Saturday morning quarterback: 3 stars and stats from BYU's win over UConn
Even though the Cougars went into their first game of the season at far less than 100 percent they were able to overcome some sloppy play and a ridiculous amount of penalties to outlast the Connecticut Huskies, 35-10, Friday night.
Along the way, BYU proved to have plenty of weapons on both sides of the ball, even without the likes of Jamaal Williams, Jordan Johnson, Devon Blackmon, Nick Kurtz and Robertson Daniel. The absence of such important players left plenty of opportunities for lesser-known guys to step up, and that's exactly what happened for the Cougars.
The Cougars got on the board on the opening drive of the season even though it was delayed by penalties. It took 5:04 off the clock, but quarterback Taysom Hill capped off 15-play, 75-yard drive with a 7-yard scamper into the end zone for the Cougars' first touchdown on the season.
One of the biggest plays on the drive came deep in UConn territory when Hill found Mitch Mathews on a perfect back-shoulder throw for 11 yards on third-and-eight to keep the drive alive.
After Bronson Kaufusi recovered a fumble on the first play of the night for the Huskies' offense, Hill and Mathews were at it again. It took just one play for the Cougars to take a 14-0 lead after Hill hit Mathews in stride for a 26-yard touchdown pass.
BYU extended its lead behind a pair of big plays from Algernon Brown midway through the second quarter to give the Cougars a 21-point lead.
After Mitchell Jeurgens took a Justin Wain kick 24 yards to the Huskies 46, Brown went to work. He took a pass 25 yards down to just outside of the blue zone and then followed it up with a 14 yard rush down to the 7-yard line. Two plays later, the Cougars were back on the board when Hill connected with Adam Hine for a 7-yard score.
A fumble by Mathews led to the Huskies' first score of the game only minutes later when running back Joshua Marriner took the ball in from 1-yard out after a six-play, 52-yard drive.
BYU had a quick answer to regain the 21-point lead heading into halftime. This time, it was wide receiver Terenn Houk who made the big plays. On the five-play, 69-yard drive, Houk made a pair of receptions, including a 35-yard catch-and-run to ended with him tight-roping the sideline and diving into the end zone for the fourth score of the half.
The second half wasn't nearly as explosive for either offense. Only 10 points got put on the board for both teams. UConn cut the BYU lead to 28-10 when Bobby Puyol hit a 35-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter. The Cougars answered two possessions later when Hill scored his second touchdown on the ground when he found the end zone from 26 yards out to cap off a 90-yard drive.
3. Michael Davis, defensive back
Davis stepped into the starting lineup with the losses of Johnson and Daniel and showed exactly why he was moved back to the defensive side of the ball in fall camp. Davis used his quickness to make big plays on the outside most of the night. Along the way, he led the team with seven solo tackles.
2. Bronson Kaufusi, linebacker
Kaufusi had a smooth transition from defensive end to linebacker (at least for one night) against the Huskies. He recorded a pair of sacks and also recovered a fumble for a BYU defense that only gave up just 10 points.
1. Taysom Hill, quarterback
- Big winner: Utes hit jackpot early and often...
- Jennifer Hamson to lace it up for BYU one...
- Penn State sweeps BYU for a record seventh...
- Injured Tyler Haws could play when BYU hosts...
- Dick Harmon: Execution, not words, will crown...
- Brad Rock: This is where conference switch...
- The Cougars and their coach's ’stache...
- Utah State caps historic season with win over...
- BYU football: Cougars in talks with... 61
- BYU defensive back transferring to Utah... 51
- Hamson and Gray step up big to get BYU... 45
- BYU sells close to 2,000 tickets for... 40
- Dick Harmon: How a simple decision in... 34
- Ute football team has boots on the... 33
- Big winner: Utes hit jackpot early and... 33
- Ranking the biggest bowl games in... 28