Mike Sorensen: Utah college football teams: We have some questions
Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — It's only been a month since the start of the college football season and many of those hopes and dreams of our local college teams have already faded in the reality of injuries, less-than-stellar play and tough luck.
Four of the five college teams lost last week and all could have lost except that someone had to win the BYU-Utah State game.
We never claim to have all the answers, but we do have a lot of questions as the season slides into October ...
Who will be BYU's quarterback this week? For the rest of the year? I have a feeling the Cougars will go back to some sort of two-quarterback system that didn't work so well a year ago. They have to reward Riley Nelson, who was looked much better than Jake Heaps in the stirring comeback win over Utah State, but on the other hand, don't want to lose Heaps and destroy his confidence. Although it didn't work last time, perhaps now that Heaps has a year of experience, he can be effective not playing the whole game. Plus as Utah State found out, it's hard to play against the two different styles of QBs.
If Nelson is handed the job, is there any chance Heaps will decide to transfer? After all, Nelson is a junior and as a sophomore Heaps may not want to take a chance sitting for another year. It's happened before at BYU. Remember Drew Miller, another quarterback from Washington, who started a bit as a freshman, but eventually transferred and went on to star at Montana?
How does Nelson get away with that all that long hair? It certainly doesn't appear to fit the BYU's grooming standards. And if he must get a haircut, will he lose his magic this week against San Jose State?
If injury-prone Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn is indeed on the shelf for the rest of season, will the Utes win another game? No offense to Jon Hays, but he was a lightly-recruited JC quarterback who ended up at Utah when the Division II school he was headed to, dropped football. And the Utes can't count on a running game that produced just 17 net yards against Washington to bail them out. For the Utes, the next three weeks will be tough, against Arizona State, Pitt and Cal, but even the final five games against perhaps the five worst teams in the Pac-12, four of whom have losing records, look tough without Wynn.
Is Utah State coach Gary Andersen a good game coach? There's no doubt he's a very good coach and he's turned around the Aggie program is a fairly short period of time. But three losses decided in the final minute of games, when his team seemingly had control, isn't all coincidence. It seems like the Aggies have lost so much over the years, they play games not to lose, rather than to win, and it usually costs them at the end.
Why did USU's great running back Robert Turbin, after opening the game with an 80-yard touchdown run Friday night, get only eight more carries the rest of the game? Perhaps there was a reason, like an injury, but it was strange he had two fewer carries than each of two teammates Michael Smith and Kerwynn Williams.
Who is the best quarterback in the state? It's hard to go with anyone from BYU or Utah, but how about the job true freshman Chuckie Keaton is doing at Utah State this year? He's completed 62 percent of his passes for 587 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions and a 135.9 rating. Or how about Weber State's Mike Hoke, who has completed 64 percent of his passes for 12 touchdowns and no interceptions and a 155.3 rating. Then there's Southern Utah's Brad Sorensen, who has completed 68 percent of his passes for 285 yards per game and nine touchdowns for a 137.1 efficiency rating. I think BYU and Utah would be happy with any of those three QBs.
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