Dick Harmon: BYU QB Taysom Hill silences critics with stellar performance at Utah State

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  • The Solution Dayton, OH
    Oct. 7, 2013 10:58 a.m.

    All we can ask for is improvement from one game to the next. As far as I can tell, there has been consistent improvement each game. Taysom needs to develop a little more trust with his receivers, and then his short range passing will dramatically improve, and the confidence of this team will sky rocket.

    So have we turned the corner yet? No... and yes. There still is improvement and we have a ways to go, but yes, Taysom slayed the monster that has been holding him down. I think we will see a much more confident QB from here on out.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Oct. 6, 2013 11:22 p.m.

    @howard s

    Per usual, only Ute fans like you making such proclamations. Show me even one statement by a BYU fan hyping Hill as a Heisman candidate. It is interesting that BYU is hated by some because of outrageous statements about their talent when most of those statements are from Ute trolls.

  • wer South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 6, 2013 4:21 p.m.

    I hope that all the Cougar injuries, and especially the loss of USU Keeton, isn't lost on Cougar coaches. As well as Hill has played, all it could take is one routine play, and his season would be over. It happened last year, and it happened to USU Friday night.

    Since all injuries can't be prevented, duh, it would seem to be wisdom to prepare for them. Thus far in five games, backup Ammon Olsen has thrown one- ONE- pass, and that was a throw away.

    Even with safe leads against Texas, Middle Tennessee, and USU, all Ammon has been able to do is hand the ball off. Let us hope he isn;t needed to throw the ball in earnest any time soon.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    Oct. 5, 2013 5:56 p.m.

    So glad the Hill for Heisman train is back on track... choo... choo....

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Oct. 5, 2013 4:54 p.m.


    "I suspect they aren't graduates of our University and merely want to appear as such."

    I think you are probably correct about this, considering I know so many exactly like this. These are the utah "fans" I so often reference here. They have simply decided that they are going to be "fans" of utah, which is fine of course people decide to like specific teams for all kinds of reasons, but for most of these types they decided to be utah "fans" because they dislike Mormons, or dislike BYU, and that is an easy way to display their hatred.

    Most never attended college anywhere, and most of them have no ties whatsoever to the university of utah other than they live in utah and leached on.

    But that is the reality of a very large segment of the utah fanbase so that is simply something you'll have to tolerate.

    But most of us realize it is a segment, not a totality, of the Utah fanbase. We know there are real fans like yourself who are decent fans and not haters.

  • Sports Are Great Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 5, 2013 3:31 p.m.

    Some nice comments from some Utes. Good example to Utes and Cougars alike. For what its worth, I think Utah is a legit team and the UCLA game was impressive, especially given the turnovers. I think the Utes will pull off some big wins this year. Good luck

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    Oct. 5, 2013 2:55 p.m.

    Hill looked great, wish he was ready to play 4 week ago.

  • BYUSU Wellsville, UT
    Oct. 5, 2013 2:21 p.m.

    Good game for Taysom. Hope his passing continues to improve.
    Hated seeing Keeton go down. Hope he can return but it doesn't look good.

  • Surf is Up Miami, FL
    Oct. 5, 2013 2:03 p.m.

    It was a fair game for Hill. Just think how well he might have done if the O-line had not been as porous as a soup strainer. I realize that a lot of linemen have been injured recently but, holy cow, BYU is in trouble if they don't fix that problem.

    That being said they did well enough to score that many points on a good defense.

    I find if humorous, if not infuratiating, when I read comments from the BYU haters on the ute side who claim that the game would have been totally different if Keeton had not gotten injured, but refuse to even concede that the game against the U would have been any different if Williams had not been injured along with the other guys who were out; not to mention if Hadley had not been suspended.

    I'm hoping for a miracle: I'd love for Utah to win enough games to be bowl eligible and somehow get invited to play BYU.

  • Mildred in Fillmore Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 5, 2013 1:20 p.m.

    As I suspected, if given the opportunity, Taysom will be a great quarterback.

  • Cute Ute Houston, TX
    Oct. 5, 2013 12:46 p.m.

    I watched the game on tv here. I think BYU played a good game and I think Taysom is a cutie!! I'll always be a Ute but I don't think I need to cut down the cougars just to make myself feel better about an Aggie loss.

  • BlameItOnTheOfficials Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 5, 2013 12:42 p.m.

    Dear Cougar fans, Please accept my apologies for the poor example of Ute nation that Chris B. and so many others portray. We are not all classless dummies with poor sportsmanship. Your cougars put up a balanced attack through the air and on the ground. It was too much for the Aggies and the better team won. It's shameful that so many of my fellow Utes are displaying such childish behavior. I suspect they aren't graduates of our University and merely want to appear as such.

    Congratulations on a good win.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Oct. 5, 2013 11:42 a.m.

    Hill deserves all the praise he is getting. I think his teammates and coaches deserve a lot of credit for rallying behind him.

    I was sorry to see Chuckie go down though. I think the game would have been more exciting with both teams at full strength.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 5, 2013 10:59 a.m.

    Utah State has a good defense so this was Hill's most impressive game passing.

    I don't know if I would call it a stellar game but you do have to give him credit for beating Utah State with his arm when no one thought he could.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Oct. 5, 2013 10:57 a.m.


    I am not saying abandon the running game. Iam just saying keep the defense honest by mixing up the plays. Pass more often on 1st and 2nd down, especially as they load the box. In the Utah game BYU got into a rhythm a couple times through the air only to revert to the predictable run game when they got in the red zone. More than anything else our play selection in the red zone is what lost that game.

    (By the way, I am also a Blue Husky of sorts, graduating from BYU and getting my graduate degree from U of Washington. Huskies red hot this year!)

  • JMT Springville, UT
    Oct. 5, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    Holy cow, do we see the rudimentary characteristics of a complete quarterback?

    I watched the game on TV so I could only see what the camera showed. I got a sense that Taysom Hill went through his reads and looked for open receivers, not just focused on his first option regardless. He has a much better throw than the previous quarterback, and at time has great throws.

    If he continues to improve through the rest of the year we may be onto something awesome for a few years. Just in time for Mangum to get home, get up to speed and take over. Last night was fun to watch.

    Side note, really sorry to hear about Chucky Keaton. Classy quarterback and overall the best quarterback in the state. I hope it is not as serious as some are rumoring.

  • BlueCoug Orem, UT
    Oct. 5, 2013 10:01 a.m.

    After getting off to a slow start, which can partially be blamed on wet, soggy conditions and getting his timing back after rehabbing from knee surgery, Taysom Hill's passing efficiency has improved from 123rd, dead last, to 112th, in the last two weeks.

    By comparison, at 97.4, Taysom is only 10 spots behind Jake Heaps, 102nd at 105.1. Still a long ways behind Travis Wilson who has fallen out of the top 10, 44th at 146.2.

    For the week:

    Taysom - 17/31, 278 yds, 3 TD, 1 int, 155.7 eff. rating, Raw QBR, 50.6, Adj QBR 68.7
    Travis - 22/44, 288 yds, 2 TD, 6 int, 92.7 eff. rating, Raw QBR, 15.3, Adj QBR 52.8

  • RepresentBlue West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 5, 2013 9:29 a.m.

    Hill's performance was solid, but I would not say "stellar". He still has a tendency to overthrow or underthrow his receivers, and poor Ross Apo is still having the ball thrown at his feet every time his number is called. And then there was Hill's fumble on their own 15 that gave USU its only touchdown of the game until garbage time when the game was safely put away and BYU had pulled all their starters on defense. Point is, Hill has made definite progress the last two games, but he still has a lot to work on. I am hopeful he will get there, if not this season, then next.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 5, 2013 9:27 a.m.

    Excellent as always!

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Oct. 5, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    I saw improvement. If he continues to improve, with hard work and experience, he will be a very good QB. I did not expect him to be Ty or Steve or Jim from one game to the other...I hoped for definite improvement...and he showed it. Nice game, Taysom and Co.

    I hope for the best for Chuckie and for the Aggies. I hated seeing him go down...the game lost luster for me.

  • Mark321 Las Vegas, NV
    Oct. 5, 2013 8:39 a.m.

    Georgia Tech is a triple option team that's a lot like Air Force but quicker. We played this team last year at Georgia Tech and beat them pretty easily. We should win this game because our defense is not the kind of team to execute this type of offense against. Georgia Tech is 3-1 but 2 of those wins were against Elon and Duke not exactly stellar football teams. The North Carolina win was not bad, but BYU defense is much better than North Carolina. I'm hoping that the kind of game Taysom Hill had against Utah State is no fluke once-in-a-while thing. People compare him to Tebow, but he actually reminds me of Eric Crouch who played for Nebraska from 1997-2001. Crouch won the Heisman is 2001 and was a great passer and runner in college. Crouch was a speedy runner like Taysom, not stocky and a power runner like Tebow. Crouch was on a terror in 2001 because he was quick and could pass the ball. Defenses had a hard time dealing with him because they couldnt box the defense or Crouch would kill them with his arm. Hill can be that.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    Oct. 5, 2013 8:01 a.m.

    Cautiously optimistic. This all depends on a capable O-line allowing Hill the time to make decisions. Loved the fact that Ridley was a great target.

    Last night's success was dependent upon an average defense. It's too bad that Keeton was injured and that Hill faced a team distracted by that event.

    A great improvement. Hope it continues.

  • Pavalova Surfers Paradise, AU
    Oct. 5, 2013 7:50 a.m.

    Not silenced. He has a lot of work to do. He is hitting wide open recievers on blown coverage. He is getting better though. It will be good to see him hit receivers in stride and with timing and touch. My observation is that he looks to run first and is running around before finding a target to hit. That could be due to pressure...but it is also because he's not a true passing qb.

  • Wiscougarfan River Falls, WI
    Oct. 5, 2013 7:48 a.m.

    I still think that Hill's success and failure is largely contingent on the play calling. It was embarrassing how many times BYU still tried to run up the middle on a defense that was shutting them down. Thank heavens the coaching staff made adjustments this game and started calling throws. Once the passing game is clicking then that diamond formation becomes pretty effective.

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    Oct. 5, 2013 7:12 a.m.

    It was frustrating to see Anae calling running plays into the teeth of that defense. But what if he had not? They would have pummelled Hill down after down. Send the house and ignore the run.

    I think Anae knows his job better than we do.

    As for Hill's passing, it was excellent last year before he got hurt. I have been saying all along that Hill will mature.

    He'll be a great quarterback. If he can stay healthy. Did you notice that he minimized the hit by sliding, running out of bounds and one time dropping to his knees to avoid the hit.

    Smart boy. He'll be the next great BYU QB.

    Bummer about Chuckie, though. I'm sorry for you Aggie fans.

  • MacNasty Rexburg, ID
    Oct. 5, 2013 6:27 a.m.

    It seems that for the most part of Bronco's tenure, BYU has started off slow ( a lot of 1-2 startes), but then things start clicking by the fourth game of the season.

    Finally, Hill had some time to throw and finally the receivers looked to be in sync. The O-line still needs improvement, but hey, there was significant improvement. In the fourth quarter Anae took his foot off the gas maybe to work the clock and who knows, maybe out of respect for USU.

    On to Georgia Tech.

  • New to Utah PAYSON, UT
    Oct. 5, 2013 6:10 a.m.

    This was Hills best performace because it was in Logan with a sell out crowd and a very good defensive team. Hill's perseverance through rehab and then all the critics after the Utah disaster shows that Hill can produce impressive numbers. BYU came to play football in Logan and that was very refreshing.

  • poyman Lincoln City, OR
    Oct. 5, 2013 12:48 a.m.

    It was really nice to see Hill win with his arm tonight... No question it will help his confidence... I can't say however that he has completely turned the corner... There was still a handful of mid-range passes that he missed or threw behind the receiver (but of those there was probably 3 or 4 balls that should have been caught...

    I just wish we could be playing utah this next week instead of GT... I think we would probably like the results alot better.

  • Vladhagen Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 5, 2013 12:28 a.m.

    I think that Taysom came out and gave quite a quality performance. I have always been one of his supporters.

  • Kouger Lehi, UT
    Oct. 5, 2013 12:25 a.m.

    It was a good performance - not stellar. We will see how he performs against Wisconsin and other teams coming up. Sorry but I think as long as Hill wants to run the ball, he will never be a stellar quarterback. Think Tebow!

  • SLCWatch Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 4, 2013 11:30 p.m.

    I am so glad that teams have finally stacked the box, forced the pass and made Taysom beat them with his arm. Oops, that didn't work. Now what are they going to try? Anae is learning, the offensive line is constantly changing which is a challenge to coach, the running backs are using a turnstile to get out on the field or into the hospital. Hope Alisa can get another year. Hope Hine is back next week, good to see Brown getting playing time and Jamaal and Lasike stay healthy.

    I love to see the growth, coaching and development of the team.

    By the way, Utah State fans have been gracious and good sports. Thanks.

    Don't know who this other people are. Wasn't their game Thursday?

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Oct. 4, 2013 11:09 p.m.

    Could not happen to a nicer guy or better man. Go Taysom!

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    Oct. 4, 2013 10:52 p.m.

    Good article. USU losing CK hurt their offense, but Hill played against the defense. Great job and pleasantly surprised. I've worried that it would take time for Hill to grow and then figure out Anae's offense so it's nice to see that happening. Looking forward the GTech game. Going for 3 in a row.

  • AZnewser Snowflake, AZ
    Oct. 4, 2013 10:42 p.m.

    31-14 not 31-10

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Oct. 4, 2013 10:40 p.m.

    Hill and this offense has potential. Imagine what this offense could do if they didn't waste the first 2 plays of every series.

    When the running game wasn't working very well tonight, the passing game was working. It's just that Anae kept abandoning the passing game to run the same run play up the middle over and over again. Aside from 2 long runs by Williams and Hill, USU pretty much shut down the rushing game by loading the box.

    Take what the defense gives you and PASS THE STINKING BALL!

  • phantomblade Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 4, 2013 10:32 p.m.

    Taysom Hill is emerging as a legitimate dual-threat QB, a scary thought for future opponents.