No. 72 John Walsh – Quarterback – 1991-1994
John Walsh often gets forgotten between the Ty Detmer and Steve Sarkisian but Walsh was actually a really good quarterback. Walsh only started for two seasons, but he was very efficient and consistent.
In 1994, the Cougars had a season that reminds me a bit of the 2017 season when the Cougars were so close to having a special season. They ended the season with a 10-3 record with two of three losses coming by a single score.
Through those games, Walsh threw six of his 14 interceptions during the season which was probably the difference between the team going 12-1 and 10-3. On that same note however, his play helped the Cougars win five one score games that without good play BYU may have 7-5 or worse.
When Walsh played well, the team generally won. When he did not play well, the team either lost or barely won. In games where Walsh threw for at least two touchdowns the team went 13-6 and when he didn’t throw for two or more they went 4-4. The team lived and died by his arm. In a game against Utah State, he threw for 627 yards. Last season, it took Tanner Mangum five games before he hit that mark. In other words, the team wasn’t leaning on the running backs to score points when Walsh was on the field.
Walsh had some really good stats and really bad stats. As said before he won many games and lost a few games because of his performance. During his career he threw for 9,217 yards while only starting for two seasons. He also added 73 passing touchdowns, a 150.3 QBR rating and added another three touchdowns on the ground. What hurts his ranking is the turnovers. Walsh threw 35 interceptions and fumble the ball 23 times, losing seven. 73/35 isn’t the worst ratio to have, but some of those games were four interception games which cost the team a win. Finally, his completion rate of 61% is not great compared to some of the other BYU quarterbacks later on the list.
Memorable Moments C
Ty Detmer left some really big shoes to be filled and overall Walsh fit in them alright, perhaps they were a size to big for him. His four touchdown game against Oklahoma in the bowl game was a great moment for him and the 627 yard outing against the USU Aggies ranks first all time for passing yards in a game by a BYU Cougar. Overall however, as mentioned he sort of gets forgotten between two other great quarterbacks which means to the common fan he wasn’t all too memorable.
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We are almost out of the 70’s and into the 60’s! Come back tomorrow for player No. 71! If you’ve missed the other articles check them out below!