Usually you have to get into the third quarter before you know how a game is going to turn out.
I knew seven seconds-ish into the first quarter when Kyle Van Noy intercepted the ball for a quick score during BYU's 31-14 win at Utah State last Friday night. It was that kind of night for the Cougars.
Of course, my good feeling could be due to having just consumed half of my 52 ounces-a-week allowance of Diet Coke.
For a guy on defense, Van Noy sure scores a lot — five times in his college career. Five appears to be his lucky number, having been named independent defensive player of the week — for the second week straight — and five times at BYU. He also finished with five tackles in the Utah State game.
With all that, Van Noy wasn’t even the main attraction. He is a man among men, and it was great to meet some of the other men this week.
Of course, we already knew Jamaal Williams, who sat out the Middle Tennessee game with a Ute-induced concussion, and Cody Hoffman, a team staple, who was back from his own personal bye-cation of a week.
But Taysom Hill? We hardly knew thee!
It’s true, he hasn’t created much of an air game, completing a scant 40 percent of his passes. No BYU receiver had more than 10 grabs before the USU game, and only one had caught a pass for a touchdown. They had been waiting, and not so patiently, for someone to toss them the ball. For every pass Hill completed, he had one intercepted.
Hill is over the hump — I say that as I knock on a whole lotta wood. He runs, he scores and now, it seems, he passes. Taking time and setting up for a solid toss did wonders. Add self-confidence, a bit of experience and team support, and they start comparing you to Steve Young — literally. KSL Sports Radio commentators Friday night were all over that.
All things come to those who square their shoulders. Wait. Do you hear that? Those are crickets chirping from the bleachers where the Taysom Hill detractors sit and blog.
And now, I give you, at wide receiver, the next big thing. At 6 feet 4 inches and a whole lotta pounds is Mitch Mathews. Why I haven’t really noticed him is odd, considering that the team has sung his praise for some time now.
But he’s too big to have stayed under the radar for long. Maybe now that Georgia Tech and Mitch Mathews have been introduced through a bit of pre-game film, Cody Hoffman will have a little more running room. Funny how that works.
Apparently, coach Bronco Mendenhall pulled Mathews aside last week during practice and told Michael that he had earned a little more playing time. It was time well spent as Mathews caught five of Hill's passes, three for scores and set single-game career highs for receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns, including a career-long 43-yard reception that capped his otherwise modest game.
“We knew we could do that throughout all the season," he calmly told reporters after the game.
Five catches and three touchdowns? And just in time for Georgia Tech.
"I think we are trending upward," Mendenhall told KSL Radio after the game. "I think we are gaining momentum. I think we are learning to practice meaningfully as a team at a higher level, and I am encouraged." Just in time for Georgia Tech.6 comments on this story
So, my next grandchild is going to be named Taysom Mitch Van Noy. I’m not sure how that is going to play out exactly. But I’m sure he will get along well with his older brother, Jimmer, and his cousin, Ty.
Next up for the 3-2 Cougars is Georgia Tech on Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium. The Yellow Jackets were beaten 41-17 by BYU last year in Atlanta’s Bobby Dodd Stadium, due in part to a solid performance by Jamaal Williams with three touchdowns rushing and one receiving.
Georgia Tech is coming off a loss at 13th-ranked Miami. Now, let's introduce them to the Y. guys.
Davison Cheney writes the "Prodigal Dad" family column. See his other writings at davisoncheneymegadad.blogspot.com and on Twitter @davisoncheney.