Hill was constantly under pressure from the Cavaliers defensive front. That might explain the poor number, or maybe it was the absence of star receiver Cody Hoffman.
Hill is still a young quarterback who needs to develop as a passer, but his poor passing numbers in Hoffman's absence follows the results of his two starts in 2012.
In his first career start, Hill had just 112 passing yards, and BYU had 144 as a team. Hoffman's stat line in this game was 2 receptions for 16 yards--his worst showing of the season.
One week later, Hill connected with Hoffman eight times for 114 yards--a 98 yard improvement. Interestingly, BYU saw its total passing yards jump 91 yards to 235.
Jake Heaps was BYU's starter for the first five games. He did not throw the ball in Hoffman's direction very often the first two games. Heaps had 225 and 192 yards, respectively, the first two games, and Hoffman had just 9 and 11. In game three, the BYU coaches made sure Heaps threw the ball to Hoffman. It benefited both. Heaps had the first 300 yard passing game of his career (305) and Hoffman had 138 yards receiving.
The next week, Heaps couldn't find Hoffman and his passing totals took a nose dive. It was Heaps 133 yards and Hoffman 24 yards that night. In game five, Heaps started 11 of 25 for 107 yards. Just one of his
completions was to Hoffman for 18 yards. Midway through the third quarter, Heaps was benched for Riley Nelson. Nelson finished the game 10 of 14 for 144 yards. He had three completions to Hoffman for 50 yards.
Hoffman has shown he is a quarterback's best friend. When James Lark made the only two starts of his career in the final two games of 2012, he got Hoffman the ball, a lot (182 and 114 yards receiving), and was greatly rewarded (384 and 244 yards passing).
Had Hoffman played on Saturday at Virginia, it isn't guaranteed that Hill would have transformed into Steve Young from 1983. However, Hoffman's track record is strong that he would have helped boost Hill's productivity, if he had gotten the ball.
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