BYU defeats Houston 33-25 in its 2014 home opener at LaVell Edwards Stadium. The Cougars improve to 3-0 on the season and 541-393-26 all time. The Cougars are 2-0 all-time against Houston 1-0 and at home. BYU is 3-0 for the third time in the past 20 years.
In the Bronco Mendenhall era, BYU is 11-0 on Thursday or Friday night home games.
BYU led 23-15 after two quarters of play. When leading at halftime, the Cougars are 3-0 this season and 69-8 under head coach Bronco Mendenhall. When leading after three quarters, BYU is 72-4 in the Mendenhall era.
The first points of the game came from a safety scored by the defense. The last time BYU recorded a safety was in a 37-10 victory over Middle Tennessee in 2013. The Cougars have won nine straight games when they are the first team to score. In the Mendenhall era, BYU is 64-8 in those games.
Tonight marks the first time this season BYU has had a 100-yard rusher and the first time it has had two 100-yard rushers. Quarterback Taysom Hill rushed for 160 yards and running back Jamaal Williams rushed for 139 yards.
BYU lost the turnover battle but won the game, 33-25. In 2013, the Cougars went 2-0 when its opponent had more turnovers.
Eleven different receivers caught a pass for BYU, the most since 2012, when 11 receivers caught passes against Weber State.
BYU’s last scoring drive in the third quarter was the longest drive of the season at 6:15.
For the third straight week, the Cougars held an opponent to under 100 yards rushing. BYU allowed just 10 rushing yards, the least amount allowed by BYU since Washington State rushed for -5 yards in the 2012 season opener.
Official attendance for the game was 57,630.
Junior quarterback Taysom Hill eclipsed the 4,000 passing yard mark (4,052) with his 200-yard performance. He also passed the 2,000 rushing yard mark (2,036) with his 160 rushing yards on the night. He is one of 14 FBS quarterbacks to reach that mark in their junior season, including Colin Kaepernick, Johnny Manziel, Tim Tebow and Robert Griffin III.
Hill recorded two games last season with 200+ passing yards and 100+ rushing yards (Houston, Washington). It is his eighth career game with 100+ rushing yards.
He passed Riley Nelson (4,032) for No. 16 on BYU’s all-time quarterback passing yard list as well as Brian McKenzie (1,954) on the all-time rushing yards list.
Hill scored one rushing touchdown to bring his season total to six, the most by any FBS player to date. It is his fifth consecutive game with at least one rushing touchdown.
Senior wide receiver Jordan Leslie increased his streak to 31 consecutive games with at least one reception. He finished with a team-high six catches for 79 yards, including a long of 35.
Head coach Bronco Mendenhall
Overall thoughts on game: “I’m glad that we continued to battle, continued to fight. We had some offensivemomentum in the first half, and we moved it when we needed to. Overall, it was a hard fought win. There’s plenty to work on, but a lot of things that I was pleased with.”
Discussing the run game: “Today, that’s what it took to win. I would love to be able to distribute the ball through the air a bit more like we did in the first half – more like what we did against Texas. We became a little bit heavy that way, but the game kind of dictated that as well. One thing that was positive was that they had 66 plays when the ball was on theground, they didn’t get it as much and the clock kept running. They’re a dangerous team and so that was part of what we were trying to do.”
On last year’s game: “The game a year ago was much like this. It looked like we were going to pull awayand then there was an interception for a touchdown and a kickoff return for a touchdown. I’m not saying that it was a self-fulfilling prophecy but those guys are hard to shake. They just find a way to keep plowing back, to their credit.”
On Houston coming back: “I think us jumping out to the lead and then some of the early lack of success they had with the safety lent itself to why they started scoring when they needed points.”
On penalties: “We’re playing really hard. We’re playing really physical. We’re winning; we’re making plays. A coach always thinks you can improve. I’m just going to enjoy thewin. Once I see the film – I think they were mostly aggression penalties. We had one with a defensive player after a third down stop that hurt us, so at some point we’ve got to get those raked in at a higher level.”
Defensive back Robertson Daniel
“I feel like we played really well. We started slacking off throughout the game. We just have to keep our physicality and keep going at them. They made adjustments, and we adjusted late so they kept getting those dump offs, but other than that I feel like we did well.”
“When they pass the ball 1,000 times they’re going to complete some, but I felt we did pretty well. They were a good test for us because they have good receivers.”
“I think we made a good statement, but it wasn’t our best game. We didn’t play up to our potential at all.”
Running back Jamaal Williams
“We started out great. We just came off the gas a little bit. We weren’t used to getting up so quickly in the first half. Defense always holds up, but the offense just can’t take the foot of the gas.”
“We just made too many mistakes. We gave them plays to help them come back. If we play to our potential and play our game and score, we’ll be fine.”
“It was pretty easy following behind them, the holes were opening up. We were pounding the ball in and getting first downs.”