I was right next to the safeties and I turned and saw it and my mouth dropped open. —BYU receiver Jordan Leslie
AUSTIN, Texas — From this day forward, there will be “Unwanted” posters in post offices, bars, dormitories, gas stations and on wooden telephone poles in this capital city of Texas. The photo will be of a guy with a leg brace named Taysom Hill.
For the second-straight year, Hill ran through and over the Texas Longhorn defense like nobody has since Vince Young did so in Texas’ own practice sessions. It all led to a 41-7 BYU blowout of Texas.
Hill’s Spider-Man leap over Texas safety Dylan Haines on BYU’s first possession of the second half turned this into a rout. It came at the end of a 30-yard touchdown run by the Cougar junior. It busted open a 6-0 BYU lead into domination. Again.
On that play, in the enclosed BYU coaches’ booth north of press row, screams erupted so loud windows vibrated.
Hill’s leaping play ignited the Cougars to 28 straight points in just 24 plays. “They’d been going for my knees and ankles all game,” said Hill, “and that time I took a leap of faith.”
“It will make the top 10 plays of the day,” said halfback Adam Hine.
“I was right next to the safeties,” said receiver Jordan Leslie, “and I turned and saw it and my mouth dropped open.”
It was a dagger play.
“It’s something you just don’t coach,” said BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall. “Sometimes you just have to let him go.”
Before all those third-quarter BYU offensive fireworks, Hill had a 62-yard run from scrimmage called back on a holding penalty in the first quarter.
Two quarters later, that lightning, leaping play jolted a crowd in Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. It rattled the fillings of Texas players on the field and sidelines. It brought steam out of the ears of the Longhorn coaching staff, whose very jobs came about, in part, because of what Hill did to them in Provo.
It was a humiliating night for the Longhorns, a team stripped of as many as eight players due to suspensions, two of them offensive linemen the week of the game. Plus, the Longhorns lost a starting center and their senior starting quarterback in the first game against North Texas.
No, Texas wants no part of Taysom Hill, the kid from Idaho.
Texas threw everything from kitchen sinks to oil well rigs at Hill. They sacked him six times for losses totaling 35 yards. Still, minus that sack yardage he gained a net 99 and three touchdowns.
Texas hit him hard, forcing a fourth-quarter fumble after a pressure hit and slip of the ball out of his hands. He’ll surely be sore on Sunday and Monday. But afterward he smiled as wide as the Rio Grande.
All this attention by Texas, all this planning, all the reminding, all this talk of revenge and target of focus it was to no avail.
Texas was supposed to put a dedicated spy on Hill. He must have worn a pirate eye patch. Twice inside the Longhorn 5 in the second half the Texas defense looked for a Hill carry and Adam Hine waltzed into the end zone with the ball.
That is what Hill did even without packing the pigskin.
Hill owns the Texas football program, and you can throw in two consecutive coaching staffs.
The Cougars left Austin for their first home game against Houston with a 2-0 record while toting suitcases. “This definitely sets the tone for us,” said the quarterback.
Hill looks more and more like Nebraska’s 2001 Heisman Trophy winner, Eric Crouch. The BYU QB is as dangerous as any in the country this year. The Texas defense was supposed to be among his biggest hurdles of 2014.
"That quarterback is a Hesiman candidate," said Texas D-coordinator Vance Bedford. "Like I told you guys, he reminds me of Tim Tebow."
“I just knew our offense was about to break out,” said Hill. “Everyone knew it, we just needed to do it after coming out slow the first half.
Hill finished 18 of 27 passing for 181 yards on the night. But it was his threat with his legs and his timely use of them that opened things up behind what he described as a determined offensive line.
“All our hard work paid off,” said Hill.
It certainly did.
And now he’s been outlawed here.
Dick Harmon, Deseret News sports columnist, can be found on Twitter as Harmonwrites and can be contacted at [email protected].