And why shouldn’t there be so many stories written about him? It was possibly the best single game rushing performance by any Brigham Young Cougars football player. He set a school record for highest yards per carry average in a game (15.2, old record was 14.2 set by Luke Staley in 2001 vs. Tulane). Hill was 13 yards away from tying the school record for most rushing yards in a game, and eight yards shy of tying former Texas quarterback Vince Young’s college football mark for most rushing yards by a quarterback in the last ten years. Don’t forget Hill’s hat trick of touchdown runs.
All this being said, BYU’s second-week gem was far from a one-man show in rushing. Jamaal Williams is on pace to follow up his breakout 2012 season with a year to wow the nation. He had 144 yards rushing against Virginia in the season opener, and a career best 182 yards versus Texas. Last year Williams tallied 775 yards total rushing with an additional 315 in receiving and scoring 12 touchdowns.
Currently Jamaal Williams has the second-highest rushing yards in the NCAA thus far in the season (326) and has the most attempts at 63. Clearly the season is still young…but so is Jamaal for that matter. Last year Williams set new marks for a Cougar true freshman for carries, yards and touchdowns, and he is only getting better. While he was excellent last year, there is something different about what we've seen from him this year. He runs with quite a bit more force breaking tackles and trucking defenders to gain that extra yard or two.
Saturday’s romping wasn’t just a two-man show, either. Junior running back Paul Lasike, the BYU rugby All-American from Auckland, New Zealand, also contributed 87 yards and a touchdown of his own.
Hill became just the third player in BYU history to reach the 250 rushing yards mark for a single game. With Williams surpassing the 150 yards mark, it was the first time that BYU has had a player rush for over 250 yards (or 200 for that matter) and 150 yards in the same game.
Besides ensuring a place in BYU football history, the Cougars locked up a spot in Texas Longhorns history as well. The 550 rushing yards is a new standard of futility for them. In all the years since 1902 that Texas has fielded a football team, none of their opponents had ever accumulated so many rushing yards in one game. It is probably safe to say it will be a long time before another opponent eclipses this mark.
It’s exciting to see what these young players with wheels can do. While one can’t expect every game the rest of the season to go this way, I think good things are going to happen this year for the Cougs.
By Nate Deppermann
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