Dick Harmon: Same issues surface in BYU's Fight Hunger Bowl loss to Washington
Until then, the challenge of facing a team like Washington is a 40-60 percent proposition. BYU will need to get four or five turnovers to get the job done.
You saw the 40 percent unable to overcome the 60 percent in the Fight Hunger Bowl. BYU teams of old overcame the offensive challenge with schemes and execution, great pass blocking and accurate passers — not QB run plays that speedy defenders shut down after the second tier.
Taysom Hill, bless his heart, took the Cougars on his back. He ran his butt off. He made some nifty pass completions. He played inspired, tough football. But to truly win a game like this, he needed to throw touchdown passes.
“In the red zone, you have another defender, the back of the end zone,” said Hill. "We need to execute at a high level to overcome it. They came at us hard when we got down there. Credit their defense.”
In every BYU loss this season, teams really came at Hill with outstanding pressure. Friday was no different.
Hill’s running Friday night was amazing. But the Cougars turned into a one-trick pony and Washington never let him get loose for a killer jaunt because of chase speed. Hill had little time to throw. When he took off, UW defenders caught him within a few seconds. His longest run was 19 yards.
The sophomore ran 29 times.
Think about that.
A BYU quarterback taking 29 carries for 143 yards. He outgained the nation’s No. 3-ranked rusher in Sankey (21 for 96 yards).
Ty Detmer has to be scratching his head. He never had a Cody Hoffman.
BYU outgained Washington 471 to 316 total yards but lost by 15.
The Cougars scored just 16 points — all in the second quarter, nine of them on field goals. It fit right along with their 14.7 scoring average in previous losses.
And that’s the bottom line.
Dick Harmon, Deseret News sports columnist, can be found on Twitter as Harmonwrites and can be contacted at email@example.com.
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