clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Looking back at Taysom Hill's top 15 moments at BYU

Editor's note: With Taysom Hill being ruled out for the Poinsettia Bowl with a left-elbow strain on Monday, ending his BYU career, we take a look back at a story from February — updated with results from this year — when the senior announced he would come back for one more season.

Hill's 37 games at quarterback provided some sensational highlights. Counting down, here are his top 15 moments in a BYU uniform.


15. "50-yard dash" vs. Middle Tennessee, 2013. BYU took awhile to get going in what would eventually be a 37-10 win against the Blue Raiders, but the spark was a designed run to the right in which Hill was perhaps touched by one diving defensive player before outrunning everyone else on the field for a touchdown.


14. "Second effort" at Texas, 2014. What would go down as a 2-yard touchdown for Hill, who often ran it in from further out, was one of the best shows of the quarterback's strength and determination. With his second of three touchdowns in Austin, Hill ran left into a Longhorn defense that read the play perfectly, and met Hill between the 2 and 3 yard lines. Hill took the original hit and kept driving through several tacklers to turn a loss into a touchdown, part of a 41-7 beatdown. More to come from this game.


13. "How's that for a stiff-arm?" vs. Mississippi State, 2016. Hill went into the game against the Bulldogs needing 13 rushing to pass the 2,500-yard mark in his career and sat 6 yards behind Luke Staley on the all-time BYU rushing yards list. One play after passing Staley with a 7-yard carry on the Cougars' second drive, Hill dropped back to pass before scrambling after not finding an open receiver. He then laid a perfectly placed stiff-arm to Mississippi State linebacker Leo Lewis at the end of a 12-yard run that pushed Hill over 2,500 career rushing yards. That play helped lead to a touchdown on that drive in a 28-21 Cougar victory in overtime.

Taysom Hill (@T_Hill4) passed 2,500 career rushing yards on this run (plus stiff-arm), 1 play after passing Luke Staley for career rush yds. pic.twitter.com/b70o3iITM2

— Brandon Judd (@brandonljudd) October 15, 2016


12. "Stiff-arm and 6" vs. Virginia, 2014. Hill knew how to deliver a key play and the Cavaliers were witnesses in this contest. With BYU trailing 16-13 early in the second half, Hill kept the ball on the read option and broke a tackle near the line of scrimmage. He then made a beeline for the end zone, with one player, Virginia captain Anthony Harris, standing between him and the goal line. Hill deftly applied a powerful stiff-arm to keep Harris at bay and powered his way into the end zone for the 15-yard touchdown.


11. "Read option for 6" vs. Michigan State, 2016. With BYU clinging to a 10-7 lead early in the fourth quarter and one play after the Cougars converted a fourth-and-1 at the Michigan State 14, Hill delivered a knockout blow to the Spartans with his trademark running skills. After faking the handoff to Jamaal Williams, the quarterback weaved his way into the end zone from 12 yards out to give BYU a key score in an eventual 31-14 victory.

Skip to 2:53 to see the play.


10. "Herculean effort" vs. Houston, 2013. Hill carried the Cougars on his back in this game in one of the best all-around efforts of his Cougar career, finishing with a career-high 417 passing yards and four touchdowns to go along with 128 yards on the ground. In a high-scoring, back-and-forth game between the two Cougar teams, BYU got the last shot. After starting a drive at the Houston 48 and trailing 46-41 with 1:50 to play, Hill got BYU down to the Houston 11 facing second-and-1. With 1:08 left in the game, Hill dropped back and threw a quick strike in the front corner of the end zone to Skyler Ridley for the go-ahead score in a thrilling 47-46 BYU victory.

Skip to 0:14 to see the play.


9. "Over the top" vs. Georgia Tech, 2013. To open scoring in what would be a 38-20 win against the Yellow Jackets, Hill threw a 45-yard strike over the middle of the field to a well-covered Cody Hoffman, who reeled in the catch despite being interfered with at the goal line. The combination of Hill's accurate throw and Hoffman's amazing catch made for one of the most exciting plays with Hill behind center.


8. "Through two Aggies" vs. Utah State, 2014. Most BYU fans will remember the 2014 game against the Aggies only as the game that the Cougars lost Hill for the season and their undefeated record. Before that though, Hill scampered for a highlight-reel touchdown, in which he appeared to jump through two converging Utah State defensive players near the goal line en route to an 11-yard touchdown.


7. "Hat trick to Mathews" at Utah State, 2013. The Aggies took away Hill's running game better than any opponent has, but the sophomore proved he could sling it through the air, throwing three touchdowns to Mitch Mathews in a 31-14 win. The last came after Hill checked off a receiver in the flat, feigned a run and found Mathews streaking down the left sideline for a 48-yard score.


6. "Hurdle on third" vs. West Virginia, 2016. Hill saw green grass ahead of him, if he could only get past the past two defenders blocking that view, in the third quarter vs. the Mountaineers. Facing a third-and-11 in West Virginia territory, Hill ran up the middle on the quarterback draw and easily got the first down. With two defenders closing in, Hill gave himself leverage by leaping at the Mountaineer 17, landing on his feet above one defender and keeping his feet down to the West Virginia 7. That set up a 7-yard touchdown run on the next play. Hill rushed for 105 yards in the tough 35-32 loss to West Virginia, the last time he ran for over 100 yards in his BYU career.

Skip to 3:14 to see the play.


5. "First freshman strike" vs. Washington State, 2012. Playing behind Riley Nelson on the depth chart, BYU used the freshman Hill as a dual threat in red zone situations. In his first game for the Cougars, Hill took a snap from the 18-yard line, rolled right and found a wide-open Kaneakua Friel cutting toward the pylon for the first of Hill's 55 touchdowns as a Cougar.


4. "Sprint to the end" at Nebraska, 2015. With the Cougars trailing 14-7 in the second quarter in Lincoln, the senior Hill dropped back, surveyed the field and then ran up the middle and cut toward the left pylon for a touchdown. He came up hobbling on an injury that would end his season in his first game. Although he played into the fourth quarter, the 21-yard touchdown run appeared to be the last great highlight of Hill's BYU career, until he received a medical redshirt in 2015.

Skip to 2:02 to see the play.


3. "Show of speed" vs. Hawaii, 2012. Hill's first rushing TD is still tied for his longest, after 24 career touchdowns on the ground. Making his first home start, Hill went 68 yards up the middle for a touchdown against the Warriors, showing his speed in the open field for the first time as he sped past the secondary.

Skip to 1:26 to see the play.


2. "Never looking back" vs. Texas, 2013. The highlight of Hill's 259-yard, three-touchdown day on the ground was another 68-yard touchdown run that came after Hill faked a handoff on an option read and went left and up the field. He ran through one defender's tackle and was home free to give BYU a 10-7 lead in a game it would wind up winning 40-21.


1. "Longhorn leap" at Texas, 2014. The most iconic play of Hill's career — the one that will be shown to the coming generations of Cougar fans — was his first touchdown run in Austin, in which he finished off a 30-yard option read keeper by leaping over a would-be Longhorn tackler in a perfect display of Hill's extraordinary athleticism.