Taysom Hill injured in BYU football victory

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Taysom Hill surveys the field. Hill threw one touchdown and two interceptions before leaving with an injury. (Ari Davis)
Taysom Hill surveys the field. Hill threw one touchdown and two interceptions before leaving with an injury. (Ari Davis)

Taysom Hill went down with an elbow injury early in the fourth quarter as the Cougars took down the Utah State Aggies 28-10 at home on Saturday night.

After the game, BYU head coach Kalani Sitake said Hill had a hyperextended elbow. There is no fracture, but the Cougars will know more in the coming days.

The Aggies started the game off with a 28-yard field goal from Brock Warren. They would attempt another field goal from 46 yards out but long kicker Dominik Eberle missed it wide right.

Jamaal Williams returned from injury to have his way with the Aggies. Williams ran all over USU in the second quarter and rushed the ball into the end zone for a two-yard touchdown to put the Cougars up 7-3.

“It feels great to be out here playing with my team again,” Williams said. “Just seeing how hard they’ve been working and for the seniors to come out like this and win is great and I’m just grateful to be part of this football team and a part of this family to have these brothers and to know I have them for life is great to know. I’m just going to love them and love this place and everybody here.”

Sophomore Michael Shelton scooped up the football during a wild fumble in the pile and ran it back for the first touchdown of his career. The 52-yard fumble return gave the Cougars a 14-3 lead before a costly turnover by Taysom Hill.

Jalen Davis intercepted Hill at the BYU 43-yard line and ran it back 37 yards before Damion Hobbs finished the drive with a rushing touchdown. The late, second-quarter score put the game within reach for the Aggies at 14-10 going into halftime.

“We were fortunate going into halftime with the lead,” Sitake said. “Just really pleased with the way the team played in the second half.”

Mitchell Juergens broke the silence in LaVell Edwards Stadium by catching a tough pass from Hill right at the goal line. The receiver stretched back for the touchdown and put BYU up 21-10 following the Rhett Almond PAT.

Fred Warner picked off USU quarterback Kent Myers late in the third quarter for his third interception of the season. The Cougar defense has recorded at least one interception in every game of the 2016 season, marking the first time this has been done at BYU since 2001.

Colby Pearson caught a five-yard touchdown pass from Tanner Mangum to finish off the drive in the fourth quarter.

“It was awesome,” Pearson said of the touchdown. “Kind of another a broken play. Tanner just slinged it out there and I came back and it was good.”

Mangum came into the game after Hill made a leaping dive and injured his elbow on the play. The 38-yard drive put the Cougars up 28-10 before the game ended.

Seniors including Hill, Kai Nacua and Jamaal Williams were honored by family and teammates alike for their outstanding BYU careers on the annual “senior night.”

“(Hill) and the other seniors have been unbelievable leading this team,” Sitake said. “Just really lucky that they’re able to lead the rest of the guys. They’ll be proud of what they did this year. It will last for a long time because their sacrifice that they’ve made. They’ve changed the whole program at BYU and they’ve done some great things for Coach Mendenhall, I’m just lucky that they’re able to do that for me.”

The Cougars will compete in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on December 21.

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