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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Freshman duo Hill and Williams lead BYU to 47-0 win over Hawaii

The future of Brigham Young Cougars football met the past on Friday night when true freshmen Taysom Hill and Jamaal Williams combined for nearly 300 yards rushing to pace the BYU route of the Norm Chow led Hawaii Warriors. Chow was an assistant coach at BYU from 1972-99.

Injuries led to Hill and Williams receiving much more playing time than they were accustom to. Hill started at quarterback in place of the injured Riley Nelson. Starting running back Michael Alisa suffered an arm injury after only two carries.

On the game’s first drive, Hill led BYU to a touchdown. Williams punched the ball in from two yards out. The drive was delayed for a Hawaii defensive lineman to be carted off the field with a serious neck or back injury.

Hawaii’s first drive ended with Daniel Sorensen making an interception. Seven plays later, however, Hill returned the favor and threw the first interception of his career. A second Hawaii defensive lineman suffered a scary injury that caused him to be carted off the field on a stretcher. 

The BYU defense played another stellar game. They got the ball back quickly to the offense. Williams had three rushes for 35 yards on this drive, but it was Hill’s 22-yard pass to Ross Apo that got BYU into the end zone for a 14-0 lead on the first play of the second quarter.

Apo had been missing from the BYU offense since game one. His presence was felt early in this game. In addition to this touchdown pass, he caught a 12-yard pass on the first series of the game.  

This game officially became the Hill and Williams show in the middle of the second quarter. BYU took over at its own 13-yard line following yet another Hawaii punt. Williams carried the ball two times for 8 and 11 yards. On the next play, Hill broke through the Hawaii defense for a 68-yard touchdown run.

That touchdown run by Hill gave him 118 rushing yards on the night. It made him the first BYU player since Joshua Quezada to rush for 100 yards in a game. Quezada did it in the 2010 New Mexico Bowl.

Hill’s touchdown also gave BYU a 20-0 halftime lead.

BYU would add to that lead quickly in the second half. On the second play of the half, Kyle Van Noy sacked the Hawaii quarterback and forced a fumble in the process. Spencer Hadley recovered the ball and returned it to the 2-yard line. Two plays later, Williams scored his second 2-yard touchdown of the game.

On the Cougars’ next two drives, Hills inexperience showed. BYU had a total of -14 yards on the two drives combined and failed to convert a single first down.

Midway through the third quarter, the BYU offense got back on track. Williams had two runs totaling 54 yards on the drive, and Hill threw 12-yard passes on the first and the last plays of the drive. Tight end Devin Mahina caught the latter pass for the touchdown. BYU now led 34-0.

The route was officially on.

Preston Hadley forced another fumble for BYU on Hawaii’s next possession. Even with back ups now in the game, the Cougars muscled the ball into the endzone covering 23 yards in six plays. Rugby star Paul Lasike scored his first career touchdown.

After Hawaii turned the ball over on downs, Lasike led the way again. He caught a 25-yard pass to help BYU get out of a hole created by a holding penalty. He then carried the ball on seven of the next nine plays for 33 yards. His final run of the drive was a 1-yard touchdown.

Down 47-0, Hawaii was downtrodden and lifeless. No doubt, Chow was having haunting flashbacks of the 59-0 loss he suffered in LaVell Edwards Stadium in 2008 as an assistant coach for UCLA. Unwilling to see BYU shut him out and score over 50 points again, Hawaii ran six consecutive run plays on its final two drives to get the game over with as fast as possible.

In the end, the BYU defense limited Hawaii to just 149 total yards (108 passing, 41 rushing). The defense came up with three turnovers. Hawaii converted only one of 12 third downs.

On the other hand, the Cougar offense converted half (7 of 14) of its third downs, had 540 yards of total offense, including 396 rushing yards. Williams had 155 yards rushing, Hill 143, and Lasike 40.

PLAY OF THE GAME: Taysom Hill’s 68-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to give BYU a 20-0 lead.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Taysom Hill, 12-21, 112 yards, 2 TD, 1 Int.; 15 rushes, 143 yards, 1 TD.

NEXT: Utah State
DATE: Friday, October 5, 2012
TIME: 8:15 Mountain Time

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

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