PROVO, Utah (AP) — BYU was down. Taysom Hill never had a doubt.
Hill threw two touchdown passes and rushed for a score to lead No. 21 Brigham Young to a 41-33 comeback win over Virginia on Saturday.
The Cougars (4-0) trailed 16-13 at the half and lagged behind the Cavaliers in almost every statistical category but turned the game around with two third-quarter touchdowns.
“There was never a question for me that we were going to win this football game,” Hill said
Adam Hine sealed the victory for BYU with a 99-yard kickoff return midway through the final quarter.
“I saw it open up and couldn’t believe it and just kept running,” Hine said.
Hill, averaging nearly 230 yards passing and 130 yards rushing per game, completed 13 of 23 for 187 yards and rushed for another 72 on 17 carries. He had only 29 yards rushing in the first half.
“He performed for them in the clutch when it counted,” Virginia coach Mike London said.
Virginia (2-2) had to settle for four field goals by Ian Frye field on four possessions that went deep into BYU territory.
The Cavaliers had 519 total yards to BYU’s 332 and doubled the Cougars in time of possession. The BYU defense entered the game allowing only 312 yards of total offense and only 59 yards on the ground per game.
BYU also committed 12 penalties for 133 yards and scored only three points off of two Virginia turnovers.
Greyson Lambert completed 21 of 35 for 188 yards for Virginia before leaving with an injury late in the third. Matt Johns came in to throw for another 139 yards in the fourth quarter completing 14 of 23 with one TD.
“At the end of the day we didn’t win . . . it’s a tough one to swallow and let settle in. But we aren’t going to let it settle in. We’re going to come back stronger,” Johns said.
BYU’s turnaround was aided by two huge punts by Scott Arellano, one 65 yards and the other 63 yards, that helped give the Cougars good field position on both of their third-quarter scoring drives. Arellano had another 60-yard punt that helped flip the field.
“Field position was a huge part of this game,” Hill said.
Lambert scored on a QB sneak to put Virginia up 7-0 only 1:06 into the game.
Hill connected with Jordan Leslie for an 8-yard TD toss, knotting the score 10-10.
Virginia regained the lead on Frye’s second field goal, this one from 41 yards. On the Cavaliers next possession, however, BYU’s Robertson Daniel picked off a Lambert pass near midfield and returned it 36 yards. But all the Cougars could get from the turnover was a 37-yard field goal by Samson.
A 22-yard field goal by Frye gave Virginia a 16-13 lead at the break.
Hill gave BYU its first lead at 20-16 when he broke a tackle near the 10-yard line and then carried another Cavalier the final 5 yards of a 15-yard TD run.
BYU’s run game finally found its form on the Cougars next drive with Hill and Jamaal Williams combining for 57 rushing yards of a 73-yard scoring drive that put the Cougars up 27-16. Williams capped the drive with a 2-yard TD run.
After holding Virginia to another Frye field goal, a 46 yarder, Hill burned the Cavaliers again when he avoided a sack, rolled right and found Mitch Juergens behind the defenders for a 50-yard TD reception.
Virginia made things interesting with Kahlek Shepherd’s 9-yard TD run to cut BYU’s lead to 34-26 with 8:06 remaining. The momentum was short lived, however, Hine took the ensuing kickoff and raced right up the middle for a score.
“Between Taysom Hill and Adam Hine and what was happening there with that combination . . . that kind of kept us separated,” BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said.
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