Aug. 29, 2014
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EAST HARTFORD, Conn. - BYU junior quarterback Taysom Hill threw for three touchdown passes and ran for another two as the Cougars defeated the University of Connecticut football team in the 2014 opener for both teams. The game was played before a crowd of 35,150 at Rentschler Field and was the debut for new UConn head coach Bob Diaco.
Hill completed 28 of 36 passes to nine receivers without an interception. He went 17 of 20 to lead the Cougars to a 28-7 halftime advantage, and was BYU's leading rusher with 97 yards on 12 carries.
"He was resilient and methodical and 28 points in the first half was ideal and that was something I was hoping to see," BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said. The Cougars put up 513 yards of offense, 329 of that before intermission.
Husky sophomore Casey Cochran (Monroe, Conn.) and senior Chandler Whitmer (Newnan, Ga.) split quarterback duties and threw for a combined 284 yards. Cochran was 17 of 31 for 171 yards. He also threw an interception on the Huskies' second drive deep in BYU territory. Whitmer was eight of 17 for 113 yards.
"That's the point you're at right now," Diaco said, who played 50 players combined on offense and defense. "For the players to get better, they have to play in games."
BYU got off to a quick start as Hill, who last year ran for more than 1,300 yards and passed for just under 3,000, capped the Cougars' opening 15-play, 75-yard drive with a seven-yard run. He then found Mitch Mathews wide open over the middle from 26 yards out, after UConn fumbled on the Huskies' first offensive play.
Hill danced away from pressure late in the first half and found Terenn Houk open to his left for a 35-yard touchdown catch-and-run that made it 28-7 at the half. The quarterback capped the game with a 26-yard touchdown run to complete a 90-yard, fourth-quarter drive that sent the fans to the exits.
Penalties slowed the game down as BYU committed 15 of them for 150 yards. UConn was flagged eight times for 90 yards.
A fumble by BYU's Mathews at midfield led to UConn's only touchdown. Whitmer led the Huskies on a six-play drive that ended with freshman redshirt Josh Marriner (Chesapeake, Va.) scoring from a yard out in the second quarter.
Redshirt sophomore Bobby Puyol (North Palm Beach, Fla.) made a 35-yard field goal for UConn in the fourth quarter.
The Huskies put together an 11-play drive to start the second half, but failed after faking a 40-yard field goal.
UConn's top receiver, senior Geremy Davis (Lawrenceville, Ga.), finished with seven catches for 96 yards. He spent some time in the fourth quarter in the locker room, but returned before the end of the game.
The Huskies return to action next Saturday at noon when they play host be televised by SNY and heard on the UConn IMG Sports Network.