Taysom Hill runs for 3 TDs as BYU trounces Texas

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Sunday, September 7, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas -- BYU and Taysom Hill bashed Texas again.

The stats weren't nearly as gaudy this time, but the score was worse.

And take note: The Cougars have a playmaking quarterback and a muscular defense that could take them far this season on a barnstorming independent schedule they'll play from coast to coast.

Hill ran for three touchdowns in the third quarter, hurdling a defender near the goal line on a 30-yard score, leading the Cougars to a 41-7 win on Saturday night. He also passed for 181 yards.

"It's a great statement for us," Hill said. "It shows we can compete with anybody."

BYU rolled up 550 yards rushing in a win over Texas in 2013. This time, the Cougars stuffed a Longhorns offense that started new quarterback Tyrone Swoopes behind a line missing three starters because of injury or suspensions.

The Cougars (2-0) allowed Texas (1-1) just 249 total yards in handing Texas its worst home defeat since a 66-3 loss to UCLA in 1997.

"The way to be respected nationally is to play as many of these games and win," BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "Upward mobility depends so much on quarterback play. I like our chances."

Hill's long touchdown came on a scramble after he was almost sacked. Once free, Hill leaped over diving Texas safety Dylan Haines to get to the end zone. He also had scoring runs of 2 and 1 yard to push the score to 34-0.

"I knew I was one-on-one with the safety and they'd been diving at me all game," Hill said.

Swoopes started in place of injured David Ash and was 19-of-30 passing for 171 yards and one interception.

The potential for a blowout was set up early in the week when Texas coach Charlie Strong announced that Ash would be out with concussion symptoms and two days later suspended starting tackles Desmond Harrison and Kennedy Estelle. That left Swoopes getting his first start behind a makeshift line that totaled five career starts.

The result was predictable. BYU pushed Texas around up front, stifling a running game that was supposed to be Texas' strength. Swoopes completed his first eight passes but early drives stalled without the ability to grind out tough yards.

Swoopes was one of the highest-rated recruits in the country in high school two years ago, but struggled badly in the spring game and couldn't push Ash -- who missed 10 games last season because of concussions -- for the starting job in training camp.

BYU embarrassed Texas last season with its school record rushing totals in a 40-21 win. That game got former Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz fired the next day and lit a season-long fire under Longhorns coach Mack Brown, who was pushed out at the end of the season.

Strong came in and pointed to the rematch as a measuring stick for his program. In the offseason, he showed his new players "lowlight" films of how badly they played last year.

The result was another humiliation, this time at home.

"It is an embarrassment," Strong said. "It is an embarrassment to this program and an embarrassment to the university."

The Texas defense kept the Longhorns close in the first half. Hill had a long touchdown run negated by a holding penalty in the first quarter and the Cougars had to settle for a 6-0 halftime lead behind field goals of 21 and 29 yards from Trevor Samson.

Hill broke things open with his big run in the third. Sacked four times in the first half, Hill looked like he was going down for another when he moved to his left, stepped out of one tackle and took off.

The touchdown sucked the energy out of the home crowd and BYU pounced.

The Cougars kept pounding Texas from there. After forcing a quick punt, the Cougars pushed the lead to 20-0 on a 16-yard touchdown run by Adam Hine.

"It almost feels like we went back to Utah," Texas wide receiver John Harris said.

Texas avoided its first home shutout since 1976 when Swoopes hit Harris for a touchdown pass with 29 seconds left in the third quarter.

"We gave up 28 points in the quarter," Strong said. "You can't do that if you think you're going to play great defense."

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