Well, Cougar fans, it looks like I picked the wrong receiver to have a breakout game against Texas. While Houk did get an early target, Jordan Leslie ended up doing exactly everything that I'd hoped we'd see from Houk, and should continue to develop into that possession receiver, along with Mitch Matthews. It seems clear to me on observation after the past couple games, that BYU has evolved a style similar to Oregon football in the way they run the ball, they suck the defense inside with Jamaal Williams, who is a surprisingly stout inside runner for his size, and then they exploit the edges with either Taysom Hill on keepers or the incredibly speedy Adam Hine. Indeed, the way that the cougars used Hine was very similar to the way the Ducks used Royce Freeman to attack the edge against Michigan State, and his blinding speed led to two touchdowns.
That's why I'm going to choose Adam Hine as my breakout player this coming week at Houston. Houston's pass defense averages only 148 YPG, while their run defense is averaging over 100 YPG, bad news when you've only played UTSA and Grambling. BYU is averaging 226.5 YPG on the ground, and expect that number to go up, because Houston has already shown a propensity for turnovers, which will result in short fields for BYU. Short fields mean more power running, which will soften up the defense for Hine's burst. The speedy Hine has never averaged fewer than 4.0 YPC and has a career rushing long of 64 yards.
Hine is also a threat returning kicks. He lead the team with 843 yards, a 27.2 average, and a long of 90 yards on a return, although a touchdown eluded him, his straight line speed allows him to exploit creases in the kickoff coverage and convert those into big gains. Hine also leads the team in kick returns this season, although he only has two returns this season, he is remarkably consistent and is on pace to continue leading the team, barring an injury. Hine is also on pace to trail only Hill and Williams this year in all purpose running yardage again this year. Last year he totaled over 1000 all purpose yards for third on the team, and is third again this year.
I expect to see lots of running in this game, BYU is favored by 19 points, and Hine seems to be just the right amount of lighting to spell Williams workhorse attitude and the pounding of Paul Lasike and Algernon Brown. Look for Hine to have a couple long runs and add at least one more touchdown to his pair this Thursday night in Provo. He may also get a chance to pop a big return as well, Houston doesn't seem particularly disciplined on special teams. It's been a while since BYU has had a big play threat as capable as Hine, and it would be fun to see the coaching staff take advantage of his raw speed with jet sweeps out of the read option.