Tag Archives: Taysom Hill

BYU vs Texas – Statistical Extract

The surprisingly dominant victory over 15th ranked Texas provides for a lot of great little statistical tidbits this week:

  • The 19 point margin of victory is the 7th largest winning margin for a BYU victory over a ranked opponent.  The largest also came against Texas in 1988, when the Cougars crushed 19th ranked Texas 47-6.
  • BYU’s 550 rushing yards broke their old record of 465 set in 1958 vs Montana.  It was also the most rush yards Texas had ever allowed.
  • During the Bronco Era, BYU is 2-3 at home against ranked teams, 2-0 vs ranked teams at neutral sites and 1-10 vs ranked teams on the road.
    • Of the 10 road losses to ranked teams, 3 were by only 1 point, 1 was by 3 points and 1 by 7 points
  • That means that only 5 of the 18 games against ranked teams were at home.  This is not a new phenomenon.  BYU has only had 24 home games vs ranked teams, compared to 61 games at road or neutral sites.
    • 10-14 at home
    • 8-32 on the road
    • 8-12-1 at neutral sites
  • Jamaal Williams is 2nd in the nation in rushing yards with 326 and 1st in rushing attempts with 63
    • The BYU record for rushing attempts in a season is 252 by Ronney Jenkins.  Williams is on pace for 410 rushing attempts.  The NCAA record for most rushing attempts in a season is 450.
  • Taysom Hill’s 259 rushing yards was the 2nd most in BYU history, 13 yards behind Eldon “The Phantom” Fortie’s record 272 set in 1962.
    • Hill has run for 522 yards in 4 career starts, or 130.5 yards per game, averaging 8.42 yds/carry.
    • Taysom Hill has a career rushing average of 7.7 yds per carry, the highest of any BYU football player with more than 50 rushing attempts.
  • BYU had 550 yards rushing versus Texas.  It took BYU until the 6th game of the 2011 season to rack up a season total of 550 yards rushing.
  • There have been only 13 other teams who have run for more than 550 yards since 2001.
  • BYU has averaged 43.5 ppg against Texas in Provo, winning 40-21 in 2013 and 47-6 in 1988.
    • BYU threw for 402 yards in 1988, making BYU possibly the only team to both throw and run for over 400 yards against Texas.
  • BYU’s 679 yards of total offense is the 3rd most in the Bronco Era, behind 694 against Tulsa in 2007 and 683 vs Air Force in 2005.
    • BYU had 211 yards of offense in the 4th quarter vs Virginia.  Spanning the 4th quarter of the Virginia game through the end of the 3rd quarter, BYU had 825 yards of total offense and scored 49 points on 119 plays.
      • The 119 plays would have been an NCAA record (currently 115).
  • Since 1977, BYU is 13-4 against teams that currently or were previously members of the Big12 conference.
    • Against the triumvirate of Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma, BYU is a combined 7-2.

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Do BYU QBs Have Favorite Receivers?

BYU has seen its share of changes at quarterback over the past 3 seasons, with 4 different QBs getting at least 1 start during that span. A question that is often raised is just how much does a change at QB affect the distribution of passes to the receivers? In other words, do different QBs have different “favorites” they like to throw the ball?

Below is a heat map showing how often receivers were targeted (i.e. were recorded as the intended receiver, regardless if the pass was actually completed) by different BYU QBs over the past 2 seasons. The heat map shows that there were definitely some receivers that benefited/suffered by the change in who was throwing the ball to them.


Conventional wisdom was that in 2011, Jake Heaps favored Apo more than Hoffman and it was vice versa when Riley Nelson took over as the starter. It turns out in this case that conventional wisdom was actually correct. Heaps threw to Apo 19.1% and Hoffman 17.8% of the time, but Nelson only looked to Apo 14.0% and Hoffman 25.9% of the time. That’s a pretty pronounced swing in receiver preference.

Something that appears to have gone largely unnoticed is that McKay Jacobson suffered even more by Nelson’s playing time, having his targeting percentage cut nearly in half, from 14.8% to 7.8%.

In 2012, the distribution of the ball was a little more consistent between QBs. The biggest differences were that JD Falslev was targeted much more frequently (7.1% increase) and Kaneakua Friel much less (6.9% decrease) by James Lark, compared to Riley Nelson.

All 3 QBs in 2012 relied equally heavily on Cody Hoffman, targeting him between 30.3% and 33.8% of the time. With most of the receivers from 2012 returning in 2013, it will be interesting to see if the ball distribution will be a little more even than it was last year.


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