PROVO — BYU quarterbacks coach Aaron Roderick made it clear this week.
Senior quarterback Tanner Mangum is the Cougars’ backup quarterback, even though freshman Jaren Hall took fourth-quarter snaps in place of starter Zach Wilson in last week’s win over UMass.
“Tanner is No. 2. I didn’t even know that was an issue Saturday,” Roderick said. “People got all worked up about it.”
Some wondered why Mangum didn’t play, especially considering that he is a huge Tom Brady fan and the Cougars were playing at the home of the New England Patriots.
Roderick explained that Mangum got injured during pregame warmups at Boise State on Nov. 3.
“No one knew this. He tweaked an oblique muscle throwing a ball and he was in a lot of pain,” Roderick said. “It was scary because Boise’s seventh in the nation in sacks. I was thinking, If Zach gets knocked out of the game, we might have to put Jaren out there, who has barely played at all. Tanner couldn’t have played in that game.”
Roderick said Mangum wasn’t fully healthy last week.
“With five minutes left in the game, we had it under control and I wasn’t going to risk getting him hit knowing we might need him these next couple of weeks,” Roderick said. “I was just protecting him from getting hit.”
Roderick added that giving Hall snaps last week was good for the freshman's development.
But, he said, “If something happens to Zach, Tanner’s going in.”
Hall is “a good enough asset that we might find a way to use him these next couple of weeks,” Roderick said.8 comments on this story
Asked if a situation presents itself where Mangum can play on Senior Night Saturday against New Mexico State, Roderick said, “I’d love for him to play. I hope so.”
THE SERIES: BYU and New Mexico State are meeting for the third time Saturday with the Cougars having won the two previous games.
BYU crushed the Aggies in 2011 in Provo as freshman quarterback Jake Heaps threw four touchdown passes in a 42-7 win. In 2012 in Las Cruces, senior James Lark threw six TD passes, including five to Cody Hoffman, in a 50-13 victory.
BYU IN NOVEMBER: Since 2009, the Cougars have posted a 27-8 record in the month of November.