PROVO, Utah (AP) — On the quick bus ride over to the stadium, Taysom Hill envisioned big holes opening up in front of him.
Not this huge, of course. This almost defied imagination.
Hill led a big night on the ground for BYU, rushing for 259 yards — second-most in school history — and three touchdowns to help the Cougars beat up No. 15 Texas 40-21 on Saturday night.
The sophomore QB was masterful in guiding the team's new read-option offense as the Cougars (1-1) rolled up 550 yards rushing, eclipsing a 55-year-old team record. It was also the most yards rushing Texas (1-1) has ever allowed, and brought back memories of last season's myriad defensive failures by the Longhorns.
“We expected to, yeah, run on them,” Hill said. “But we didn't expect to break the school record. It was working and we were able to move the ball really efficiently on the ground. There was no need to go away from it. So, we didn't.”
The elusive Hill scored on runs of 68, 20 and 26 yards. His 68-yard scamper was the longest ever by a Cougars QB, surpassing other distinguished BYU luminaries such as Jim McMahon and Steve Young.
Hill's 259 yards rushing also were the most by a QB since former Texas great Vince Young had 267 in 2005.
“Anytime that you can be thrown into a category with those guys, it's quite an honor,” Hill said. “I feel very honored.”
Hill even came close to breaking BYU's single-game rushing record of 272 yards, a mark set by quarterback Eldon Fortie in 1962. He thinks he could've, too, but coach Bronco Mendenhall told him to take it easy on BYU's final drive of the game, not risk any sort of injury. Following orders, Hill slid down when defenders got close to him.
“There at the end, there was some opportunities where I could've pulled it and ran,” Hill said. “But there was no need and I'm not trying to pad a stat. The only stat I'm trying to get is a win.”
Jamaal Williams had a career-high 182 yards and Paul Lasike added 87 along with a score.
David Ash threw two TD passes to Mike Davis and Joe Bergeron had a short TD for Texas. The Longhorns set a school-record with 715 yards of offense last weekend in a blowout win over New Mexico State. They gained 445 against a stingy BYU defense that was one of the best in the nation last season.
“We didn't get done what we needed to do on either side of the ball,” Texas coach Mack Brown said. “They're smart. They get it. They understand that we didn't get our job done as players or coaches.”
The teams had to wait out a lengthy weather delay after a storm rolled through the area, complete with a gusty wind and violent rain. When lightning began to flash near the stadium, the kickoff was pushed back 1 hour, 47 minutes.
It's the second straight game BYU had to wait out a lengthy delay.
Hill and the Cougars came out of the locker room ready to go to work, taking the opening drive and marching down the field, before stalling out and settling for a field goal.
He was just warming up. So effective was Hill with his legs that he had 166 yards rushing at halftime.
When Texas tried to focus on the run to start the second half, Hill simply turned to the air, throwing a few down the field to keep the Longhorns honest. He finished 9 of 26 for 129 yards. He also threw an interception.
After a 19-16 loss at Virginia to open the season, the Cougars shuffled around their offensive line. It seemed to do the trick, paving the way for BYU's rushing attack. The previous record for most yards rushing in a game was 465 against Montana in 1958.
That total was eclipsed on Williams’ 34-yard run in the third quarter that led to a 24-yard field goal from Justin Sorensen — his fourth of the night — to make it a 40-21 game.
The defense certainly did its part, too, thwarting the Longhorns three times on fourth down in the final quarter.
BYU receiver Cody Hoffman was back on the field after missing last week with a hamstring injury. He had two catches to move closer to Dennis Pitta's team record for most career receptions.
The loss snapped the Longhorns’ streak of 13 straight wins against nonconference opponents. Texas’ speedy Daje Johnson hurt his left ankle in the first half and only had two carries for 4 yards.
“We just didn't execute as well, and they played good,” Davis said.