There were a number of players that could have been selected player of the game following BYU's 47-46 win over the Houston Cougars on Saturday. There was Cody Hoffman's 156-yards receiving and impressive touchdown catch, Alani Fua's game-clinching interception, Skyler Ridley's 90 yards receiving and go-ahead touchdown with just over a minute remaining in the game, and the list goes on. With all that in mind, no one's performance was more impressive than that of quarterback Taysom Hill.
What we saw from Hill on Saturday was nothing short of heroic. The sophomore quarterback took a beating from the Houston defense, but he still managed to put BYU on his back and carry them to victory.
Hill accounted for 545 yards of BYU's 681 total yards on the day, passing for 417 yards and 4 touchdowns and rushing for 128 yards. Take away the 66 yards Hill lost due to being sacked 8 times and his total yardage jumps to 611. Those numbers put Hill as the only quarterback in BYU history to combine for over 400 passing yards and over 100 rushing yards in a single game. Hill also passed up Steve Young as BYU's all-time career rushing leader at the quarterback position.
Hill's performance did not come without adversity though. Chances are good that our Hill will need to spend a lot of time in the ice tub this week recovering from the physical beating he took throughout the game. Hill either ran or passed on 78 of BYU's plays, taking substantial hits on many of those plays including 8 sacks. Mentally, Hill had to overcome 3 interceptions and a 4th quarter deficit to get the victory.
The night was not short on both passing and running highlights, but it was Hill's four touchdown passes that put BYU over the top. Hill found Ross Apo in the end zone for two touchdowns in the first quarter. The first coming as Hill delivered an 11-yard strike while being forced out of the pocket and the second coming on a play action fake for a 18-yard completion.
After not throwing any touchdowns in the second and third quarters, Hill found his groove again in the fourth relying on the talent of Cody Hoffman for his third touchdown throw of the night. Hoffman made the 25-yard touchdown reception while being interfered with early in the fourth quarter. Hill would end the night with an exclamation point with a beautiful back shoulder touchdown throw to Skyler Ridley that would end up being the game winning score.
Hill will face a tougher challenge this week against the Boise State defense. The Broncos rank 59th in total defense, which is a substantial upgrade from Houston's 98th rank in the same category.
What do you think of Hill's performance vs. Houston? Did he deserve our Player of the Game honors?