Brigham Young University
Sep 11 | 07:00 PM
33 - 25
University of Houston
LaVell Edwards Stadium

1700 North Canyon Road Provo UT 84604

mperry | Posted: 11 Sep 2014 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Hill and Williams lead effort as No. 25 BYU tops Houston 33-25


PROVO, Utah – Juniors Taysom Hill and Jamaal Williams combined for a gritty ground attack in No. 25 BYU’s 33-25 victory against Houston in the 2014 home opener Thursday at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

BYU vs. Houston Game Book

Postgame Notes

Williams paced the offense with 139 yards rushing on 28 attempts and two touchdowns. Hill led the assault with 160 yards rushing and 200 passing yards on 21-for-34 attempts with one pass and one rushing touchdown as BYU began the season 3-0 for the first time since 2008.

“I’m glad that we continued to battle, continued to fight," head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "We had some offensive momentum in the first half, and we moved it when we needed to. Overall, it was a hard fought win. There’s plenty to work on, but a lot of things that I was pleased with.”

The junior quarterback became the 14th FBS quarterback in NCAA history to throw for 4,000 yards and run for 2,000 yards by their junior season, joining the ranks of Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick, Johnny Manziel and Tim Tebow. 

The offensive attack was balanced with 11 different receivers recording receptions. The corps was led by Jordan Leslie's six catches for 79 yards and Mitch Mathews' four receptions for 22 yards and one touchdown. The defense was led by Craig Bills' seven tackles along with Alani Fua's seven tackles and one tackle for loss. 

Striking first on the scoreboard was the BYU defense as linebacker Zac Stout smothered the run in the backfield in the end zone for the safety. 

On the ensuing drive on third down and five, Hill hit Leslie for a gain of 35 yards to the Houston 24-yard line. A facemask penalty moved the ball forward to the 11-yard line, after which Williams capitalized with an 11-yard run around the left side for his first score of the night, making the lead 9-0 after the PAT.

The red Cougars were forced to punt and the blue Cougars took over at the 6:07 mark in the first quarter for another BYU scoring drive. Williams had 16 yards rushing and Hill went 3 for 4 with 32 passing yards and 19 rushing yards. The drive culminated in a touchdown on a five-yard keeper as Hill arrived untouched in the end zone to extend the lead 16-0.

The quarter ended with Houston threatening at the BYU 24-yard line, but the red Cougars’ drive stalled and ended with a botched field goal attempt. Linebacker Teu Kautai recovered the ball for the blue Cougars. 

BYU capitalized as Hill led the offense down the field for its third trip to the blue zone, ending in its third touchdown in as many chances. The 87-yard drive saw Hill hit four different receivers with Mathews hauling in a six-yard touchdown reception as he ran across the end zone toward the southwest corner.

With BYU leading 23-0, John O’Korn rallied the red Cougars with a 17-play drive for 82 yards, but the blue Cougar defense held strong, forcing a Houston 29-yard field goal to cut the score to 23-3.

Following the kickoff, BYU was intercepted on the first play of the drive with 3:05 left in the half. Houston’s Daniel Spencer pulled in the reception on the next play for a 28-yard gain to the BYU 1-yard line. After penalties on both sides, the away Cougars eventually broke into the end zone on a 7-yard pass to narrow the score 23-9.

The home Cougars took over with 1:08 left in the half. Hill then pushed the offense up field with 21 rush yards and a 38-yard pass to Mitchell Juergens up the left sideline. 

After Juergens’ reception, Houston forced a fumbled and returned it 28 yards to the BYU 45-yard line. With three seconds left on the game clock for the half, O’Korn heaved a Hail Mary pass that was caught by Spencer for the 45-yard touchdown, sending the game to halftime with a 23-15 margin.

The blue Cougars held the advantage in the third quarter.

BYU steadily marched down the field on the legs of Hill and Williams. The 15-play, 53-yard drive ended with Trevor Sampson’s 26-yard field goal to extend the lead to 26-15. It was the longest scoring drive of the season, taking 6:15 off the clock.

The fourth quarter began with Houston’s drive stalling and Devon Blackmon returning the punt 16 yards to the BYU 44-yard line. Once again the blue Cougars employed their ground game, producing a quick 8-play drive capped by a 2-yard touchdown run through the middle for Williams’ second of the game. Hill and Williams each carried the ball four times for 39 and 17 yards, respectively, on the drive to stretch the lead to 33-15.

Houston countered on the next possession as O’Korn threw 6 for 7 to lead the away Cougars 68 yards down the field and into the end zone, reducing BYU’s lead to 33-22. The home Cougars took over with the ball, but turned the ball over on an interception. Houston then reduced the deficit to 33-25 when it took capitalized with a 36-yard field goal.

With 7:18 left in the game, BYU drove 35 yards before being forced to punt. 

With the red Cougars on the Houston 12-yard line, the blue Cougar defense held O’Korn’s passing in check with three incomplete passes. After the punt, BYU relied once again on the ground game with  Williams taking five of the six handoffs to run out the clock.

During the home opener, BYU commemorated the 13th anniversary of 9/11 and paid tribute to the military. 

The Cougars continue their home stand with a matchup against Virginia Sept. 20 at 1:30 p.m. MDT. The game will be broadcast on the ESPN Networks.

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rachelhawks | Posted: 9 Sep 2014 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

No. 25 BYU hosts Houston in home opener


PROVO, Utah – In its 2014 home debut, No. 25 BYU football welcomes Houston to LaVell Edwards Stadium Thursday at 7 p.m. MDT.

Kickoff is slated for 7:01 p.m. MDT on ESPN. Live streaming is available through WatchESPN. ESPN3 is also providing a live SkyCam broadcast.

Fans can tune in for live coverage on the Cougar IMG Sports Network with Greg Wrubell, which can be found on Sirius XM 143, 1160 AM, 102.7 FM and IMG's radio coverage will begin at 6 p.m. MDT.

BYUtv will provide pregame and postgame coverage, with Countdown to Kickoff starting at 6 p.m. MDT. Postgame coverage runs for half an hour after the game.

Houston (1-1) at No. 25 BYU (2-0)
Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014 at 7:01 p.m. MDT
LaVell Edwards Stadium
Provo, Utah

BYU Game Notes

Houston Game Notes


Last meeting: The blue Cougars and red Cougars met for the first time in 2013, when Taysom Hill pulled off a last-minute touchdown pass to Skyler Ridley to claim a BYU victory 47-46.

BYU vs. AAC: The Cougars are a combined 17-2 against American Athletic Conference opponents. BYU defeated AAC opponent UConn in the 2014 season opener, taking down the Huskies 35-10 on the road.

Run, Taysom, run: Junior quarterback Taysom Hill led BYU to a 41-7 victory against Texas with three rushing touchdowns in the third quarter. Hill leaped over a Longhorn DB on his way to a 30-yard touchdown run, his first of the game, launching a 28-0 scoring streak in the third quarter. Hill was named FBS Independent Offensive Player of the Week for the second week in a row.

Making history: Hill is one of eight players in the NCAA history to ever throw for 400 yards and run for 100 yards in the same game which was against Houston in 2013. He finished with 417 passing yards (4 TDs) and 128 rushing yards.

10 seasons: Bronco Mendenhall began his 10th season as head coach of the Cougars with the season opener at UConn. Mendenhall has an 84-34 record entering his 10th year. BYU ranks 12th in total wins during his tenure.

Hometown: Four Cougars hail from Houston–Harvey Jackson, Garrett Juergens, Mitchell Juergens and Jordan Leslie.

Beating the best: Since 2003, BYU has 16 wins against Power 5 schools, which ranks second among non-Power 5 schools behind fellow independent Navy.

Messing with Texas: BYU handed Texas its worst home loss since 1997, when UCLA beat the Longhorns 66-3.



On getting back to work after Texas:
Well, really I don't think anybody on the team is satisfied. Like I said, we want to be undefeated. That's only one win. That only counts as one, even though we might think it counts as three because it's such a big win against such a great team, but it only counts as one. We have to get ready for the next team and can't be too satisfied.
On Houston:
Houston's good. They had a little hiccup against UTSA, but they came out strong the next week. Their defense is going to be good. Of course their offense is going to be good, they always put up big points. It's going to be a great challenge for us.
I went against Houston a lot when I was at UTEP. You know they like to go fast-paced and stuff like that. It's going to be a fun game. Both offenses are going fast-paced. So, don't miss it.
On Houston defense:
Especially with Taysom (Hill), we're expecting them to go man, cover-1, maybe cover-3, to stop him from running. Like we've said before, he's so athletic, if he gets loose, there's no catching him. We expect them to try to stop the run, try to stop Taysom. That's a lot of pressure on us, we have to make plays.
On being recruited by Houston:
Yes, they actually offered me. I chose not to go there just because it was too close to home. I kind of wanted to get away. They're a great school and it was a hard decision not to choose there.
On BYU fans:
I love it. Seeing the fans at the away games, I can just imagine what a home game is going to be like. It's just fun. They're so passionate. This team it's just--we're a band of brothers. I said that when I first got here, but now that I've been here for a while, I've been able to witness and see how we are on the field, we really are a band of brothers. 
I don't think we have any fans in the world like BYU fans. I just can't wait for a home game. I know it's going to be loud and it's going to be fun.
On Taysom's running:
He's athletic. He's the man. He can run any time he wants to. That really puts a lot of pressure on the defense. It forces them to put eight in the box and man up. As a receiver, that's what you want, you want man coverage. That's kind of what you dream for, us being the bomb squad, we expect to make plays. 
On last year's game vs. Houston:
I didn't play in last year's game because of a concussion. What I saw on the field, they made a big special teams play which kind of got them back in the game and they made a long throw that really got them back in the game.
On Houston:
They're a good team. They're capable and they have a lot of good athletes.
On O'Korn:
Last year he kept plays alive and he keeps eyes down field. He's a guy that can definitely hurt you if your eyes are wrong. Especially in the secondary, we need to stay straight on our keys and we need to be disciplined
On home opener:
It's really exciting. Definitely coming off of two away games, where it's a long distance away and we still have a good turnout for those games, but it's going to be fun getting back into our stadium in front of our home crowd. 
The natural tendency would be to try to feel good a little bit longer than we have time for. As you all know yesterday was 'Wednesday', today's 'Thursday' and tomorrow is the day before the game. So it's hard even though we've done it a lot of times, it's hard to get used to it still. Bumps and bruises have to heal faster. Good performances have to be forgotten as well as some that could be improved have to be forgotten. A lot at stake, but I would say so far, so good in the two days we've had on the field.
On the BYU running game:
Having Jamaal (Williams) and Adam (Hine) back there really helped. As the game went on, we didn't slow down. When you consider now Algie (Brown) and Paul (Lasike) as well, it's a nice stable of backs to have. It's more than two deep, so you end up almost being three deep with different combinations which is really helpful in keeping the workload as much as possible off Taysom, even though he's really dynamic with the ball. We're throwing it better, so that helps too. 
On bumps and bruises:
They're there. Normally it's a walk-through on Monday rather than a Wednesday's practice for that very reason. So, they just are what they are. So I don't think there is anything game limiting in addition to what you already know. Hopefully we'll be as healthy as possible by the time we play.
On Houston's film--what do you see?
Same as a year ago. Really good schemes and good players. They're doing a really nice job. 
On BYU defensive performances:
Really good. 17 points in two games. If that keeps up, we'll have a good chance at every game that we play. 
On keeping a strong defense:
It's just the system. For nine years we averaged in the top 20 in scoring throughout that entire time and so really, it's just replacing parts now. We have good leadership with our defensive staff.