BYU QB Taysom Hill: A Tale of Two Half-Minutes

Charles Dickens penned the words, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Today, these words ring true for the Brigham Young Cougars. Taysom Hill had an incredible final 30 seconds of the first half against Utah State. At the end of the game, another 30 seconds were the exact opposite.

BYU received the ball from Utah State on a punt with about a half-minute to go in the first half. The Cougars were 61 yards away from the end zone. With true freshman Hill at quarterback, it seemed reasonable that BYU would run out the clock and go to the locker room to make adjustments. They trailed just 3-0. Why risk a silly mistake that would result in that deficit growing to 10-0?

Hill and the Cougars did the exact opposite. They attacked. In 19 seconds, Hill completed three straight passes to Cody Hoffman to get 58 of the 61 yards needed. On the next play, Hill finished the drive with a three-yard touchdown pass to JD Falslev. Hill was a perfect 4-4 for 61 yards on the drive. The touchdown gave BYU a 6-3 lead that proved to be the game winner.

With 1:44 left in the game, Jamaal Williams ran for 13 yards. In the next 30 seconds of play between the end of Williams’ run and the end of the next play, times suddenly turned worse. Hill carried the ball for 4 yards. The Utah State defender who took him down hit him on the knee.

Hill got up and jogged around trying to shake off the pain that he felt. He stopped and reached for his left knee. He played the next two plays and walked off the field in his own power.

Upon evaluation by team doctors over the weekend, BYU announced that Hill had suffered a lateral collateral injury to his knee. The injury requires surgery, and Hill will need four to six months to recover.

The loss of Hill won’t, necessarily, be felt for the rest of 2012 as long as senior Riley Nelson can stay healthy. The big tragedy of Hill’s injury is that he may miss spring practices.

Spring practices were going to be when Hill assumed leadership of the offense. He would be named the starting quarterback for 2013 and start to master the offense and build a rapport with his receivers. The 2013 schedule is exciting, but challenging. BYU can’t afford any lost time.

In the four to six month window for recovery, there is an overlap with spring practices. Should Hill need only four or five months to recover, there will be no problem. However, if Hill needs the full six months, or even longer, then he will miss spring practices.

Best wishes to you, Taysom, for a speedy recovery, and a return to the “best of times.”

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