Taysom Hill has shown significant improvement while powering BYU’s offense

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Taysom Hill debuted as BYU’s full-time starter at the beginning of the 2013 college football season even though he struggled in previous seasons with his passing game. Despite returning from a knee injury, he showed early on that he could scramble and gain yards with his feet, winning the position as heart and soul of the team.

A review of Taysom Hill’s performance by week four from last year to this year shows a completely different player. At the end of week four of the 2013 season Hill had a quarterback rating of only 43.9, placing him at number 65 on that week’s performance, with his QB rating, a rating which values quarterbacks on all play types on a scale of 0-100, at only 38.7.

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. (Chris Bunker)

So far in the 2014 season, Hill has truly developed as a passer and sur”passed” last year’s performance by leaps and bounds with a current QB rating of 81.7, more than doubling last year’s rating.

Hill is currently ranked No. 21 overall for quarterbacks in the FBS standings and when it comes to expected points from rushing, Hill is ranked No. 2 overall.

Looking back, when BYU played Virginia last year it was the first game of the 2013 season and the dawn of the BYU football team’s new “Go hard go fast” motto.

BYU fans will say the game was anything but fast and hard-played, though.

It was a tough game defensively. It all came down to the last minutes of the fourth quarter. With 2:41 left on the clock, Hill threw an interception that Virginia returned to BYU’s 13-yard line, allowing UVA to score and make the game 16-19.

The Cougars then took the field with 2:26 left to play. Three rushes got the Cougars some space, but four consecutive incomplete passes by Hill lead to a turnover on downs.

Virginia took over with 1:28 to play. The Cougars defense forced a three and out which lead to a punt that was called a touchback.

With only 20 seconds left in game time and 80 yards to go, Taysom Hill threw three incomplete passes, but connected with Ross Apo on the last play of the game for a 52 yard gain. Still, it was not enough.

The Cougars came out with a devastating season opener loss to Virginia in the 2013 season where Taysom Hill completed only 13 of his 40 passes with one interception. Not Hill’s best performance, but this year’s game against Virginia was different.

Hill led BYU’s high-powered offense to a revenge victory over Virginia, throwing 13-for-23 for 187 yards, while also rushing for 72 yards. He personally accounted for three touchdowns in BYU’s 41-33 win. Hill looked heads and shoulders better in this year’s contest compared to last year.

Virginia is perhaps the best defense Hill will face all season, and the Cougars still scored 41 points. He will continue to gain confidence and put up big numbers as the season goes on. His next chance to prove himself will be at home against Utah State on Oct. 3.

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