and try to try to do something that a lot a lot of teams can’t do and go into a very hostile environment with a fantastic fan base.”
“We can win games a lot of different ways,” said Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian in his weekly press conference. “We are not one dimensional. When one thing does not work, what do you do next? Whether that is offense, defense or special teams, and I thought this game definitely showed that. Our versatility really shone through.”
The major question centered on Saturday’s game lies behind center for the Longhorns after it was announced that starting quarterback Quinn Ewers suffered a sprained AC joint after taking a hit against Houston.
During his press conference on Monday, Sarkisian announced that redshirt freshman Maalik Murphy was in line to start at quarterback on Saturday, while also mentioning that five-star freshman sensation Arch Manning is an option.
“Malik is a natural passer,” Sarkisian said. “When he throws the ball, he throws a very beautiful ball. And I think that there’s not a throw that he can’t make … I have a ton of confidence in Arch. I think a couple of weeks ago, he had a fantastic practice. And so, I am really encouraged by that.”
For BYU, the questions come down to finding more offensive consistency. The Cougars gained 199 yards of offense in the first half against Texas Tech and 78 yards in the second half.
“Well, I think when you talk about inconsistencies they are all over the place,” Sitake said. “They just happen to be a little bit more on the offensive side. I think a lot of people want to look at it as a one-person problem or a one-position group problem. It’s an 11-man problem, and probably extends even further into that when you’re looking at the preparation, the depth that we have and the guys that we use in the rotation. So, the executions got to happen in practice, and then when we can get that execution happening in practice, we need to put it in the game.”
Old faces in new places
When the two teams face off on Saturday, it will be a battle of friends.
Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian and Sitake are old friends. Their friendship dates back to when the two of them met when Sarkisian came to BYU on a recruiting visit.
Sarkisian is a former starting quarterback at BYU. Sarkisian played two years with the Cougars in 1995 and 1996. In 1996, Sarkisian led the Cougars to a Cotton Bowl victory and helped them end the season ranked No. 5 in the nation.
“Throughout our coaching careers, he’s always been a guy that I can turn to and we keep in touch quite often,” Sitake said. “… I’m looking forward to seeing him on the field and seeing these teams compete against each other.”