Brigham Young’s sophomore quarterback Taysom Hill had only started one game away from home in his entire career before Saturday’s match-up against Utah State. So, Jay Drew, who covers the Cougars for the Salt Lake Tribune, posed the question in one of his blogs if Hill would be able to perform in a hostile environment.
Hill showed he might have issues playing outside of the friendly confines of LaVell Edwards Stadium when he threw 13-for-40 in BYU’s season opener at Virginia. He had almost been a hero after scoring a go-ahead touchdown with 6:26 left in the game. But when he got the ball with less than two and a half minutes on the clock and Virginia in the lead by three, he threw four straight incompletions at the BYU 41. In his previous possession, he’d also thrown an interception. Virginia held onto win by a slim 19-16 margin.
However, Hill did manage to pass for 175 yards against the Cavaliers.
Since the opener, Hill’s efficiency has increased. Zac Ellis of Sports Illustrated wrote, “Hill had performed as merely a rushing quarterback this season” before encountering Utah State. Hill turned that around in the game against Utah this weekend. He reached some career highs in passing. His completion total went up to 54.8 percent and he gained 278 yards in the air.
Maybe it was just the thrill of starting an away game for the first time that caused Hill to falter in Virginia. Whatever the case may be, he can now take some comfort in knowing he won’t always choke if he’s not at home.