In the abyss that was BYU football’s seven-game losing streak, several folks familiar with the Cougar sidelines described an offense whose demeanor was quietly hurting, almost to a man, lacking vocal energy.
The one exception described to me was the actions of Koy Detmer Jr., a walk-on, third-string quarterback from Somerset, Texas, who's also a nephew of offensive coordinator Ty Detmer and the son of former Colorado and NFL starting QB Koy Detmer.
“Koy stands there and yells and pumps everyone up. He’s constantly encouraging everyone and trying to keep emotions high,” said one veteran observer with a role during practices and games. "Many times this year, he's been the most vocal and sometimes the only loud voice that is constant from among players."
This was on full display on ESPN2’s broadcast last Friday in BYU’s 31-21 win over UNLV in Sam Boyd Stadium, an emotional return to the victory column for the struggling Cougars.
Afterward, Koy Detmer Jr.'s sideline antics made the commentary rounds on Twitter because it stood out so much in that game — but has been a regular feature of BYU’s sideline all season long.
Here is a tweet from ESPN 960 host Ben Criddle, a former Cougar cornerback, commenting on a scene during the broadcast where Koy was talking to Joe Critchlow during the game. It was freshman Critchlow's first-career start.
In his only playing time of the season, a relief role replacing Beau Hoge, who replaced injured Tanner Mangum, Koy made some very good passes but also threw interceptions.
Sensing the social media momentum, BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe chimed in on the backup walk-on player:
Koy Junior passed for 83 touchdowns in high school, one of the best performances ever in the San Antonio football scene. At BYU his USU performance was a case of being thrust into battle with little preparation. He was 7 of 20 with three interceptions in that loss.
But that hasn't discouraged him from finding a role on the sidelines.