BYU Cougars lose season opener to Virginia

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va –The BYU football team kicked off arguably their toughest schedule ever on Saturday at Virginia, and a slow start turned into a wild finish, ending in a 19-16 Cavaliers win.

There was no score after one quarter of play, then Mother Nature joined the game. Lightning danger forced officials to suspend play for more than two hours while a storm blew over the stadium.

When play resumed, BYU’s new fast-paced offense continued to look waterlogged until midway through the quarter when sophomore quarterback Taysom Hill dumped the ball off to senior JD Falslev for a 24-yard gain. That set up Hill to Falslev on a 4-yard touchdown, but the lead was just 7-3 at halftime.

In the third quarter, the Cavaliers added 7  more points on a pass from David Watford to Darius Jennings. Then a bad snap led to a BYU fumble recovered by Hill in his own end zone and a Virgina safety.

Jamaal Williams picked up where he left off his record-setting freshman season with 137 rushing yards and set up Hill for a 1-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter. The Cougars failed on the 2-point conversion but appeared to have victory in hand when their defense forced the Cavaliers into a three-and-out and took over the ball with 4:11 left to play.

BYU ran down the clock between plays, but did not keep the ball on the ground. A Taysom Hill pass went through the hands of Jamaal Williams and was intercepted by Anthony Harris. Kevin Parks scored from 13 yards out on the next play, and Virginia retook the lead, then held on for a 3-point victory.

In his first game back from an injury that ended his 2012 season early, Hill was just 13/40 for 175 yards.

The Cougar’s leading receiver, Cody Hoffman, was a late scratch with a hamstring injury.

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