So this is what it feels like. If I was a writer for an Alabama blog, I’d probably have as much fun writing every article for the last four years that I’ve had writing this one for BYU this week.
Saturday’s victory over Texas brought satisfaction to the soul. A perennial power opponent came into BYU and we stomped all over them. We expect such a performance on a weekly basis but are often left disappointed. Not since the Oklahoma game in 2009 has a victory left such a squeaky clean taste in my mouth. This recap won’t focus on stats or figures, at least in the boring sense, but will rather focus on the jubilation of achieving such a performance.
I’d been anticipating the Texas game pretty much since I boarded the plane to come back from Austin two years ago. There are a very few programs that have the tradition, aura, and are as awe-inspiring as Texas. Going into Austin with an identity-crisis struggling offense, BYU played well and should have come away with a victory instead of narrowly losing 17-16. No squeaky clean taste there. Just bitter grossness.
But redemption was so close I could smell it. Of all the games on the historic 2013 calendar, I had to make it to the Texas game. Circled it on the calendar early in the spring. I loaded up in the minivan last Thursday and made the drive from Phoenix and was nervous the whole way up. Can’t remember last time I was so nervous to watch a football game. Got to the game really early, as I love doing. There’s nothing better to me than having time to walk around a stadium for a few hours before going inside. Gameday is something special and almost sacred to me. I can taste it in the air. I can smell football in the air, and it’s not just the smell of Cougar Dogs and nasty Freschetta pizzas. The football smell is something even greater. It comes from the smell of the visiting fans (or the home fans, when I’m on the road) who are as proud of their team as I am of mine. It’s in the grass. It’s in the pregame music playing in the stadium. It’s in the enthusiasm and spirit of the cheerleaders, band, and alumni. And it’s in the hearts and efforts of the players and coaches that want a victory desperately more than anyone else in the stadium. As soon as the gates open, I rush to be the first inside. The view of the perfectly green grass with its white painted lines and perfect logos is a sight to behold. Then the teams take the fields for warmups. Who is looking strong? Who has the look of a champion in their eyes? My nerves grow greater. The stench grows stronger…
But before the teams can even take the field, the first hurricane hits. This one is unnamed, but it leaves the first patch of damage. Sheets of rain, bursts of wind, and cold temperatures suddenly invade the stadium. But eventually it leaves and the game gets underway. When Hurricane Unnamed leaves the stadium, the Longhorns hope they are out of harms way. That’s when Hurricane #2 hits, this one is named Taysom. Hurricane Taysom takes no prisoners, leaving Longhorns strewn about the field as he decimates the Longhorns almost singlehandedly in one of the greatest rushing performances by a quarterback in NCAA history. Hurricane Jamaal isn’t far behind, though, as he adds a career high in rushing yards. Just when those good ol’ Texas boys thought they might have a chance, they got hit by a complex storm system known as Hurricane Van-Fua-Sorensen-Manumaleuna-Noy, which did not allow the Longhorns to reciprocate the rushing success of the Cougars. Instead Hurricane VFSMN brought pressure on QB David Ash all night, eventually knocking him out of the game, and shut down the rushing game all together. Finally, though not quite reaching hurricane status, Tropical Storm Lasike made landfall and completed the trifecta of Cougar rushing dominance. At the end of the storm, the Cougars left a path of destruction at LES Saturday, downing the Longhorns 40-21. The State of Texas declared it a disaster area on Sunday morning, firing defensive coordinator Manny Diaz after the Cougars ran for nearly 100 yards more than any team ever had on the Longhorns in their illustrious history.
My mouth has never felt so squeaky clean. I could barely use my arms and my voice was gone for two days, but the satisfaction in my soul was greater than anything football had provided me up to that point. Was it a perfect game? No. I think any fan and hopefully the coaches are wondering why we can’t throw the ball yet. I think that the passing game will naturally develop as a byproduct of the continued rushing storm which built up a lot of strength and hopefully keeps causing destruction. Destruction has never tasted so good.