Being labeled a dual-threat quarterback implies being able to frustrate a defense via the ground and the air.
BYU sophomore quarterback Taysom Hill is regarded as a dual-threat, since his ability to run the ball is well known, but his passing was seen as a secondary skill.
Hill became the seventh quarterback in FBS history to throw for 400 yards and rush for more than 100 in a single game Saturday when he gained 417 passing and 128 rushing in a 47-46 win at Houston. It was Hills first time reaching 300 yards through the air, let alone 400.
For me personally, it was really nice to come out and do that, said Hill, a 2009 graduate of Pocatellos Highland High. It wasnt anything I was surprised with. I knew our offensive unit had the potential to do those things.
Though he plays at a school known for putting up wild numbers through the air, Hills 29-of-44 effort was BYUs first 400-yard game against an FBS opponent since Sept. 15, 2007 against Tulsa.
The players and Taysom know whats happening. Theyre getting better and better, BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said Monday, and called Hills game Saturday an amazing performance.
As a freshman last year, cycling between backup and starter before a season-ending injury midway through the season, Hill completed 59 percent of his passes (42-of-71). In his first three games this season, he completed 35 percent (40-of-114) for 564 yards with one TD and three interceptions.
Changes needed to be made, and were.
In the past four games, Hill is 79-of-121 (65.3 percent) for 1,116 yards with eight touchdowns and four interceptions.
Our passing concepts have changed a little bit. Weve got in a few different schemes and threw out a few that hadnt been successful for us, Hill said. We (also) put in things that allowed my receivers and I to have better timing.
Each of the past five games, Hills passer efficiency rating has improved, from 68.6 against Texas on Sept. 7 to 161.88 against Houston.
Theyve created a whole system around him and his strengths, and he looks like hes a better thrower than he was last year, Boise State coach Chris Petersen said.
While he progresses as a passer, running the ball remains Hills calling card.
His 772 yards rushing lead the team, and are No. 2 among all FBS quarterbacks. Boise State cornerback Bryan Douglas noted the 6-foot-2, 221-pound Hill is about Jay Ajayis size, referencing Boise States 6-foot, 220-pound sophomore running back. They also share a similar desire to run over defenders.
Hes a warrior, Petersen said. He carries the ball like a running back.
After piloting the BYU offense to an FBS-record-tying 115 plays against Houston, throwing 44 times, rushing 34 times and being sacked eight times, Hill said he was still stiff and sore earlier this week. A short week would seemingly be the last thing he needs, but facing the Broncos, from his home state, makes it a non-issue.
It does start to take a toll on everybody, but Im willing to do what it takes to win the football game, Hill said. I want to beat Boise State. I want to win.
Just as Hill and the Cougars are up for the challenge of facing the Broncos on Friday, Boise States defense is eager to face a quarterback who runs like a tailback, and is suddenly just as big of a threat as a passer.
I think his running kind of gives people a blind eye to what he can do when he puts the ball in the air, Douglas said. That guy has a strong arm.
Dave Southorn: 377-6420;Twitter: @IDS_Southorn