While on the bus riding to his game this past Saturday, BYU quarterback Taysom Hill had visions of the open field, a foot race and a touchdown.
“That’s what you dream about,” Hill said on Ferrall on the Bench.
A few hours later, Hill’s vision unfolded just as he imagined. Facing No. 15 Texas in front of a packed house in Provo, Hill found a hole and rushed 68 yards for a touchdown that gave BYU a 10-7 lead.
Hill didn’t stop there. He added a 20-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and a 26-yard touchdown run in the third. For the game, he finished with 17 carries for 259 yards – 15.2 yards per carry – and three touchdowns.
“Kudos go to our offensive line,” Hill said. “Without those guys, I wouldn’t be capable of doing that.”
Neither would any other Cougar. BYU rushed for a whopping 550 yards, which, as you might assume, is a school record. Jamaal Williams carried 30 times for 182 yards, and Paul Lasike carried 15 times for 87 yards. As a team, BYU rushes 72 times and averaged 7.6 yards per carry.
Yet, much of the post-game talk centered on what Texas didn’t do – rather than what BYU did do.
“Everybody’s talking about what Texas didn’t do and everything else,” Hill said, “but man, our O-Line played extremely well. They created holes that anybody could have ran through. It didn’t take a whole lot for me to find out where I needed to go. Luckily, I was able to make some good decisions on the zone read-option that we do in our offense, and I was able to hit the seams and run throughs a couple leg tackle. The result was 259 yards.”
The result was also a whole lot of attention, as Hill won just about every offensive player of the week award out there. Ferrall joked that Hill probably has 10 girlfriends now.
“I’m still waiting for the girlfriend part to come to pass,” Hill said, laughing, “but it’s an honor. It’s something I don’t dwell on, I try not to dwell on. I’m here, and I want to do anything and everything that I can to help BYU football to succeed. If I need to run for 259 yards to get a win, then I’m going to do it. I’m honored and grateful for the attention and the awards I was able to receive.”
The win was particularly gratifying for BYU, which lost its season-opener 19-16 at Virginia after the Cavaliers scored a late touchdown.
“We had a lot of really silly mistakes,” Hill said. “We kind of shot ourselves in the foot at the end of the game. It is what it is. We can’t dwell on that.”
Especially with the schedule BYU has. The Cougars’ slate includes home games against Utah, Georgia Tech and Boise State and road games against Utah State, No. 20 Wisconsin and No. 21 Notre Dame.
“Every game on our schedule is a big game,” Hill said. “(But) we can battle and compete with every team on that schedule. That’s how we feel. If we lose, we’re going to be scratching and clawing.”
Regardless of what happens the rest of the way, Hill will never forget what he did Saturday in Provo.
“It’s every kid’s dream,” he said. “I was able to live it.”