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BYU Suffers Major Setback With QB Taysom Hill's Season-Ending Leg Injury

Taysom Hill

Taysom Hill

BYU’s loss to Utah State on Friday night was costly, as the Cougars lost quarterback Taysom Hill due to a leg injury for the rest of the season, and its hopes of an unbeaten record and a spot in college football’s new four-team playoff are finished.

Hill was tackled and landed awkwardly on his leg at the end of the second quarter, and the junior was carted to the locker room just prior to halftime.

The junior suffered a fractured leg on the tackle and won’t return in 2014. Hill was a darkhorse Heisman candidate in the preseason and started to gain consideration for a spot among the top 5-10 in most rankings after a hot start to the year.

In five games, Hill threw for 975 yards and seven touchdowns this year and rushed for 463 yards and eight scores on the ground.

With Hill sidelined for the remainder of 2014, Christian Stewart will assume the No. 1 job under center. Stewart has completed 10 of 29 passes for 172 yards but also tossed three picks so far this year.

Hill wasn’t the only key injury suffered for BYU on Friday night, as safety Dallin Leavitt, offensive lineman Brayden Kearsley and linebacker Alani Fui left the game due to ankle ailments.

After a 4-0 start, BYU appeared to be on its way to an unbeaten season, as the schedule was favorable and there were few tossup games remaining on the schedule.

But the Cougars are a different team without Hill, and a loss to Utah State effectively ends any hope Bronco Mendenhall’s team had of making a run at college football’s four-team playoff.

It was a longshot for BYU to make the playoff, but an unbeaten season would have allowed the Cougars to at least push for a spot in one of college football’s elite bowl games.

Hill’s absence changes BYU’s outlook for the rest of the year, as games against UCF, Nevada, Boise State and California move into the tossup category or the Cougars even more to slight underdog status in a few. BYU still has enough on both sides of the ball to push for a 10-2 or 9-3 record, especially with running back Jamaal Williams capable of carrying the offense on the ground.

With Friday night’s loss, BYU is likely headed to the Miami Beach Bowl to take on an opponent from the American Athletic Conference on Dec. 22.

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