BYU Football: What To Reasonably Expect From Taysom Hill


Every year throughout the month of August the BYU Kool-Aid is free flowing from taps across all of Utah County and the rest of Cougar Nation.


Taysom Hill is an elite runner. He has speed, he’s physical, he can take a hit and he’s shifty enough that he can juke out a defender. The guy is talented and that’s all there is to it. The paranoid fan in me is nervous that if Hill takes too many hits he won’t be able to play in every game this season, and, I think that’s a huge concern of the coaching staff as well. That same paranoid fan in me wants to see Hill’s carries limited to about 10 a game.

Nov 30, 2013; Reno, NV, USA; BYU Cougars quarterback Taysom Hill runs for a first down in the first half of their NCAA football game with Nevada Wolf Pack at MacKay Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen/USA TODAY Sports. BYU won 28-23.

However, Taysom Hill is a rusher. His most deadly weapon is his legs. He ran for more than 1300 yards for crying out loud.  How can you limit that? How can a coach approach his best player and say, “Hey man, we need you to win us ball games this year, but I’m nervous you might get hurt if you do that. So I’m going to take away your best weapon so you don’t get hurt. But go win us games.”

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Injury is a huge concern, but I think it’s safe to assume that Hill will be running close to the same amount as he did last year. Yes, I know he has more weapons around him. Yes, I know that he has had a year to work on his passing. But, Taysom Hill has been playing football and using his legs for his entire life. That’s in his DNA and that’s how he plays. BYU can’t afford to tell him to be someone that he isn’t. So, what’s the bigger gamble? Possibility of an injury or telling someone to holster his pistol and win with a knife?


Sep 21, 2013; Provo, UT, USA; Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Taysom Hill (4) looks the throw the ball down the field during the second quarter against the Utah Utes at Lavell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Taysom Hill’s passing numbers were not very impressive last year, but were they really as bad as they seemed? The first three games he was terrible. He completed just 40 of his 114 pass attempts for a dismal 35.09%. Let’s consider a few of the variables that he was dealing with.

  • He was coming off knee surgery and spent the majority of the offseason rehabbing his knee to make sure that he would be in game shape.
  • He was in a brand new offense; his second offense in his two years at BYU.
  • He dealt with a monsoon that interrupted his first game and a monsoon pre-game before his second.
  • He played against Utah and it’s apparently unfair to expect BYU quarterbacks to play well against Utah now that Max Hall is gone.

So, take away those first three games and take away a majority of the variables he was dealing with and Hill’s numbers don’t look bad. He completed 196 of 324 passes for a completion percentage of 60.49. Was he Tom Brady? Certainly not. But 60% is a very respectable number for a sophomore quarterback in his first full year as a starter.

What do we expect this year?

Expect improvement. He’s got better receivers around him so that means less drops and more opportunities to throw to open guys. Hill has reportedly been working on his accuracy all off-season and ha

s looked much better so far in camp. However, don’t expect him to look like Peyton Manning out there, in fact, don’t expect him to look like anyone. Expect him to look like Taysom Hill.

We’re still going to see some passes that seem like easy throws that he throws into the ground. We’re still going to see some interceptions that will make you think that he will never complete another pass again. Then what is the difference between this year and last year? We’ll see less of those irritating throws. It just isn’t fair to expect them to be gone.

If we expect Hill to be someone that he isn’t, we’ll be really disappointed when he comes out and is still himself. But if you expect an enhanced version of himself then that’s exactly what you’re going to find.


This is Taysom Hill’s team. Last year he was just a sophomore and BYU was sending off record setters in Kyle Van Noy and Cody Hoffman. This year, it’s the Taysom Hill show. He brings the hype. He brings the attention and he’s going to be the star of every show. We can expect to see a leader. We can expect improved passing and dynamic running. And most of all, we can expect a lot of BYU wins. Taysom Hill is a gamer, and provided he’s healthy, he’s in for a great set up year for an incredible senior campaign.