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BYU Football: Halftime adjustments key to Cougars' victory over Texas

Bronco Mendenhall emphasized the need to come out strong mentally in the second half.

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

The BYU Cougars throttled the Texas Longhorns thanks to a huge performance by Taysom Hill in the third quarter.

After coming out of halftime flat in the Cougars' season opener against UConn, Bronco Mendenhall said the coaches realized the need to make and execute halftime adjustments better.

"There was a huge emphasis all week long on what halftime looks like, what preparing for the third quarter looks like, and giving ourselves the best chance to make adjustments and as a team be ready to play," Mendenhall said on the Cougars Postgame Coach’s Show.

"We just worked very hard halftime-wise all week long on what we were going to do."

Linebacker Michael Alisa shared what the halftime adjustments were for the offense and defense.

"To be honest, we just kind of relaxed for a little bit, reset our minds for a new quarter like we were starting a new game. (The coaches) had some of us change our socks. They got that idea from basketball players. They do it at halftime to mentally reset their minds," Alisa said on the Cougars Postgame Locker Room Show.

"They only had socks for the offense, but it’s supposed to be the whole team," Alisa laughed. "The idea there is just to reset your mind, reset your clock and go in for the second half like it’s a new game."

The offensive unit bought into the new strategy.

"We came back second half, started a new era, and said, ‘Forget the first half, this is a new one. 0-0.’ And I’m tremendously happy about how our team played," Jamaal Williams said.

Four of BYU's five drives in the third quarter resulted in a touchdown. Even more impressive considering the Cougars did not get into the end zone once in the first half.

"It was a great third quarter, because ... not only did we make a few key corrections offensively, we created some turnovers that had short fields," Mendenhall said. "The combination of them playing good defense, aggressively and taking the ball away, and then the adjustments we made offensively, it really came together nicely."