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BYU vs. Hawai'i postgame notes and quotes

The defense held its 11th opponent in a row under 300 total yards. BYU held the Warriors to just 149 total yards in the game, the lowest yards allowed during the streak. The 149 yards allowed is the lowest number since a 144-yard effort vs. UNLV in 2010.

BYU pitched its first shutout since a 52-0 win over Wyoming in 2009. BYU has shut out a Norm Chow offense two out of their last three meetings. (Beat UCLA 59-0 in 2009 with Chow as Bruin’s offensive coordinator and lost to Utah 54-10 with Chow as Ute’s offensive coordinator in 2011.) It was the first time Hawai’I was shut out since 1998.

With true freshman Taysom Hill leading BYU to a win it marks the first time a true freshman quarterback won his first start as a Cougar. It was just the second time a BYU freshman won his first start, along with Ty Detmer as a redshirt freshman in 1988.

Quarterback Taysom Hill put together the third best rushing performance by a quarterback in the NCAA this year with 143 rushing yards. Denard Robinson of Michigan ran for 218 yards vs. Air Force and Ohio State’s Braxton Miller ran for 161 vs. Miami (OH). The last time a BYU quarterback rushed for over 100 yards was current offensive coordinator Brandon Doman with 164 vs. Colorado State in 2001.

Both Taysom Hill (143) and Jamaal Williams (155) ran for at least 100 yards. It was the first time a BYU player ran for 100+ yards since Josh Quezada ran for 101 in the New Mexico Bowl in 2010. It was also the first time two Cougars ran for 100 yards in a game since Curtis Brown and Mike Hague in 2006 vs. UNLV.

BYU’s 396 rushing yards are the most under head coach Bronco Mendenhall and the most since racking up 410 yards on the ground in a 56-34 win over Colorado State in 2001.

After going two games without forcing a turnover the BYU defense had three takeaways vs. Hawai’i. Safety Daniel Sorensen had an interception, Kyle Van Noy and Preston Hadley each forced a fumble and Bronson Kaufusi and Spencer Hadley recovered them.

Former BYU rugby star Paul Lasike had his best game as a Cougar. The New Zealand native rushed 10 times for 40 yards and scored his first career touchdown, followed by another for two touchdowns on the night.

Wide receiver Cody Hoffman kept his streak alive, now catching at least one pass in 24 straight games and 30 of 31 career games.

After setting a new school record with 70 consecutive made PATs, BYU had one PAT blocked and missed another.

Senior offensive lineman Braden Brown led BYU out of the tunnel carrying the team flag today. Sophomore defensive back Craig Bills also ran out the special teams flag. Former Cougar Hema Heimuli (RB, 1991-95) carried the alumni flag.

BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall
“If Riley is capable and ready to play, then he will be our starter. He was hurt this week. He has been the whole week, so we made the decision to sit him out.If Riley plays like he has been playing, he won’t get better, but he will improve with rest, so that’s what we’re planning on. Taysom is doing his part, but there isn’t as much history between he and I like there is between Riley and I. The biggest decision is going to be how Riley is feeling.”

“Jamaal has a great vision. He is a great athlete and we have seen all of that in practice. He made the most of his time. It was fun to see him get him.”

“Taysom is progressing in terms of vision and poise. He had most of the reps all week in practice. He is a great runner as you saw, and the drop back game will catch up. I felt that throughout most of the game protected, but it still helps when he runs.”

“As far as injury, Mike Alisa is in a sling. I don’t know how long that takes to come back.”

“After the past two games, I think there has been a lot of improvement in clean play and moving the ball offensively. Our punters have also been doing a great job on special teams. Even though Hawaii was struggling, we needed to see some success tonight for our own confidence.”

“Our defense can still get better. I tell them that all the time. We have high expectations for them. We do have great players, our front three, our inside and outside linebackers and our safeties. They all have great abilities.”

“Jamaal can run with speed. He isn’t a power back, but he can also makes some catches. This was a nice start for him. Now, we will get to see how he handles it against tougher and stiffer competition.”

Austin Holt is not able to go anymore this season. His knee just isn’t capable, so he is redshirting this year. We decided that after the last game. I felt he shouldn’t play another snap, and the doctors confirmed that decision.”

Linebacker/Defensive end Ezekiel Ansah
“It means a lot to us to get a shut out. We have been working hard towards this. We can do better, and we have things to improve on. Turnovers are something we always focus on, and we need to get more of them. All we need is a plus one or more. We keep practicing them in practice. They say practice makes perfect, so that’s what we’re doing.”

Defensive back Preston Hadley
“I don’t think we should walk off just patting ourselves on the back. This isn’t the best game we have played. We still have a lot of work to do so we can get ready for Utah State this next week.”

“If the offense turns the ball over, it doesn’t really matter to us. It gives us another chance to get back on the field. It also doesn’t matter if we have the lead or not. We just take it one play at a time. But because we ran the score up, it was fun seeing a lot of the younger making plays. We see them enter the program, learn and progress and they end up helping us throughout the season.”

Quarterback Taysom Hill
“I’m happy with the way we played. We made plays and some mistakes. I did throw that pick, but I’m still happy overall. I think this is the first time we have scored in the first drive, so that is a great thing.

“I was asking to make the run play all night. My line did a phenomenal job making the split making it possible to get through. If felt great. I was comfortable. I knew what we were doing and our line helped out.”

“I’m not sure about starting. That is not my decision, and I won’t get caught up in that right now. Riley has been through this and has been a big help. He knows the team and what I was going into. He has been giving me pointers all week and was a set of eyes for me from the sideline all night.”

“I had an idea at the beginning of the week that I may start, but it was solidified yesterday. I had a lot of help from Max Hall and coach Doman to help me prepare. I was really excited, and I loved it.”

“I felt the difference from last week to this week was the toughness the offensive line had. They were getting to the linebackers and sealing those guys. It allowed us to make some big runs. Anytime we can put up numbers like that, it’s great.”

Running back Jamaal Williams
“It feels good to come in at 17 and to have everyone believe in me like they do. I didn’t know that Mike was really injured, so when they told me, I knew I had to step up.  Whether that meant carrying the ball or blocking for Taysom, I had to step up. I’m learning to mature fast through this. There are always jokes on the side that I can’t sign for myself and that my parents have to pay for me, but its okay.”

“We don’t really think about starting, we just think about what we need to do to improve and let the coaches make the decision.”

Hawai'i head coach Norm Chow
“We couldn’t get it going defensively. We couldn’t move the ball on offense, very disappointing.”

On injuries:
“We lost four guys really early. We lost two offensive lineman as well, but that’s not an excuse. The rest of us just have to get playing.”

On Taysom Hill, a freshman quarterback:
“We saw a little bit of tape. We knew he was a good runner. We weren’t sure who was going to be the quarterback.”

“It’s not about them, it’s about us. Our lack of ability to tackle and the lack of ability to move the ball on offense. It had nothing to do with them.”

More on injuries:
“No excuses. None, whatsoever. That’s what I told them in there. We’re not making any [excuses]. We have to go back to work. It’s not about anybody else, but else. I don’t know what the toll was of those two kids, obviously it weighs heavily, then we lost two offensive lineman as well. We’re hurting pretty good.”

“We’re just going back to work on Monday. Nothing else we can do. We have to learn from it. We have to know how hard it is to win against a good team like we just played and just go back to work. That’s all we know how to do. We’re young, but again we don’t make excuses.”

“We need to look at the tapes. This is a nice group of young men, they work hard, they’ve worked hard to this point and we’ll continue to do that.”

“We’ve got to grow up. This is a big boy business; nobody is feeling sorry for us. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves.”

BYU vs. Hawai'i game recap