Posted October 26, 2013

Three and Out: Taysom Hill, BYU smother reeling Boise State

Boise State Broncos, BYU Cougars
Taysom Hill was fabulous yet again, throwing for 339 yards and three TDs. (Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)

Taysom Hill was fabulous yet again, throwing for 339 yards and three TDs. (Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)

Fans who made a Friday-night pilgrimage to BYU’s LaVell Edwards Stadium took in an offensive show from the hometown Cougars. Taysom Hill and BYU continued their surge by blitzing visiting Boise State, 37-20, in Provo. The Broncos, once the darling of the Mountain West, looked all too human against former league member BYU, which left the conference to become an independent. Now it appears BYU is the program on the rise, while coach Chris Petersen is likely searching for answers on both sides of the ball in Boise.

Here are three thoughts from BYU’s win over Boise State:

BYU’s offense is clicking: Last season, Boise State (5-3, 3-1) escaped the Cougars with a 7-6 win. The Broncos had no answers this time around for BYU’s attack, which wasted little time in putting this game out of reach. BYU (6-2) built a 24-3 halftime lead thanks largely to its efficiency: It ran 52 plays for 376 yards of total offense in the first half, and it finished the night with 568 yards.

Much of that production is thanks to Hill, who again showed why he’s one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the country. The sophomore accounted for three of his four total touchdowns by halftime, and he completed 21-of-28 passes for 253 yards through two quarters. On the night Hill totaled 408 of BYU’s total yards, including touchdown passes of 37 and 40 yards alongside a 20-yard rushing score.

The Cougars’ defense did an astounding job as well, holding a Boise team that came in averaging 39.9 points to only 20. But it’s no secret that BYU’s success hinges on its offense this season. In its two losses to Virginia and Utah, the Cougars managed only 16 and 13 points, respectively. In the team’s six wins — including the last five straight — it has averaged 38 points per game.

This ain’t your father’s Boise State: The grass isn’t as green in Boise nowadays. Petersen’s crew had one of its worst offensive years of the coach’s tenure in 2012, and Petersen said in the spring that this season was likely to be a challenge for his program. Still, many expected the Broncos to improve enough to contend for an at-large BCS bid. Instead the program has floundered in games it absolutely had to win in order to remain in that conversation.

Its meeting with BYU was one of those games. The Broncos started without quarterback Joe Southwick, and it showed early. With the senior sidelined nursing a broken ankle, junior Grant Hedrick earned his first-career start against Kyle Van Noy and a talented BYU defense on the road. While Hedrick played well — he recorded 238 passing yards and two total touchdowns — he completed only 26 of his 43 pass attempts while fighting an uphill battle thanks to Boise State’s four turnovers.

Yet even with the late miscues — three of those turnovers came on consecutive series in the second half — the Broncos still had a chance to fight back. With 4:43 left to play and Boise State staring at a 37-20 deficit, the Broncos tried to convert on fourth down just inside BYU territory only to be stopped for the third time of the night. That moment was an appropriate illustration of Boise State’s outing in Provo.

Fans aren’t used to one of Petersen’s teams being so mediocre. The Broncos have not lost three games in the regular season since 2005, the year before he took over as head coach. The Mountain West title, once a virtual lock for the Boise State program, is decidedly out of reach. But in a league like the Mountain West, the Broncos aren’t likely to remain afterthoughts for long.

BCS focus? While Boise State’s BCS chances are out the window, the door is still open for BYU to sneak into the picture. The Cougars face stiff tests against Wisconsin next week and Notre Dame two weeks after that, but winning out would mean nine straight victories to close the season for the Cougars. Of course, Mendenhall and BYU would need bad luck to hit the likes of Louisville and Fresno State, but there’s no reason to completely count the Cougars out of the BCS picture.

20 comments
shakers
shakers

Still scratching my head over BYU's loss to Virginia. That is looking more and more like a catostrophic turn over events. If BYU's lone loss is to Utah, they are likely a hovering around the polls in the top 15 right now.   

shakers
shakers

Boise hasn't won an outright conference championship since moving to the Mountain West. But they have only lost one conference game this year and are still the frontrunners to claim their division for a possible rematch with Fresno in the MWC championship game. Utah State posed serious threat until star QB Chuckie Keeton and starting RB Joe Hill got knocked out for the season prior to facing the Broncos. 


utahdeliveryman
utahdeliveryman

As a BYU fan, I have nothing but respect for BSU.  They have been the big dogs of the region and in the national conversation for 10 years, exactly where BYU would have like to have been.  BYU has always been just outside that conversation at the end of the year.  BSU serves as a model BYU is trying to emulate.  They have used players who are often not 4 and 5 star out of high school, but who succeed because of discipline and hard work and great coaching.  I hope they rebound from this defeat and go on to win the MWC and continue to beat everybody on the block in the years to come, except, of course, BYU.  And I hope they can keep Chris Petersen around.

nthorstrom
nthorstrom

Being a BYU fan, I would love to see the Cougars make it in to a BCS bowl this year (although highly unlikely with 2 losses), but I think the author of this story missed the fact that BYU has already accepted their invitation to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl and are already selling tickets online.  As much as it would mean to the University and it's fans, I doubt BYU would back out of that commitment, even for BCS "glory".

Hoosier83705
Hoosier83705

Not sure how the Mountain West Title is "decidedly out of reach" for Boise State since this game with BYU was out of conference. If the Broncos win the rest of their in-conference games, against Colorado State, Wyoming, and New Mexico, then they'll still win the Mountain Division and play (presumably Fresno State) for the conference title. BYU simply outplayed Boise this year. Hats off to them. They certainly deserve the W in this game. But the MWC title is still possible for the likes of us potato farmers if we finish the season well.

therednorth1
therednorth1

Basically, Kellen Moore was really, really, really good; and it's a shame BSU didn't get to play for a title while he was there; and now they have no replacement for him.

UleNotknow
UleNotknow

"Instead the program has floundered in games it absolutely had to win... " Yes, they had a phenomenal run of luck in past years.

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

Sunday, the media will rank BSU to #20 due to the "wonderful" story of a little over hyped loser school.  But, "we beat Oklahoma" will ring out from their dilusional fans

Marchoir
Marchoir

The media never really loved Boise State. How could they? It's Boise, Idaho for gawd's sake. Nothing progressive or socialist to be found there. Boise may have a blue field, but it's the only thing blue in a crimson red state. Then why did the leftist press fawn over them for so long? The truth is that the whole "Boise" thing was more of an "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" deal. The press created, promoted, and used them like an old dish rag.  Boise was a "tool" used to attack the evil BCS, and the only effective tool available at the time. If you recall, the press also was in the TCU corner, up until TCU joined the BCS. Then, they dropped them like a rock. Writing anything positive about Texas Christian had to give most of the media some serious hives, but they held their noses and used them while they could. The same deal with Boise. Once the BCS had been destroyed, it was "mission accomplished", and the press had no more political use for those "awful potato heads" in Boise, Idaho. The fifteen minutes of fame is over.

TalonJensen
TalonJensen

BYU has a bye next week so the Wisconsin game is in two weeks (11/9) and the Notre Dame game is two weeks after that (11/23).

kevin95
kevin95

"The grass isn’t as green in Boise nowadays." .... Silly me, I thought the grass was blue in Boise.

gpt85
gpt85

@nthorstrom this is all moot. The BCS buster clause is for a non-BCS-conference champion, which BYU will not be. The only way they get in the BCS is if they are in the top 4 or the bowl chooses them as an at large.

utahdeliveryman
utahdeliveryman

@nthorstrom I believe there is a clause in the Fight Hunger Bowl contract that allows BYU to be excused from their commitment if they get a BCS Bowl invite.

Iowa
Iowa

@WHO*IS*ESPN Wow, sounds like another fanatic who still can't get over that a school outside the BCS country club actually was beating those schools regularly for a good period of years. You an SEC fan? Big 10? Oregon? Or a bitter Oklahoma fan who still can't come to grips with that Fiesta Bowl loss?

Sounds like you need help. Most people got over it long ago that Boise State was legit. Regularly beating teams away from home like Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington, Oregon State, Virginia Tech, Georgia, as well as sending a ton of players to the NFL, usually gets most teams that respect. Now they're having a couple down years. Believe USC, Alabama, Oklahoma, Ohio State and just about everyone else has had them too in recent years.

R17
R17

@Marchoir Ah yes, another brain-dead retard that injects politics into a completely unrelated story. You morons think you're so smug with your (not so) clever sound-bites and "enlightened" observations. But those of us educated beyond the third grade are the ones laughing at you. The liberals have gotten so deep into your head that your life has become an obsession with them. What a complete tool. I suppose the reason you live in your mother's basement is a liberal's fault too.

Tim38
Tim38

@Marchoir You realize the mayor of boise is a democrat right?  you must be an SEC homer.

ericwkillian
ericwkillian

@Iowa @WHO*IS*ESPN 

recheck your history there, Boise State is 0-2 at Washington in the last few years, I wouldn't call 1 narrow win in the Las Vegas Bowl "regularly beating"

UleNotknow
UleNotknow

@Tim38 @Marchoir As for you, snowmobiles must be a way of life.  Boise's little trick of scheduling a big-name school early in the season, hoping for an upset and if they got it screaming for national recognition the rest of the season while waltzing their way through a patty-cake schedule, is no more.

It was a real treat watching BYU pound sand up Boise's posterior.

Iowa
Iowa

@UleNotknow @Tim38 @Marchoir Right. Because when you beat those teams every year it's an 'upset'. Only in a BCS school fanatic's dream. Go find something else to stress yourself out about other than Boise State being a threat to your team's power trip, heaven knows there's more important things.