It isn’t often that the buzz around BYU Football is about the backup quarterback competition, but with recent injury issues there is good reason to be worried about it.
So far in spring ball, the biggest news and biggest storyline has been the play of the backup quarterbacks. There has been debate on who should be the backup, and the competition has stirred some interest in the fans.
The competition has shrunk from a group of nearly every quarterback on the roster (10) to Jaren Hall, Joe Critchlow and Baylor Romney in a distant third. Each have qualities that would back the Cougars with a solid backup option to sophomore Zach Wilson as he recovers from surgery, but no decision has been announced.
But are we overhyping a position that none of us actually hopes sees regular and consistent game action this coming season?
Obviously, we want Zach Wilson to stay healthy enough and perform at a high enough level that a backup is not seeing regular playing time. But we would hope that they backup is strong enough to make a positive impact if needed.
The key stat to know is that since going Independent, BYU has had only one season where the starting quarterback started every game that season (2013 with Taysom Hill).
Whether it was Taysom Hill injuries in other seasons or Tanner Mangum inconsistencies (or injuries I suppose) the backup quarterback has been needed to come in and step up.
Last year, Zach Wilson performed well as a starter, giving life to a BYU fan base. He started seven games and threw 12 touchdowns.
The year prior, it was Beau Hoge and Joe Critchlow with a brief stint by Koy Detmer Jr. Other years have seen Tanner Mangum or Christian Stewart coming up and stepping into the mantle of BYU quarterback, faring well in their moments.
Mangum, of course, came in his freshman season and won two games on hail mary’s and threw for over 3,000 yards. Stewart came in for the 2014 season, starting 8 games, throwing 25 touchdowns.
The point of the story is that no, we are not hyping up the backup quarterback race. One could say it may be the second most important position on the field behind the starting quarterback.
It is more than just holding a clipboard, the BYU backup quarterback is a position that we should be ready to see if needed, and ready to see a positive impact on the field.
Whether it be Critchlow, Hall, or somebody else, the backup quarterback on the BYU Football team will hold a talented football player.