PROVO — Following BYU's resounding win over then No. 15 Texas last weekend, BYU quarterback Taysom Hill was plastered all over "SportsCenter" and other national highlight shows.
Few, if any highlights, involved Hill throwing the football.
The sophomore quarterback ran around, over and through the Longhorns, whose game prep didn’t seem to focus much, if at all, on stopping the quarterback part of the read option. But now that the Texas game is on film for everyone to see, future opponents will likely be much more prepared to defend Hill's extraordinary running ability.
For that reason, Hill is working hard on improving his ability to throw the football.
“When you’re one-dimensional someone can just focus on that and really stop that,” Hill said. “That’s going to be the focus and we’re going to get that up to where it needs to be.”
It needs to happen in a hurry.
Next up for the Cougars is a Utah team that has made a habit of out-executing BYU’s offense more than most. The Utes will pore over the Texas film and adjust accordingly.
The adjustment Utah, and other teams, will likely make seems obvious to Hill.
“I expect to see a lot of cover-one and cover-zero, them loading the box and good for us,” Hill said. “It means they’re going to put guys like Cody (Hoffman) and Skyler (Ridley) in one-on-one coverage and we’ll take that all day.”
One-on-one coverage is all fine and good, but Hill will have to improve on his accuracy before teams take a BYU throwing threat seriously. Hill’s 33 percent completion percentage won’t have many teams respecting his ability to throw until he proves otherwise.
No one understands that better than Hill himself, however, and he’s using the bye week before the Utah game to improve.
“There is time that needs to be spent in the film room. There’s time that needs to be spent watching Utah film, and how their corners are going to play us, so we can adjust and be on the same page,” Hill said. “We’re going to get there and we know what we need to do.”
DIVE AND CAVE: Hill endured a lot of hits against Texas, but said Monday that he feels fine and that taking hits is just part of the game. Coaches, however, would understandably like to see him get to the ground more often so that he can avoid at least some of those hits.
For this reason, Hill has employed something that he terms "dive and cave."
“I wasn’t hook-sliding feet first, but for me, it’s easier to fall forward,” Hill explained. “I was effectively able to do that at various times against Texas and after watching the film, there were times I needed to do it more. It’s a continued process. I’m there to fight for every yard that I can, but I realize I need to be (more careful).”
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