Frosh QB Hill leads BYU rout of Hawaii
Freshman quarterback Taysom Hill ran for 143 yards and a touchdown and passed for two more scores in his first start, and Brigham Young cruised to a 47-0 victory over Hawaii on Friday night, spoiling former Cougars assistant coach Norm Chow's return to Provo as Hawaii coach.
Freshman running back Jamaal Williams added 155 yards and two scores for BYU (3-2).
Starting in place of the injured Riley Nelson, Hill was 12 of 21 for 112 yards, with TD passes of 22 and 12 yards. His rushing totals were the most by a BYU quarterback since Brandon Doman — the Cougars' offensive coordinator — gained 164 yards on 18 carries in 2001. BYU finished with 396 yards on the ground.
Williams replaced starting running back Michael Alisa, who broke his right forearm in the first quarter.
The game was delayed about half an hour as two Hawaii defensive tackles had to be loaded on backboards and carted off the field following apparent helmet-to-helmet collisions on back-to-back series during the first quarter.
Backup Geardon Hanohano and starter Siasau Matagiese were taken to a Provo hospital in separate ambulances. Team officials said initial X rays to the neck area were negative and both had movement in their limbs.
Both players flashed the ''shaka'' - the Hawaiian sign for hang loose — as they were being carted off the field.
The shutout was BYU's first since Nov. 7, 2009, when it beat Wyoming 52-0.
Hawaii dropped to 1-3.
The Cougars' seventh-ranked defense set up two other scores by forcing quarterback Sean Schroeder into a pair of fumbles.
Overall, BYU outgained Hawaii 540-149, and held a 30-9 advantage in first downs and a 396-41 edge in rushing.
While the easy win helped BYU get over stinging back-to-back losses to Utah and No. 24 Boise State, the blowout loss was the second straight for Chow's team. Last week, the Warriors lost by 45 at home to Mountain West Conference foe Nevada. The 69 points were the most ever allowed at Aloha Stadium, and the seven touchdowns Nevada's Stefphon Jefferson scored tied an NCAA record.
BYU didn't do that much damage but it was hardly the return Chow had hoped for in his first time back as a head a coach.
Chow spent 27 years at BYU (1973-1999), from graduate assistant to offensive coordinator and assistant head coach, and helped the team win a national championship in 1984. But the first-year Hawaii coach stirred things up in July when he reiterated the university's position that a returning missionary, defensive back/return specialist Michael Wadsworth, could transfer to any school except BYU and intimated the Cougars engaged in unfair recruiting.
BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall denied the charges, and let his team handle things on the field Friday, despite injuries to some key starters. Afterward, the two exchanged a very handshake at midfield.
Nelson started the season strong for the Cougars but suffered a back injury in the second game and hadn't played well since, committing four turnovers including an interception returned for a touchdown in the 7-6 loss to Boise State last week.
Mendenhall waited until game time to announce his starter, and said at halftime that Nelson was still his guy once healthy.
Other than a second-drive interception, Hill did everything he could to show he deserved another start.
He had 63 yards passing in the first quarter — 2 more than he and Nelson combined for against Boise State.
But he was even more dangerous running the ball, showing off his toughness inside when he needed an extra yard, and his speed outside and on designed keepers up the middle.
His 68-yard touchdown run left defenders diving at air and gave BYU a 20-0 lead midway through the second quarter.
On BYU's opening TD drive, capped by Williams' 2-yard run, Hill accounted for 63 yards.
He hit a wide-open Ross Apo in the flat for a 22-yard TD pass on the first play of the second quarter, and found tight end Devin Mahina with a 12-yard pass in the third quarter before giving way to James Lark with a 34-0 lead.
BYU's defense proved good as advertised.
It set up one score when all-everything linebacker Kyle Van Noy sacked Schroeder and forced a fumble. Spencer Hadley recovered at the Hawaii 3-yard line and Williams scored two plays later for a 27-0 lead.
Paul Lasike scored a pair of fourth-quarter TDs in mop-up duty for the Cougars.
The only negative for BYU, other than Alisa's injury, was its place-kicking. The Cougars saw a string of 70 consecutive PATs end when Riley Stephenson's third extra-point attempt was blocked. He yanked another one left before being replaced by Justin Sorensen.