BYU offense • QB's ground game offsets poor passing stats.
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Provo • One week can make considerable difference.
Ask BYU quarterback Taysom Hill.
After struggling in the Cougars' season-opening loss at Virginia, Hill ran for 259 yards and three touchdowns in BYU's shocking 40-21 win over Texas on Saturday night.
Against Virginia, Hill rushed 11 times for 42 yards. He also completed only 13 of 40 passes for 175 yards.
While Hill still struggled with his passing effectiveness against Texas, he was unstoppable after pulling the football down and starting to run.
In the first half alone, Hill rushed for a 166 yards and two touchdowns. He raced 68 yards for one touchdown that made it 10-7 late in the first quarter. He ran 20 yards for another score that gave BYU a 17-14 lead and momentum with 7:48 remaining in the first half.
Hill was hardly overwhelming on the Cougars' first possession.
After Texas won the toss and deferred, BYU took over on its 25-yard line. Hill completed one pass a 16-yarder to Brett Thompson for a first down at the Longhorn 33. His only running attempt gained 2 yards, however, and two straight passes were incomplete after the Cougars reached the Texas 15. They settled for a field goal.
Late in the first quarter, Hill might have made one of the biggest plays of BYU's season.
Texas had taken a 7-3 lead and seemed to have solved the Cougars' hurry-up offense. The Longhorn defense had forced three straight punts, quieting the crowd at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
But not so fast.
On a third-and-2 from their own 32 and with the Cougars again in danger of turning the ball over on downs Hill broke free at the line of scrimmage and raced 68 yards for a touchdown.
After breathing life back into BYU and its fans, Hill's next big play came midway through the second quarter. He ran 15 yards on third-and-7 and, eight plays later, the Cougars scored again to take a 24-14 lead.
Leading 27-14, Hill guided BYU on an eight-play, 79-yard drive to open the second half. His 26-yard touchdown run put the Cougars in control.
Hill's thrills: BYU quarterback runs wild
Taysom Hill's rushing totals in the first two games of the season:
Opponent Att. Yards Ave. TDs Long
Virginia 11 42 3.8 1 13
Texas 17 259 15.2 3 68