Dick Harmon: Trio of QB gurus nailed what BYU's Zach Wilson could do, given time

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  • ArizonaUte SLC, UT
    Feb. 19, 2019 10:01 a.m.

    I love that the QB Guru's are 2 former BYU QBs and one from USU.

    Now, they are good at what they do and I respect the heck out of their evaluation, but they have very likely said the same thing on many, many occasions about many, many different QBs.

    And, Mr. Harmon. How do we know they have come true at this stage? Wilson may have a sophomore slump. He many not.

    He had a QBR of 25.9 v. NIU of the MAC conference, in a losing effort of 7-6 with no TDs, and 1 INT, at home in Provo. And had some, off the charts QBR v. Western Michigan also of the MAC conf. So, who know?

    He looks to be a good QB. But even BYU offered him late. After Tanner McKee chose Stanford. Wilson took an official to BYU Dec. 13 was offered and committed, then signed Dec. 15th.

    He was definitely not BYU's 1st choice. Zadok Dinkleman was offered long before Wilson, Stacy Connor and even JT Daniels - now at USC - all before Wilson.

    Not taking anything away from Wilson. He was simply under recruited. So was Baker Mayfield. it's not a rip on Wilson, it's just fact.

  • JD Las Vegas, NV
    Jan. 4, 2019 10:02 p.m.

    Level of competition can make a mid major QB's status much higher than any Power Five conferences quarterbacks. Wilson will always shine against the likes of UMass, New Mexico St., and Western Kentucky Beauty Technical College.

  • PeteMan LEHI, UT
    Jan. 4, 2019 8:52 p.m.

    It was fun watching Wilson grow and improve through the last half of the season. I'm expecting him to have a second season like Ty Detmer's second year. I'll be glad if I'm wrong in a good way.
    Also, I'm very glad to know so many good Utah fans who outweigh the petty hatred from the very few apparent Ute commenters.
    Go COUGS!

  • Sparkley Briefs New York, NY
    Jan. 4, 2019 8:09 p.m.

    Wilson = The Great Y Hope

    I thought that Wilson had a very good season and has shown the ability to make big plays, something that was missing from the offense since Williams and Hill left. He brings some much-needed excitement to the program and should put fannies in the seats at LES. It remains to be seen if he can lead the team to a couple of wins against some of the P-5 schools on the schedule next year. Until then, let the hype train roll!!

  • london_josh Lincoln, CA
    Jan. 4, 2019 2:33 p.m.

    Hey Utes,

    I'll trade you clemency on the Wilson hype for clemency on the soon-to-be hype for the next Utah OC.

    Wilson has some stats at least, so it's a good deal for you!

  • ArizonaUte SLC, UT
    Jan. 4, 2019 10:43 a.m.

    I love this Wilson talk. BYU went 6-6 in the regular season losing to a MAC team by not scoring a TD, with Wilson at the helm.

    BYU beat #107 ranked Western Michigan, also a MAC team who didn't win the MAC by any stretch, in a bowl game. Heee Haaa!

    Utah played 5 teams with QBs better than Wilson. And when Utah finally decided to play against BYU, they shut Wilson down.

    And for those who blame the BYU coaches for changing the game plan in the 2nd half v. Utah, BYU threw 19 pass attempts in the 1st half. And 19 pass attempts in the 2nd half. Sounds strangely similar.

    But keep up your narrative. At this rate, Wilson will have so much hype that anything he does will be a disappointment to your fan base. Nobody would be able to live up to the hype train BYU puts on basically any/every QB they have.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 4, 2019 10:30 a.m.

    @Blue

    The Utah game showed more of what he could do, but in the final quarter, the OC decided to play it safe and Utah, after injuring 5 of BYU's key players, managed to eke out a win.

    ------

    We injured 5 of your key players on offense? Utah has 2 key players out, your Team B was lucky to eke out a 10-3 win.

    The same BYU offense struggled 1st half against 107 Western Michigan but dominate 2nd half. It was throughly outplayed by Utah:

    2nd Half:
    Wilson 65 yards, 13 attempts, 0 TD, 1 Pick 6

    Which explains 35-7 beatdown in second half.

  • BlueHusky Saratoga Springs, UT
    Jan. 4, 2019 8:25 a.m.

    Let's stop with the comparisons. These arguments are beyond stupid.

    Lets look at the facts: Wilson was a snot-nose freshman, green as grass. His first action was vs Utah State in a USU blowout. He promptly moved the team with some great passes for a TD. Against USU's 4th string, you say. No, USU had 6 or 7 starters still in the game.

    Wilson started the next week. He showed amazing passing talent from the outset. However, the offensive coaches who had built a running team with an immobile QB, suddenly found themselves with a mobile QB. How to revise the offense for the Boise State game? The got it half done, and with 4th and goal for the win, they call a two pass goal line offense with 4 seconds to go. The kid got flummoxed and tried to run it in. End of game.

    The Utah game showed more of what he could do, but in the final quarter, the OC decided to play it safe and Utah, after injuring 5 of BYU's key players, managed to eke out a win.

    In short: Wilson is an embryo superstar. The BYU offensive coaches will have to move away from the LSU run game to what we saw in the 2nd half of the bowl game. Nuff Said.

  • the matrix Cedar City, UT
    Jan. 4, 2019 7:27 a.m.

    No way that Jason Shelly and Huntley are better than Wilson!! What a pipe dream uteology!! When was the last great Utah QB since Alex Smith? I also believe that in Superbowls BYU is up 2-0 against Utah QBs.

  • london_josh Lincoln, CA
    Jan. 4, 2019 1:03 a.m.

    "his team needs to beat teams like NIU, BSU, and Utah first"

    One might argue that it's not Wilson who lost to those teams.

    In each case MAJOR coaching mishaps happened - I'm not dismissing the losses but in each case coaches had the offense on a leash. NIU was some ridiculously tepid play calling, BSU had some elementary clock management skill missing at the end, and Utah was another example of "pull it back" when we needed to strike the death blow.

    As the article points out, Wilson had better numbers than any QB we faced this year other than USU's Love.

    I find it particularly interesting for Utah fans to say "you need to beat our team before you say he's good" - certainly BYU lost, but the Utah defense that held Washington to 3 offensive points got torched by a 17 year old freshman. BYU didn't win, but he was plenty impressive against the Utes already.

    I see no problem in celebrating elite players on each team, Utah's kickers for example get dedicated articles and they deserve it. Wilson looks impressive and Hall is a great potential as well.

    The job is to keep the trajectory moving up so we don't slide like the last potential QB stars - plenty of work ahead for BYU!

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 4, 2019 12:57 a.m.

    Sportsfan123 - Herriman, UT
    Jan. 3, 2019 8:11 p.m.
    Ute

    "You can't compare scrimmage stats... with p5 stats..."

    "Lets wait until week 5 to see if he can finally beat a top 100 team before you label him a p5 QB and hand him the heisman"

    I love it when people use conjecture to prove a point.

    First of all unless your team is highly ranked in the top 10 and or considered for the playoff div I football is all relative anyone can beat anyone, hence heavily favored utah lost to lowly north western.

    -------

    Not really!

    * BYU hasn't beaten us in nearly a decade.

    * Utah State has one win in two decades.

    #22 Northwestern is lowly?

    What then is #107 Westernern Michigan?

  • ArizonaUte SLC, UT
    Jan. 4, 2019 12:21 a.m.

    Wilson is going to be a good QB. And I am happy for the kid.

    He wanted to play at Utah but didn't get a scholly. He made the right choice for him.

    Utah plays a lot if good QBs. I say bring it on. It's a whole team effort and Utah is the better team.

    Wilson had a great bowl game. And the last performance is what you remember. And that's good.

    The hype train has started. But remember his game against NIU and his second half at Utah. He did those too.

    See you in Sept.

  • Sportsfan123 Herriman, UT
    Jan. 3, 2019 8:11 p.m.

    Ute

    "You can't compare scrimmage stats... with p5 stats..."

    "Lets wait until week 5 to see if he can finally beat a top 100 team before you label him a p5 QB and hand him the heisman"

    I love it when people use conjecture to prove a point.

    First of all unless your team is highly ranked in the top 10 and or considered for the playoff div I football is all relative anyone can beat anyone, hence heavily favored utah lost to lowly north western.

    But since we're on the topic of conjecture and refering to a top 100 p5 conference the pac 10.2 didnt due to well this year overall your conference champ finished with 4 losses and of all the p5 conference's the pac 10.2 finished at the bottom again in the bowl season with a losing record of 3-4 and arizona st losing to a subpar non p5 fresno st team, but atleast your conference improved from last year's 1-8 abismal bowl performance.

    That said noone has mentioned labeling Wilson a p5 QB and awarding him the heisman, said poster word's not mine.

    But was is fact is that Wilson is a true freshman less than a yr removed from highschool and already has a higher QB rating of the two utah QB's with multiple years experience.

  • CO Ute , 00
    Jan. 3, 2019 5:47 p.m.

    Wilson has certainly shown a lot of potential but not surprised to see all the hype from Mr. Harmon and others.

    “Smith predicted that Wilson and Jaren Hall, both freshmen QBs on the Cougar roster, were capable of starting on any team in the country and not only doing well, but being very productive.” Well I guess they would both be starting at Alabama over two QBs that have national championships? Maybe at Clemson, Georgia, or Ohio State?

    Wilson may well end up being a star like some past BYU QBs but despite his impressive QB ratings, his team needs to beat teams like NIU, BSU, and Utah first. But then again, most of you read these columns for the hype, not for the reality.

  • london_josh Lincoln, CA
    Jan. 3, 2019 3:24 p.m.

    A whole lot of people are upset at Wilson and Hall getting praise.

    Why the anger?

    Jordon Love is a special QB, but Wilson has made some amazing plays and the stats don't lie.

    Saying that BYU has a great QB isn't a threat to Utah - Utah beat that QB and according to the guys who can't shut-up about BYU they are fully confident in win #9 against BYU coming up, so why be worried about Zack Wilson?

    It's a tale of 2 schools. When BYU was wining games with a Bronco Mendenhall defense fans wanted Mendenhall fired - in careers that matched each other's timing Whit and Bronco would up splitting their records by a single victory. Yet one team had a culture of defensive wins and the other had fans furious about their abandonment of a passing culture.

    Same criticism to Grimes about running versus passing.

    These comments show either jealousy or fear - but they sure are funny to read.

    The one negative I'll make on BYU is not letting players play. How come Jaren Hall wasn't making passes in games where he played? If we're up by 14 points in the 4th put in the sub, and let him pass! BYU needs to allow it's players more training time, Wilson will go down and Jaren needs to be ready.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 3, 2019 2:35 p.m.

    Oh Really? - Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 3, 2019 11:50 a.m.
    @uteology

    “Come on! They wouldn't start at Utah State let alone Utah.”

    Don’t get carried away. Neither Ute QB would start at Utah State. And that isn’t even an unusual year.

    For fun, make a list of Utah’s notable QBs for the last 50 years. Both of them.

    Even in Utah’s Best decade ever they only saw one QB start in the NFL. Utah State has done that.

    -----------

    This isn't a "unusual" year for Jordan Love at Utah State?

    Hahaha!

    In 2017, Troy Williams (our backup) would have started over Jordan Love at Utah State and led them to a MWC title.

  • steve24/7 Sandy, UT
    Jan. 3, 2019 2:15 p.m.

    "...Tua Tagovailoa with a 205 rating. He is playing with what may be the top surrounding cast of players any college team could fathom."

    That last word doesn't look right. I think someone doesn't know how to spell "afford".

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 3, 2019 2:15 p.m.

    Sportsfan123 - Herriman, UT
    Jan. 3, 2019 10:47 a.m.
    Utelogistics

    "Utah has two QB's better than wilson"

    The only thing the team on the hill has that is better than BYU is the football team as a whole.

    Utahs qb's passer rating's do not compare to Wilson's and neither have had a perfect game passing with 18/18 completions and a 321. qb rating for the bowl game, you could argue they are better runners but that is about it.

    Huntley completions 64.1% qb rating 140.1 TD's 12 interception 6
    Shelley completions 58% qb rating 119.1 TD's 5 interceptions 6
    Wilson completions 65.9% qb rating 157.2 TD's 12 interceptions 3

    One should stick to utah articles.

    ----------------

    You can't compare scrimmage statistics (Wilson) with P5 statistics (Huntly/Shelley).

    Against a real defense, Wilson had ONE good half, 1st half at Utah. In the 2nd half he had 65 yards on 13 attempts, 0 TDs, and a pick 6.

    Lets wait until week 5 to see if he can finally beat a defense from a Top 100 team before you label him a P5 QB and hand him the Heisman.

  • IJ Hyrum, Ut
    Jan. 3, 2019 1:59 p.m.

    "He's yet to beat a good team, and..." Same could be said of Shelley

  • Oh Really? Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 3, 2019 11:50 a.m.

    @uteology

    “Come on! They wouldn't start at Utah State let alone Utah.”

    Don’t get carried away. Neither Ute QB would start at Utah State. And that isn’t even an unusual year.

    For fun, make a list of Utah’s notable QBs for the last 50 years. Both of them.

    Even in Utah’s Best decade ever they only saw one QB start in the NFL. Utah State has done that.

  • Sportsfan123 Herriman, UT
    Jan. 3, 2019 10:47 a.m.

    Utelogistics

    "Utah has two QB's better than wilson"

    The only thing the team on the hill has that is better than BYU is the football team as a whole.

    Utahs qb's passer rating's do not compare to Wilson's and neither have had a perfect game passing with 18/18 completions and a 321. qb rating for the bowl game, you could argue they are better runners but that is about it.

    Huntley completions 64.1% qb rating 140.1 TD's 12 interception 6
    Shelley completions 58% qb rating 119.1 TD's 5 interceptions 6
    Wilson completions 65.9% qb rating 157.2 TD's 12 interceptions 3

    One should stick to utah articles.

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Jan. 3, 2019 10:16 a.m.

    I just hope that Wilson doesn't have a Northwestern game - that would be horrible.

  • Scores Idaho Falls, ID
    Jan. 3, 2019 10:11 a.m.

    Give credit where credit is due. Wilson played great and learned a lot along the way. It's too bad they didn't start him at least one game earlier, not that the Cougars would have won the game with USU, but it could have been a whole lot different. Just that one game of extra experience might have made a difference in the outcome of a couple of other games on the schedule.
    BYU needs a good back up for Wilson, but I also think they need to find a spot to have Jaren Hall on the field.
    If they can keep all these guys coming back next year healthy and find a dynamite running back to go with what they have, the future looks pretty bright for the Independent team from Provo.
    Go Cougars

  • Sportsfan123 Herriman, UT
    Jan. 3, 2019 9:45 a.m.

    The biggest step towards a promising career at byu is to do what the great one did before him, and it showed up only in the bowl game, and that is great qb's have the arm strength and skill to throw their recievers open.

    For those that dont inderstand what that means, basically even if a reciever is covered by a defender the qb has the ability to put the ball where only his reciever can catch it. Wilson was completing some impressive throws to recievers that were clearly not OPEN, the mark of a good qb is they know where to go with the ball on any given play where they have the best oportunity to complete a pass with pre snap and early read progression, but when a qb can throw to any reciever regardless if they are covered well or not basically everyone is open and that is difference between good and great.

    We only saw a little bit of this potential in the bowl game but it certainly shows wilson is capable, also taking into consideration that defense was one of the worse passing defenses in the country but it is a start.

    Wilson will only reach his potential if Grimes changes to a pass heavy instead of a run heavy offense.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 3, 2019 9:33 a.m.

    blackattack - Orem, UT
    Jan. 3, 2019 8:05 a.m.
    “Come on! They wouldn't start at Utah State let alone Utah.“

    @uteology: that’s some red goggles there. The Utes rarely have a good quarterback, and quarterbacks are wary signing with the offensive coordinator-carousel school. Tuttle didn’t even make it thru October of his first year.

    ----------

    Utah has TWO quarterbacks that are better than Wilson.

    We've all seen this story before, see Heaps, Hill, and Mangum. Heisman candidates to bust.

  • estreetshuffle Window Rock, AZ
    Jan. 3, 2019 9:17 a.m.

    A lot depends on the men in the trenches, the OL. They can't seem to protect against the blitz from linebacker or DB blitz.

  • Oh Really? Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 3, 2019 9:12 a.m.

    @ekute

    It's been 2004 since a Ute QB lived up to even a lack of hype. Johnson was good, but not a sniff at an NFL opportunity. Since 2004 Beck, Hall and Hill have been on NFL rosters, Beck and Hall have started NFL games. I think we all know what Hill would've done if he hadn't had a string of freak injuries.

    @Determinism

    "I’m simply having a hard time seeing the quarterbacks from any of those teams playing in the Idaho patato bowl. "

    Put them on BYU's roster and that may be exactly where they ended up, and vice versa. Now it is on Sitake and his staff to do better.

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Jan. 3, 2019 8:43 a.m.

    I think Wilson will have a great career at BYU if he is not saddled with a bunch of unrealistic hype.

  • wallyball SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 3, 2019 8:43 a.m.

    I think it's worth noting that Smith said that Wilson and Hall were capable of starting on any team in the country, not that they would start. Based on his expertise that would include Utah or Utah State.

  • blackattack Orem, UT
    Jan. 3, 2019 8:05 a.m.

    “Come on! They wouldn't start at Utah State let alone Utah.“

    @uteology: that’s some red goggles there. The Utes rarely have a good quarterback, and quarterbacks are wary signing with the offensive coordinator-carousel school. Tuttle didn’t even make it thru October of his first year.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    Jan. 3, 2019 7:32 a.m.

    2 things.
    He's yet to beat a good team, and...
    It's been a while since a byu qb lived up to the hype.

  • Gruncle Ralph Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 3, 2019 3:41 a.m.

    @kralon

    Not to put a damper on the QB enthusiasm around Zach Wilson, but the bowl game performance was helped out by at least one penalty and several outstanding catches.

    ———-

    I think there were 2 PI’s that negated incomplete passes but that begs the question, if the DB had to basically cheat in order to break up the play then what would’ve been the outcome had he played it straight up and not held/grabbed/interfered with the receiver?

    Also, great catches are part of the reward the QB gets when he puts in the work and builds great chemistry with his receivers and also when he puts the ball in places that set the receiver up to be successful.

    Zach wasn’t just throwing bubble screens or 3 yd slants or dumping it off to the RB in the flat. He made some really difficult throws look easy and allowed his receivers to make plays. Dylan Collies dig route in the end zone covered a lot of ground (was thrown to the far side of the field) and was on point.

    Zach’s first year PER is better than Hall, Beck, Sark, Detmer, Bosco, Young, McMahon or the first guy named Wilson. Don’t take anything away from this kid. He’s earned it.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 3, 2019 12:37 a.m.

    Smith predicted that Wilson and Jaren Hall, both freshmen QBs on the Cougar roster, were capable of starting on any team in the country and not only doing well, but being very productive.

    ------

    Come on! They wouldn't start at Utah State let alone Utah.

    Wilson has potential, but all the hype after 4 scrimmage wins is ridiculous.

    Let's visit this discussion in week 4 when BYU will most likely start 1-3 or 0-4 vs P5 defenses.

  • Kralon HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA
    Jan. 2, 2019 11:23 p.m.

    Not to put a damper on the QB enthusiasm around Zach Wilson, but the bowl game performance was helped out by at least one penalty and several outstanding catches. My point is that the QB ratings are really not individual rankings.

    However, I am excited to see how good Zach can be, but that thought also includes many other players and the entire team. Go Cougars!

  • sonofabronc Boise, ID
    Jan. 2, 2019 9:29 p.m.

    Correction: Kellen Moore is the all-time leading quarterback at Boise State in most passing statistical categories. As a player, he is the Ty Detmer of Boise State. Brett Rypien might well be No. 2 but there is no question who is No. 1.

  • DETERMINISM UTAH, UT
    Jan. 2, 2019 9:18 p.m.

    Smith predicted that Wilson and Jaren Hall, both freshmen QBs on the Cougar roster, were capable of starting on any team in the country and not only doing well, but being very productive. It remains to be seen if Hall can make Smith’s projection come true, but Wilson’s first year is in the books and, statistically, the prophecy had merit. Alabama, Clemson, Ohio st, Georgia and Oklahoma were crazy to let Wilson and Hall get away? I’m simply having a hard time seeing the quarterbacks from any of those teams playing in the Idaho patato bowl. Did the article say if the quarterbacks from any of the top teams are working with any of the camps mentioned in the article?