Cougar Sportsline editor H. B. Arnett is predicting a 38-17 Brigham Young win over Texas in Austin this weekend.

I guess I need to get some of those shiny blue goggles of optimism he’s wearing because I don’t see it that way.

The Cougar defense is very good this year and they’ll take care of business for as long as possible this Saturday, but in the end, I expect the offense to choke and sputter along the line of last week’s performance, which will eventually tucker out their faithful band of defensive-minded brothers.

This game will be a fairly low-scoring affair because Texas’ offense is still a work in progress, too; so, I’m calling it 20-13 or 20-10 in favor of UT.

5 Reasons Why …

1. Play-calling. Offensive coordinator Brandon Doman needs at least another week, if not more, to get his bearings figured out as the maestro of a scoring machine waiting to be turned loose. His play selections last week at Ole Miss were achingly reminiscent of how Brad Anae would’ve called the game. Don’t expect a miraculous improvement from Doman this Saturday with the O trying to execute his plan against a very fast and strong Texas defense that returns 7 starters.

2. Speaking of speed, the Longhorns play at stampede speed on defense. Mississippi will seem like they were running around in concrete boots when the Cougars get a dose of Burnt Orange smearing across the field. This will be a frustrating game for Jake Heaps, but I expect him to grow leaps and bounds from it. Essentially, he’ll really begin to settle into his sophomore skin next week against Utah.

3. Special teams. The Cougars have some pesky wrinkles they need to iron out of their kicking game and it’s going to be a learning experience – it won’t happen overnight. You witnessed it last week in Oxford. They easily give 3 points away to Texas in this facet of the game.

4. Home field advantage. It might not have been that big of a deal back in 1987, but it’s huge now. With 100,000+ rabid Texans screaming for Cougar blood, Bronco’s team is just a wee bit too inexperienced to handle the pressure in Austin this time around, especially if they’re forced to play catch-up ball.

5. Extra motivation. The Texas program had a major wake-up call when a very mediocre UCLA team rolled into Austin the fourth game of last season and crushed them, 34-12. That loss sent the Longhorns reeling, and they lost 6 of their last 8 games – 4 of them in the friendly confines of Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium. Mack Brown and his staff are loaded with blue-chip talent and they have their focus straightened out this season. They know this game is pivotal in determining how the rest of their season plays out. They need to be 4-0 heading into the Red River Shootout with Oklahoma on October 8 if they hope to finish 8-4 or better and qualify for a second tier bowl invite.