Hill leads huge night against BSU

The BYU quarterbackfrom Pocatello produces408 yards of total offense.

SPECIAL TO THE STATESMANOctober 26, 2013 

PROVO, Utah — Boise State caught BYU at the wrong time Friday night.

After producing only six points in last season’s loss to the Broncos and having struggled to score in losses to Virginia and Utah early this season, BYU’s offense seemingly has found itself.

Pocatello native Taysom Hill passed for 339 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score in the Cougars’ 37-20 victory at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

BYU dominated the first half with 376 total yards, while taking a 24-3 lead. Even with a somewhat sluggish performance after that, the Cougars finished with 568 yards. The line’s improvement enabled Jamaal Williams to run for 107 yards and BYU reintroduced the tight ends to the offensive scheme, with Devin Mahina and Kaneakua Friel catching seven passes between them.

BYU’s passing game was working so well that even a ball that bounced off the hands of Cody Hoffman, the school’s all-time leading receiver, went right to Friel for a big gain in the third quarter.

Hill played brilliantly through the first 37 minutes, with three touchdown passes and another score on the ground. “For a lot of the game, (Hill) looked completely composed and unrattled,” BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said.

Hill finished with 339 passing yards and 69 rushing yards — not quite his 400/100 standard of last weekend at Houston, but more than sufficient production to subdue the Broncos — and enough for Mendenhall to label him “one of the best players I’ve ever coached.”

Hill’s third TD pass of the night, a 40-yard strike to Mitch Mathews, gave BYU a 31-6 lead midway through the third quarter. The Broncos' defense played much better after that, but the Cougars stayed comfortably in front.

Hill said Boise State’s approach focused on Hoffman and other outside receivers.

“When you do that, you leave the middle of the field open and we took advantage of it,” Hill said.

BYU is using a new, fast-paced scheme that offensive coordinator Robert Anae brought from Arizona. “He’s been dead honest and said it might take half the year to see the fruits of this,” Mendenhall said.

The offense worked well in October, when the Cougars scored 31, 38, 47 and 37 points in four games.

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