When it comes to pass

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If college football were the Olympics, Bronco’s boys could take their gold medals home from the Texas game and live happily ever after.

But college football is not the Olympics, and the win can only live on in the hearts of the fans. The players and coaches have directed their sights to ten straight weeks of football games — starting on Sept. 21 against rival Utah. Their success for the rest of the year depends on how they develop in the passing game.

BYU quarterback Taysom Hill throws a pass in last year's game against Hawaii. (Photo by Chris Bunker.)
BYU quarterback Taysom Hill throws a pass in last year’s game against Hawaii. (Photo by Chris Bunker)

Despite putting on the nation’s best rushing performance last week, quarterback Taysom Hill acknowledged the offense’s need for more balance.

“We need to be more efficient in the passing game,” he said. “That’s the biggest thing right now. Anytime you’re one-dimensional, someone can focus on that.”

Hill, who has completed only 22 of his 66 pass attempts but is the nation’s fifth leading rusher, may be seen by opponents as one dimensional.

Offensive coordinator Robert Anae said he knows it is easy to blame the quarterback when the team isn’t completing passes at a high rate, but it isn’t that simple.

“You want good completion percentage; it starts with protection,” Anae said. “And then it peels off into your wide receivers getting open. Last in that puzzle is that accuracy of the quarterback.”

Anae also said a team needs to understand its identity. Although the passing game can improve, so far it looks like it will at best be an appetizer compared to the plate full of pounding runs the Cougars will continue to serve up. Hill and running back Jamaal Williams have combined for 91 rushes in the first two games of the season, and the play-calling definitely didn’t look broken against Texas.

A completion every five or six downs is all BYU is looking for, and just enough to keep opponents from cheating. Still, senior receiver Cody Hoffman figures to be a much bigger factor as the season plays out than he has been thus far — he missed BYU’s first game with an injury and caught only two passes against Texas.

With Hoffman completely established in the offense, and with improved accuracy from Hill, the BYU offense could become a scary group — punishing opponents with the run and surprising them with timely pass plays.

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