Notes and quotes from BYU's 35-10 win over UConn
Couple of quick thoughts, notes and quotes from BYU's 35-10 win tonight over UConn in front of 35,510 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford:
* Taysom Hill was simply spectacular for the Cougars, and his pass-efficiency rating of 177.1 showed it. That's a career high for the junior from Pocatello. Hill misfired on just eight passes, and three of those were throwaways as he was running out of bounds. Algernon Brown dropped a pass.
I can only think of one pass that was truly awful, a one-hopper to the UConn sideline.
* BYU's offensive line kept UConn defenders off Hill all night, and deserves a lot of credit. The Cougars started Ului Lapuaho (LT), Kyle Johnson (LG), Tejan Koroma (C), Brock Stringham (RG) and De'Ondre Wesley (RT). They struggled with a few holding calls and hands-to-face call, but were otherwise pretty good.<
* Here's what UConn coach Bob Diaco said about BYU in his opening statement after the game:
"The first thing I would like to do is give credit to BYU. They are a class outfit and a hard-nosed, excellent team. Coach Bronco Mendenhall is a class man and just coached his 117th game tonight. They play football the way it should be played. We wish them safe travels; they are a class organization."
* Craig Bills intercepted a UConn pass that played a big role in the game's outcome. The Cougars were leading 14-0, but the Huskies were driving and had reached the BYU 26. Bills picked off a first-down pass as UConn QB Casey Cochran got a little greedy.
The Cougars have intercepted at least one pass in 11 straight games. The last opponent to not throw an interception against BYU? Utah.
"Defensively, managing the points was really good in terms of giving up just 10 points and there were a few blue zone stops, two on fourth down and getting a turnover that was really helpful," Mendenhall said.
* Nine different receivers caught passes, but none named Ross Apo. Terenn Houk caught his first career TD pass.
* Hill accounted for five touchdowns — three passing, two rushing — a career-high.
"We have an excellent offensive system. I have said that from the beginning, way back the first time I tried to defend it in spring practices as the defensive coordinator," Mendenhall said.
* Starting in place of Jordan Johnson and Robertson Daniel, redshirt freshman Jordan Preator and sophomore Michael Davis were solid on the corners.
"Jordan Preator was my sleeper pick in February [as a player who would make an impact]," Mendenhall said. "So I reminded the staff of that when he knocked down three or four passes."