PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – It is difficult to figure out what BYU’s season-opening 14-0 victory over Sam Houston means.

One one hand, the Cougars defense came up with its first shutout in nine yards, limiting the former FCS national champions to just 13 yards rushing. However, the Cougars offense could generate only two sustained drives and just 14 points, the fewest it has had in a victory since a 6-3 win over Utah State in 2012.

“We’re sitting at 1-0 and feeling good about it,” said head coach Kalani Sitake. “Obviously there are some performances that we wish we could have back. But there definitely were some learning moments for our team, specifically for our offense.”

After opening the game on a 50-yard touchdown drive, capped by Kedon Slovis’ first career rushing touchdown, BYU scored only one other touchdown the entire game, and that was set up by an interception. There were Too many penalties, too many missed assignments, and simply too many mistakes.

“Things like this happen in week one,” Sitake said. “There are a lot of unknowns. We know a little bit more now. I know some guys are embarrassed by the way they performed on offense, but we’ve got to find ways to get better.”

While Slovis threw for just 145 yards, freshman LJ Martin led a re-charged rushing attack in the second half, carrying the ball 16 times for 91 yards.

Jakob Robinson had two interceptions, while Eddie Heckard added another, as the Cougars defense completely shut Sam Houston down.

“Sometimes you’re going to score 50, and sometimes you’re going to score 14,” said Heckard. “That’s all we needed. Coming from me, they did their job as far as putting points on the board. All we needed was one touchdown, and we got two. As long as we stay together and there’s no negative comments towards each other, we can keep going.”

With new defensive coordinator Jay Hill calling the plays, the BYU defense knew exactly what was coming, and executed to near perfection.

“A shutout, those are rare,” said Ethan Slade, who made his first career start at safety. “Those are fun games to play in because it’s a team thing on the defense. We all played very well together.”

Next up is a much-improved Southern Utah team. The Thunderbirds just lost to Arizona State by three points, 24-21 on Saturday, so BYU is going to have to play better to stay undefeated.

“They’re a well-coached team,” said Sitake, who coached at SUU back in the day. “They’re really tough. We’re really familiar with them being an in-state team. We’ve seen them play quite a bit, and they definitely have our attention.”

Heckard, who transferred from Weber State, knows what it is like to be an FCS team playing an FBS team, and he knows SUU can be dangerous.

“Whenever you’re an FCS player and you’re playing an FBS opponent, you’re like the little brother,” Heckard said. “So you’re trying to prove something all the time. I think they’re coming in with their heads on fire and trying to steal a win.”

BYU and Southern Utah will play Saturday at 1:00 at LaVell Edwards Stadium.