Loyal Cougars

BYU falls to Virginia in bizarre game

It had the best of times, it had the worst of times and it ended with the sourest of tastes. The Brigham Young Cougars fell on the road in Charlottesville, Virginia to the hometown Cavaliers by a score of 19-16.

The game will be remembered as one of the most bizarre in BYU history. And despite the loss, one that BYU fans won’t soon forget. After scoring nine 4th quarter points and taking a 16-12 lead, the Cougars were faced with a 3rd and 6 from their own 34. Needing a first down to put the game to rest, Robert Anae dialed up a pass play and Taysom Hill threw to Jamaal Williams ahead of the first down marker. The pass deflected off of Williams and into the hands of Virginia’s Anthony Harris, who then lateraled it to teammate Henry Coley who rumbled all the way to the BYU 13 yard line. One play later, the Cavaliers took the lead for good.

BYU got the ball back twice in the final two-plus minutes but were unable to get into field goal range.

A wacky ending to be sure, but the beginning may have been ever more so.

Following the first quarter, the game was suspended for two hours due to lightning. When play resumed, the BYU offense found the endzone for the first time after Taysom Hill connected with JD Falslev on a four yard touchdown pass. Virginia added a field goal right before the half to cut the deficit to 7-3.

When the squads came back onto the field for the second half, the heavens opened and a downpour ensued. The soggy conditions led to sloppy BYU special teams play as punter Scott Arrellano’s 3rd quarter punt was blocked, giving the Cavaliers the ball inside the BYU 20. David Watford hit Darius Jennings for 11 yards and a touchdown to give the Hoos the lead.

Virginia added a safety later in the third quarter after a mishandled center-quarterback exchange. The 12-7 lead seemed surprisingly insurmountable considering BYU’s offensive woes. Before the final quarter began, the Cougar offensive line was plagued with poor play and Taysom Hill and the receiving corp were not in sync.

Then, things changed. BYU dominated the majority of the fourth quarter, scoring on a long touchdown drive and capitalizing on a Virginia fumble which led to a field goal. Leading 16-12 with the game seemingly in hand, the ball bounced the wrong way and the Cougars ended up on the losing end of one of the most disheartening losses in recent memory.

The Cougars out-gained the Cavaliers 361 to 230 yet fall in their season opener for the first time since 2006. Taysom Hill struggled mightily, completing just 13 of 40 passes for 175 yards (1TD, 1 INT). Jamaal Williams rushed for 144 yards on 33 carries. A safety, a blocked punt, and a BYU turnover inside its own end were the difference in the game.


  1. George Arnold

    August 31, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Don’t quit your day job

    • Geoff Johnston

      September 1, 2013 at 12:43 am

      Troll alert.

    • Kurtis Larson (@kwlarson)

      September 1, 2013 at 9:24 am

      Considering Zach’s day job is law school, maybe he should quit.

  2. Geno

    August 31, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    wow bitter fan you are George, hope you don’t hit your wife tonight cause your team lost…

  3. Tim

    August 31, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Get some class George. I love reading Zach’s stuff…no need to be a clown because your team lost.

  4. TylerMoss

    August 31, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    It was a bizarre game. I think that even with a subpar O-line the offense was good enough if the recievers could make a big catch (Hoffman was sorely missed for his ability to make clutch, drive-extending plays). Everyone is going to point to the Williams’ tip/ interception but that was just one of many hookups that could not be completed.
    The next offensive series is the one that killed me. After driving to mid-field Hill threw four straight dropped passes; the drive stalled; game over. Nobody could make the big catch.
    Well, we’ll get them next week. (I think Thompson makes that 3rd down conversion with a dry ball at home)

  5. Greg

    September 1, 2013 at 10:31 am

    I don’t get how we could never make a hot read on any of their blitzes. We knew they were coming but we didn’t really have any quick reads. We can only get better that is for sure. Love me some Jamal. He goes fast and hard all the time.

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