Without question, injuries are the worst.
Saturday's news of Taysom Hill's lisfranc fracture is obviously terrible. Compounding the bad news is the fact that this marks the 3rd time in 4 seasons Hill has suffered a season-ending injury. Regardless of whether his health has been a case of bad luck, wear and tear, style of play or whatever -- this being the likely end of Taysom Hill's football career is truly rotten.
As BYU fans, you'll see it, say it, and hear it everywhere over the next week. Maybe you'll always say it when you reminisce about Taysom. "I feel bad for Taysom Hill."
While this injury news is exponentially more impactful on Taysom personally and it is SILLY to even think this in comparison, it stinks for the team and for BYU fans -- and all college football fans, for that matter. Watching the game yesterday, it was clear that Taysom had taken his game up another notch. Hill was unleashing new elements to his passing game. He was throwing up the middle of the field. He was completing intermediate passes.
With Taysom it has always been about talent and potential, and it was all coming together in a way that everyone hoped it would. Hill was maximizing his talent and potential into devastating skill. And now, we've been robbed of witnessing further brilliance, and he's been robbed of being football brilliant.
Vanquish The Foe led Saturday morning with a great piece by Jake Welch called "Don't wait, enjoy Taysom Hill and BYU Football now." An article that is all the more poignant now.
I've had similar feeling about the passing of Phillip Seymour Hoffman. (Taysom, of course, is not dead, but a playing career has been laid to rest.) He had more good movies with great acting performances ahead of him. But man, how great was he in Charlie Wilson's War, Doubt, Mission: Impossible III, Moneyball, and everything else?
While I do feel like we've been cheated on watching more greatness from Taysom Hill, it is awfully important to remember what we did get to see. It was something else.
So, in the spirit of admiration and celebration, I now present Taysom Hill's five best collegiate performances.
5. September 5, 2015, Lincoln, Nebraska. BYU 33 Nebraska 28.
Hill's last game was also one of his finest. Despite missing a good deal of the game, Taysom still had it going. He was spinning it and running it. Hill was 21-for-34 for 268 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He also represented any semblance of a running game for the Cougars rushing 9 times for 72 yards and 2 TDs.
4. August 29, 2014, East Hartford, Connecticut. BYU 35 UCONN 10.
Taysom Hill's highest touchdown output in any game was against the Connecticut Huskies. Taysom was directly responsible for all 5 touchdowns. 12 carries for 98 yards for 2 scores accompanied his 28-for-36, 308 yards, 3 TD passing performance.
3. October 25, 2013, Provo, Utah. BYU 37 Boise State 20.
In a dominant display, Hill completed 27-for-41 passes for 339 yards and 3 TDs while rushing for 76 yards on 18 tough carries and a touchdown.
2. October 19, 2013, Houston, Texas. BYU 47 Houston 46.
It was an up and down day for Taysom as he threw 3 interceptions and suffered 10 sacks. But in a game that was an absolute shootout, it was Hill who was the top gunslinger. He threw 29-for-44 and a career high 417 yards and 4 TD -- including the game winner on a perfect throw to Skyler Ridley with just over a minute left in the game. Hill, ever the work horse for the Cougars, ran the ball 34 (THIRTY-FOUR!) times for 194 yards.
What I'll remember most from this performance is the INSANE energy and effort that Taysom expended to will his team to victory.
1. September 7, 2013, Provo, Utah. BYU 40, #15 Texas 21.
The Cougars had just experienced a bizarre, bewildering 19-16 loss to Virginia. And now it was Mack Brown's ranked Texas Longhorns coming into Provo. What happened next will never be forgotten by either Cougar or Longhorn fans. And I'm not referring to the freak thunderstorm that delayed the game.
Taysom Hill led the BYU rushing attack with 259 yards of its 550 yards on the Longhorns that day. Taysom averaged an insane 15.2 yards on his 17 carries on his way to 3 rushing TDs.
It wasn't Hill's finest day passing the football (9-26, 129 yards, 1 INT), but then again, he was putting on one of the most ridiculous displays running the football that the sport has ever seen. His performance led to Texas' immediate firing of their defensive coordinator.
Hill would again torture the Longhorns the following season throwing for 181 yards and rushing for 134 and 3 TDs. That performance saw the "Longhorn Leap" -- Taysom's singular signature play as a Cougar.