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Sunday morning quarterback: Stars and stats from BYU's rout of Southern Utah

The BYU Cougars earned their sixth win to become bowl eligible with a 37-7 win over the Southern Utah Thunderbirds at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Cougars used quarterbacks Taysom Hill and Tanner Mangum to put on a show in the passing game as they improved to 6-4 on the season.


Scoring recap


BYU got on the board on its first drive of the game when Hill found the edge and scored on a 16-yard run to give the Cougars an early 7-0 lead. The score was set up by a 31-yard reception by Mitchell Juergens.

The Cougars extended the lead to 14-0 while Nick Kurtz hauled in a 31-yard touchdown pass from Hill on fourth and 17. Juergens came up big as he helped to move the chains with a 15-yard reception on a fourth and 15.

.@BYUfootball WRs Nick Kurtz (5 rec., 69 yds., TD) and Mitchell Juergens (6 rec., 82 yds.) in Cougars throwing for 441 vs. Southern Utah pic.twitter.com/leLl8o4PTe

— Brandon Judd (@brandonljudd) November 13, 2016

Rhett Almond push the lead to 17-0 when he connected on a field goal from 28 yards out. Brayden El-Bakri helped get the Cougars into field goal range with a key 27-yard reception.

BYU made it 24-0 when Hill found Colby Pearson for a 21-yard touchdown strike. Hill completed all three of his passes on the drive, including 9-yard receptions from El-Bakri and Jonah Trinnaman.

Southern Utah got on the board when Patrick Tyler found Logan Parker for a 17-yard touchdown. Parker had another massive play when he recovered a Raysean Pringle fumble to keep possession.

The Cougars answered as KJ Hall scored the first touchdown of his BYU career from 2 yards out to make it 31-7. The drive was all about big plays as BYU had four plays of at least 12 yards, including a 32-yard reception from Hall, a 20-yard catch from Talon Shumway and a 16-yard run from Hill.

Almond hit his second field goal of the game from 30 yards out as the Cougars' lead grew to 34-7. Mangum came up big to move the sticks when he found Aleva Hifo for a 13-yard gain on third and 4.

BYU closed out the scoring with a 20-yard field goal by Almond to make the score 37-7. Mangum used his legs to produce most of the yards with runs of 35 and 22 yards.

.@BYUfootball QB Tanner Mangum (@tannermangum) shows nice wheels on this 35-yard run in the 4th quarter vs. @SUUFB pic.twitter.com/u0TY19cOmV

— Brandon Judd (@brandonljudd) November 13, 2016


Three stars


3. Tomasi Laulile

Laulile had one of his best outings as a Cougar with his first two sacks of the season.

2. KJ Hall

Hall made a huge difference for the shorthanded rushing attack for the Cougars. He led the team with 12 carries for 59 yards and a touchdown. He also chipped in with three catches for 68 yards.

.@BYUfootball RB KJ Hall (@khall247) with an impressive debut for the Cougars with 12 carries for 59 yards, 1 TD, and 3 rec. for 68 yards pic.twitter.com/BRCWpGVdP4

— Brandon Judd (@brandonljudd) November 13, 2016

1. Taysom Hill

Hill had his best passing game of the season, completing 22 of 29 passes for 320 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He added 29 yards rushing and another score.


Analyzing the stats


The Cougars set a new season high with 441 yards passing. The previous season best came in the loss to UCLA when Hill passed for 250 yards.

The 441 passing yards is the most by a Cougar offense since passing for 486 yards in a 41-17 win over Northern Iowa in the opening game of the 2008 season.

The Cougars dominated every facet of the game outside of turnovers. They outgained the Thunderbirds 596-165, won the time of possession 39:54-20:06 and held a huge edge in first downs, 33-7.

While the BYU defense held Southern Utah to 165 yards of offense, no Cougar registered more than four tackles.

Mangum completed 11 of 13 passes for 121 yards. He also managed 42 yards rushing on four carries.


Up next


BYU gets its second of three straight home games to close the season as Massachusetts comes to town.

The Minutemen are 2-8 on the season with their only two wins coming over Florida International and Wagner.

Sophomore quarterback Andrew Ford leads an offense that is 51st nationally with 245 yards passing per game. He has completed 59.6 percent of his throws for 2,035 yards and 22 touchdowns.

His favorite weapons in the passing game are Adam Breneman and Andy Isabella. Breneman leads the team with 58 catches for 699 yards and seven touchdowns, while Isabella has recorded 49 receptions for 610 yards and six scores.

The player to watch in the running game is Marquis Young, who leads the team with 741 yards rushing and three touchdowns.

Jay Yeomans is a sports writer for DeseretNews.com. Contact him at jyeomans@deseretdigital.com.