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Taysom Hill runs all over the Texas defense

Robo-Mormon QB feasted on soft, unprepared Longhorn "defenders."

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

After the Virginia game to open the season, BYU Cougars quarterback Taysom Hill was beaten and abused.

After the Texas-BYU game, it was his counterpart David Ash who was the worse for the wear.

Hill, on the other hand, had just reeled off 259 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground against the Horns. The scores came on runs of 68, 20, and 26 yards, helping him average 15.2 yards per attempt.

"I cannot begin to imagine the disbelief and comments in the staff meeting this morning after watching this play." -- Pete Roussel of Coaching Search

After the game, he shared some thoughts on the futile efforts of the Texas defense to stop his ground-bound efforts.

"All it comes down to is we were taking what the defense was giving us and when we have the options off our run game that we have, it's tough to stop and you saw that tonight," said Hill.

Turns out, what the Texas defense was giving Hill was massive open space to run into, aided by poor angles from the safeties and generally anyone close enough to Hill on any given attempt to end up missing him somehow.

No run was more devastating than the longest touchdown run, which also happened to be the first.

No, this is just another Taysom Hill rushing touchdown from Saturday (Chris Nicholl -- USA TODAY Sports).

The Longhorns had just taken the lead for the first and only time in the game late in the first quarter after a two-play drive highlighted by a picture-perfect 56-yard touchdown pass from Ash to Mike Davis, the only real high point of the game for the Horns, it would turn out, as well as the only short-lived lead.

A 24-yard return by former ruby player Paul Lasike started the BYU efforts and after a run by Williams and a reception by the Cougar starting running back, offensive coordinator Robert Anae dialed up another basic zone read.

Taysom Hill - 1st Quarter 68 Yard Rushing TD vs. Texas (via BYUtv Sports)


Don't say that Diaz didn't adjust some after the New Mexico State game -- instead of having the nickel back or defensive end accountable for the quarterback, it appears that linebacker Steve Edmond is the overhang player Hill is reading on this play.

Note as well that Texas has one linebacker to defend the run in the box and the nickel back, in this case Adrian Phillips, hanging out on the edge of the box to clean up any messes. The cornerbacks are all in tight man coverage.


For some inexplicable reason, Edmond crashes down on the running back, even though it appears that Phillips has responsibility for helping the other linebacker handle the dive. The senior safety has already taken a bad angle and has to re-direct as Hill heads towards the corner with 20 yards of open field until the deep safety, who is coming downhill.

The cornerbacks on the outside to the play side are dealing with the threat of the bubble screen.


The poor angle by Phillips tells as Hill beats him to the edge -- had Phillips chosen instead to meet Hill near the first-down marker, he might have been able to make the tackle or slow down Hill enough for his teammates to get there. Instead, the only two players who can now make a play are cornerback Sheroid Evans, currently engaged with a blocker, and the deep safety running the alley, who has to take a good angle. The safety has to take a conservative angle. He's the last line of defense for the defense.


Did the safety take a good angle? No, the safety, Josh Turner, did not take a good angle. He's now re-directing as Evans battles to beat the block.


And now for some 2011-style failure, as Evans and Turner both arrive near Hill just in time to make diving attempts and...come up with air.


And the faceplant from Turner just for good measure as Hill covers the last 40-plus yards with no defenders in his area code.

"For the man on my right and the man on my left."

It's the team motto for the Horns this year and it apparently means to fail together, just as Evans and Turner did here, except they were the men on the right and the left and the guy in the middle was the enemy.

New team motto means that Texas defenders are now failing together with effort and trust

Then there were the words of Phillips from a couple of weeks ago that echo now resoundingly.

"When you turn on the tape from last year, you aren't happy about what you saw," said Phillips just before the season started.

"You just really looked at yourself and really made it up in your mind that you don't want to be that type of player again."

So much for that.

How about the 26-yard touchdown run early in third quarter that basically put the game out of reach?

Taysom Hill - 3rd Quarter 26 yard Rushing TD vs. Texas (via BYUtv Sports)

Get ready for...Manny Diaz blitz reflex! Just like being hit on the knee! Hey, it's sort of an recklessness!


What could possibly go wrong here on 3rd and 10? Why try to keep everything in front of everyone?


Conservative and sensical is overrated. Also overrated -- keeping any contain on the quarterback, according to Shiro Davis, seen sprawling here after running around randomly and losing Hill inside. There's also Phillips, who didn't take a very good angle and is now diving at Hill's feet. Meanwhile, Mykkele Thompson is getting blocked by 5'8 (ha!), 175-pound (ha! ha ha!) JD Falslev, who simply wants it more than him.

And Hill is off again to the end zone.

"You just really looked at yourself and really made it up in your mind that you don't want to be that type of player again," said Phillips before the season started.

How about the other rushing touchdown for Hill on the day, the one that came second in chronological order?

Taysom Hill - 2nd Quarter 20 Yard Rushing TD vs. Texas (via BYUtv Sports)

The moving pictures will have to suffice here, but for those too lazy or not masochistic enough to watch, know that it was a scramble, so something different, at least, and that there was lots more fail in terms of terrible angles/tackling attempts.

"You just really looked at yourself and really made it up in your mind that you don't want to be that type of player again," said Phillips before the season started.

And so Robo-Mormon QB placed himself among the legends of BYU football by successfully reading Texas defenders on simple options plays or scrambling when the Longhorn defenders lost gap control, finding a seam, and then running straight into the end zone. Now, Hill is an athletic guy at 6'3 and 220 pounds with good feet for his size, but let's be honest -- he didn't exactly have to juke anyone on any of these runs and escaped only the most feeble of tackling attempts.

And so the Texas defenders prove themselves to be that type of player again.

How does Greg Robinson go about fixing that?