Then came the highly anticipated, yet understandably pessimistic, game against the Texas Longhorns. However, the Cougars exploded on offense racking up 550 rushing yards and 679 total with Hill claiming 259 of those rushing yards himself. He added 3 touchdowns on the ground en route to a 40-21 pounding of the Longhorns.
While Hill proved more than impressive in this game, it would be dangerous to assume he’ll be a great from here on out. Hill was great on the ground, but less than average in the air. Going 9/26 for 129 yards and one interception are numbers no quarterback can be proud of, but if you’re rushing for 259 yards at the same time then who cares what your passing stats are?
BYU’s opponents do.
- BYU will be forced to pass more, or
- Hill will not last the season without injury….and they will still be forced to pass more.
Offensive Coordinator Robert Anae is aware of this and Cougar fans can be sure that Hill’s passing ability will be the focus of this bye week before Utah comes to town on the 21st.
What about the fans?
Throwing the ball has been a hallmark of BYU football for 40 years. It is the forward pass that gave BYU a place at the table with the big boys in college football. How do longtime fans feel about this different identity?
Hill was able to deliver the big upset with his legs, but that is just one game. Can he lead the Cougars to greatness over an entire season with this style of play? Just how good of a runner is Hill? Is his success due to taking opponents by surprise, or will he still be able to rack up the yards with good defenses keying on him?
All of this will factor into how well fans embrace a below average passer. However, for the moment, BYU fans and the team have two weeks to savor a sweet victory over a national powerhouse. While, at the same time, they will also be wondering if Hill will be able to deliver more as a quarterback and less as a running back.
Either that or we could see how well Jamaal Williams can throw the ball.
What? You think he couldn’t do it?
I bet you didn’t think BYU could beat Texas either.
By Tanner Spear
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