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Hill suffers elbow injury while helping lead BYU to 28-10 victory over Utah State

PROVO — In his final game at LaVell Edwards Stadium Saturday night, BYU senior quarterback Taysom Hill helped lead the Cougars to a 28-10 victory over Utah State before a crowd of 53,603.

But it was a bittersweet night for Hill.

He had suffered season-ending injuries against Utah State twice before (in 2012 and 2014), and early in the fourth quarter Saturday, he landed hard on the turf after leaping in the air near the goal line, trying to get extra yards, and injured his left elbow.

Hill was taken immediately to the locker room and later returned to the sideline with his arm in a sling.

Coach Kalani Sitake said after the game that Hill sustained a hyperextended elbow and no fracture. Hill will undergo an MRI. "We'll know more on Monday," Sitake said.

Before his elbow injury, Hill completed 10 of 21 passes for 101 yards and a touchdown and two interceptions. He rushed 12 times for 46 yards.

"He's a competitor," Sitake said of Hill. "Whenever he's using his legs, he's more dangerous."

Another senior, running back Jamaal Williams, gained 131 yards and scored a touchdown on 18 carries. He had missed the previous two games due to injury.

Video: Jamaal Williams (@jswaggdaddy) scores his final TD at LaVell Edwards Stadium in @BYUfootball's 28-10 win over @USUFootball pic.twitter.com/bRmF6jmt4o

— Brandon Judd (@brandonljudd) November 27, 2016

After Hill left the game, Tanner Mangum entered and a few plays later threw a 5-yard touchdown strike to Colby Pearson to give BYU a 28-10 advantage with 12:55 left.

Video: Colby Pearson (@colbyp04) catches the 5-yard TD pass from @tannermangum in @BYUfootball's 28-10 win over @USUFootball pic.twitter.com/B4VfAanYl9

— Brandon Judd (@brandonljudd) November 27, 2016

What did Williams think when Hill got injured?

"He's my quarterback. He's been through worse," he said. "He'll be fine. I'm not really worried about it right now."

After the game, Williams made an emotional announcement in the locker room and presented the game ball to running backs coach Reno Mahe and his family. Mahe's 3-year-old daughter, Elsie, was hospitalized earlier this week after she became entangled in a mini-blind cord Tuesday at the Mahe home in Lehi.

"When they hurt, I hurt," Williams told reporters after the game. "I'm a family man."

As a team, BYU outgained USU 355 yards to 200 yards. The Aggies managed just 46 yards of offense in the second half. USU ended up with just 11 first downs.

The Cougars finished the regular season with an 8-4 record, while the Aggies ended their season with a 3-9 mark.

Holding a 14-10 lead entering the third quarter, BYU received the opening kickoff of the second half and saw its drive stall due to penalties. USU answered by driving into Cougar territory but a bobbled snap cost the Aggies 9 yards, and they ended up punting.

On BYU’s next series, Hill effectively ran the read option on a 15-play, 75-yard drive that ate up 5:34 on the clock. On fourth-and-4, a pass interference penalty on USU in the end zone extended the drive, and eventually Hill connected with Mitchell Juergens on a 10-yard touchdown pass. At that point, the Cougars extended their lead to 21-10.

Video: Taysom Hill (@T_Hill4) hits Mitchell Juergens for the 10-yard TD in the 3rd Qtr. vs. @USUFootball in the Cougars' 28-10 win pic.twitter.com/1ZhNjilHEa

— Brandon Judd (@brandonljudd) November 27, 2016

"Once we did our no-huddle stuff, (Hill) was more comfortable," Sitake said.

On BYU's second-to-last possession, Utah State’s interception return for a touchdown was nullified by a pass-interference penalty. Mangum led the drive into Aggie territory, but Rhett Almond missed a 28-yard field goal with 5:47 remaining.

Utah State scored on its opening possession of the game with a 64-yard drive that culminated with a 28-yard field goal by Brock Warren. Later in the first quarter, the Aggies missed a 46-yard field goal.

Meanwhile, BYU’s offense was stagnant. Hill was picked off by former Cougar Dallin Leavitt, who transferred to USU a couple of years ago.

The Cougar defense forced another punt and on its ensuing series, BYU got on the scoreboard with a 90-yard drive — aided by a pair of pass interference calls on USU — that ended with a 2-yard run by Williams to make it 7-3 for the Cougars early in the second quarter.

BYU scored again with 2:50 left in the half when the Aggies had fourth-and-1 at midfield. Logan Taele forced a fumble on a quarterback sneak and Michael Shelton scooped up the ball and race 45 yards for a touchdown to give the Cougars a 14-3 advantage.

Video: @BYUfootball's Michael Shelton (@Mike__Sav) with a big fumble recovery for a TD in the Cougars' 28-10 win over @USUFootball pic.twitter.com/cP7zDBQsTb

— Brandon Judd (@brandonljudd) November 27, 2016

It was the first time BYU had recovered a fumble and returned it for a TD since last year’s game against USU, when Tomasi Laulile had a 37-yard return at the end of the first half.

But Utah State returned the favor moments later, when Jalen Davis intercepted Hill and returned it to the BYU 2-yard line. Two plays later, Damion Hobbs scored to make the halftime score 14-10 for the Cougars.

Video: This Jalen Davis (@_IAMJALEN) interception for @USUFootball set up the Aggies' lone TD in 28-10 loss to @BYUfootball pic.twitter.com/QhB2OcnxI7

— Brandon Judd (@brandonljudd) November 27, 2016

While USU’s season is over, BYU will face a Mountain West Conference opponent in the Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 21 in San Diego.