The Friday night lights were on in LaVell Edwards stadium on the Cougars and their undefeated season. Would the Cougars go on to win and keep their undefeated season rolling, or would the Aggies ruin their dreams?
The Cougars came out firing and getting on the scoreboard quickly within the first two minutes. Taysom Hill connected with Jordan Leslie for a long pass. Shortly after Taysom Hill hurdled a defender to score a quick touchdown.
Hill would also end up connecting with Mitch Matthews for a wide open pass to score the only 14 points in the first half.
The Aggies would not go quietly and stayed with the Cougars, forcing a fumble and stopping Taysom Hill and the Cougars. Chuckie Keeton did not play in the game, but most people watching wouldn't have noticed due to the great performance of Darell Garretson who went on 14-17 for 257 yards and 3 total touchdowns. He had a passer rating of 267.6.
The worst news of the half was the injury to QB Taysom Hill. While running a read option Taysom rolled right and was tackled while picking up a yard. His ankle rolled awkwardly under the defender. Immediately Hill grabbed his ankle and limped off the field. Shortly after he was carted off the field in pain. Hill's injury has been ruled a left leg fracture.
After two long touchdown completions for the Aggies, late in the second quarter, Utah State went into the half 28-14.
The Cougars came out firing with emotion and energy to start the second half. However, the lack of chemistry, defensive struggles, and offensive power showed as Christian Stewart tried to rally the troops. He drove the team down the field just to have a pass batted away and intercepted by Utah State.
The defense only gave up seven points in the second half, but the damage they allowed the Aggies to do in the first half was too much for a Taysom-less offense to overcome. Stewart struggled to complete a pass going 10 for 29 for 179 yards and 3 interceptions. The Cougars managed just six points in the second half and the game would end 35-20 in favor of the Aggies. Tonight's victory marks the first win for the Aggies in Provo since 1978.
In addition to the Hill's injury, Dallin Leavitt, Brayden Kearsley, and Alania Fua all left the game in the second half with injuries and did not return. The severity of those injuries is not yet known.
This game was a huge disappointment for the Cougars and the loss of Taysom Hill is heartbreaking. All the hype and excitement that Cougar fans once had is now gone. BYU has a lot of work to do, especially on the defensive side of the ball, but the season is far from over. The Cougars still have a shot at double-digit wins if they can regain their composure and get Stewart comfortable in the offense.
Hill will likely miss the remainder of the season, but should be back for his senior season next year. If you'd like to send Hill some words of support and encouragement, he can be found on Twitter @T_Hill4. Our prayers are with him and his wife at this time.