Guiding BYU to a 35-10 win at UConn Friday night, Taysom Hill showed why he is a candidate for all the top national awards in 2014. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. – Taysom Hill scored a career-high five touchdowns, three through the air and two on the ground, as BYU football rolled past Connecticut 35-10 at Rentschler Field Friday night.
"It's great to start with a win," head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. " Taysom did a great job managing the game. We have an excellent offensive system and a very good quarterback. Defensively I thought we did a good job of managing the points."
Hill was 28 for 36 with 308 yards in the air and added another 97 rushing yards on 12 carries.
BYU vs. UConn Game Book
BYU vs. UConn Game Notes
Hill spread the wealth around, with nine BYU players catching at least one pass. Mitch Mathews led the way with five catches for 62 yards and a touchdown. Terenn Houk caught four passes for 58 yards and a score, while Adam Hine also caught the first receiving touchdown of his career.
BYU received the opening kickoff and the offense got things started right away with a 75-yard touchdown drive in 15 plays. Hill ran the ball in from seven yards out on second down to put the Cougars up 7-0. The drive saw the Cougars convert on fourth down at the UConn 31-yard line to keep the scoring drive alive.
Husky running back Max DeLorenzo took the first carry of the game for UConn and fumbled. BYU linebacker Jherremya Leuta-Douyere met him at the line and put his helmet right on the ball and forced a fumble that Bronson Kaufusi recovered, setting up BYU with great field position.
On the first play after the turnover, Hill dropped back and hit Mathews on a perfect 26-yard strike down the middle to put the Cougars up 14-0.
With UConn driving inside BYU territory, Husky quarterback Casey Cochran was hit as he lofted a pass to the BYU 10-yard line, which safety Craig Bills intercepted.
With 9:13 left in the second quarter, Hill passed to Hine for a seven-yard touchdown to cap a 46-yard drive.
With the Cougars driving, Hill completed a pass to Mathews, who fumbled near midfield and the Huskies recovered. UConn used the momentum to mount a 52-yard drive that Josh Marriner finished with a one-yard touchdown run, making it 21-7 for BYU with 2:33 left in the first half.
The Cougar offense went into two-minute mode and marched down the field. Hill scrambled around and found Houk for a 35-yard touchdown pass. Houk tight-roped down the sideline and dove in for the score to put the Cougars up 28-7 heading into halftime.
UConn took the opening kick of the second half and drove right down the field before facing fourth down inside the red zone. The Huskies lined up for a field goal but decided on the fake. The Cougars weren’t fooled and forced the holder out of bounds for a turnover on downs.
After forcing UConn to punt, the BYU offense took over and started driving the field. Algernon Brown took a handoff and was hit by Graham Stewart and fumbled, with Rueben Frank scooping up the loose ball for the Huskies.
UConn converted the turnover into a field goal, cutting BYU’s lead to 28-10.
After a three-and-out from the BYU offense, UConn drove down the field to the BYU 10-yard line where the Cougar defense tightened and forced an incomplete pass on fourth down for the turnover on downs.
After the turnover, the offense went on a 90-yard drive that finished with Hill scampering in from 26 yards for his second rushing touchdown of the game.
After another UConn drive inside the BYU 10-yard line, the defense tightened up and forced another turnover on downs with a minute left to seal the 35-10 win for the Cougars.
BYU plays Texas on Sept. 6 in Austin, Texas, at 6:30 p.m. CDT on Fox Sports 1.