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BYU is on a bye week this week so it seemed time to just catch on up the Cougars.

Quarterback U?

Jimmy MacIn the late 70’s, through the 80’s, and even into the 90’s, BYU had a parade of quarterbacks that helped BYU to earn the nickname of “Quarterback U.”  Even as recently as Max Hall from 2007-2009, BYU fans enjoyed a high level of proficient passing from its signal caller.

But what happened?

Since Hall graduated, BYU has not been even a shadow of its former moniker and fans have been left scratching their heads and asking why.  Taysom Hill began the season with all the hype and promise BYU fans have been longing for since Hall left as the winningest BYU QB of all time and promptly began the season in a bucket of crap.  He averaged 35% passing on 40 of 114 tosses for a meager 188 YPG and only 1 TD over the first three games.  After Utah, fans were chanting, “Ammon-Olsen” clap,clap, clap clap clap.  BYU ranked dead last in FBS in pass efficiency.  Fans were already becoming decidedly anti-Go Fast Go Hard.

Offensive coordinator Robert Anae warned that this offense would need half the season to start clicking.  At game six (against Georgia Tech) they were categorically different than they had been in those first three games.  Against GT, Hill logged 244 yards passing on 70% completion of 27 passes and one TD.  He added another score and 86 yards on the ground, but more importantly, he had his first turnover-free game en route to a 38-20 win at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Here is a chart to show you how he has improved.

Com

Att

%

Yards

TD

INT

Season Avg

18.25

34.5

53%

252.38

1.5

1

1st 3 Avg

13.33

38

35%

188

0.33

1

2nd 5 Avg

21.20

32.40

65%

291

2.2

1

Here is one more chart to show you how Taysom could end up based on season average as well as the current trend of the recent five games.  Passing first, and then rushing.

Season Avg

18.25

34.5

53%

252.38

1.5

1

Based on SA

219

414

53%

3028.56

18

12

Based on 2nd 5

230.8

405.6

57%

3183

20.8

12

Season Avg

17.75

105.13

5.92

1

Based on SA

213

1261.56

5.92

12

Based on 2nd 5

217.2

1193.8

5.50

11.2

Taysom HillWould you be okay with his final stats of 231 for 406, 3183 yards and 21 TD to only 12 INT?  Would 218 rushes for nearly 1200 yards and 11 scores on the ground make you happy? By the way, should he reach these plateaus, it would put him in a group of only seven other players in FBS history to eclipse 1000+ rushing and 3000+ passing yards in the same season.

Just by way of fun facts, Hill is the only quarterback in the country with 600+ rushing yards and 2000+ passing yards.  Think about that a moment.  That stat includes names such as Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, and Johnny Football.

QBU may not be the gunslinger method of the 70’s and 80’s, but if you told me that BYU would win possibly double-digit games in 2013 while Hill passed for 3000+ yards, 20 TDs and rushed for nearly 1200 yards and 11 more touchdowns, I’d say that was a successful season.

And that sort of season is the one that carries over to 2014 against a perceptively easier schedule with a more seasoned offense.

Just Stop It!

In the midst of a five-game winning streak many Cougar fans find themselves thinking, tweeting, posting on Facebook, or even saying something to the tune of, “Man, I know we’d beat Utah now if only we could play them again.”

Just stop it! Please.

There is a distinct possibility that BYU could run the table and win these final four games, leaving a wake of despondent fans who won’t be able to help themselves from wondering what could have been when they realize that a loss to a pathetic Virginia team and a spiraling Utah to start out 1-2 this season could cost the program the BCS glory we’ve longed for since 1996 (and more relevantly, since Utah did it in 2004.)

UtahUtesBut it doesn’t help anything.  I’ll explain why.  First, it can’t happen, so why think on it?  Second, Utah owns BYU right now.  Mentally, physically, emotionally, you name it.  They are better prepared in all facets of the game plan every year.  Who is to say that if we lined up this week against a Ute team without Travis Wilson that BYU could win that game?  I seem to recall Utah beating BYU in Coach Whit’s tenure with a back up several times (see Brett Ratliff and Jon Hayes.)  Until BYU gets the Ute monkey off its back, I’m never picking BYU to win any game against Utah.  Third, and I think most relevant to my cause here, assume BYU does finish the final four game 4-0 that gives the team a 10-2 record with a shot at 11 wins this season.  Did you (or anyone) really expect BYU to get more than nine wins this season?  Honestly, you can’t say that you did.  There were few of the most ardent and honest of fans that didn’t think BYU would win more than eight games, so take your 10 (and maybe 11) wins and be happy.  Know that BYU is building towards better things with a sophomore quarterback finally coming into his own and showing us all that we have a right to expect better things from him as he grows.

 . . . But Speaking of a Rematch

Dnews 1104fbcutes.sptIs it possible that we could see that rematch in the 2013 campaign?  Yes.  The Fight Hunger Bowl will host the 6th ranked PAC 12 team and should the Utes reach bowl eligibility, they may well we that 6th ranked team in the conference.  It’s more likely that the Cougars will get a third game in as many seasons against the Beavers of Oregon State.  Some feel the Cougars could face former first son Steve Sarkisian and his Washington Cougars.

But if you could choose your bowl game opponent dear BYU fan, would you elect to rematch the Utes?

Bye-Bye Badger

UW BadgersHead coach Bronco Mendenhall has been truly great in games following a bye week since taking the reigns at BYU.  He has a 79% winning percentage while boasting only four losses over 19 games.  This includes bowl games.

BYU will play its highest ranked post-bye week opponent on Nov. 9 when the Cougars invade Camp Randall to take on the Badgers of Wisconsin (24) since they faced off against the 18th ranked Oregon State Beavers (18) in the 2009 Las Vegas Bowl.

What should you expect when the Cougars take on the Badgers?  Watch Torn By Sports over the next week for all the great content that will be posted in advance of the contest.

About the author

Matt Quinney

I'm a BYU guy and I'm not going to apologize for my opinions, but I also am a graduate of the University of Utah so my allegiances go both ways. I've been a sports fan as long as I can remember and when I blog, you'll see a lot of Cougars, some Jazz and Utes, and an occasional post about RSL or even the Dallas Cowboys.