BYU Football Countdown: Player 33 – The first passer

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

BYU Football is now only 33 days away from kicking off.

We will be watching College Football in four weeks. FOUR WEEKS! Also, we are 2/3 the way through the countdown meaning that if you have been keeping up with the list to this point you have probably learned more about individual players than any other list ever for BYU Football.

Today’s player in the Countdown is one of the remaining quarterbacks that we still have on the list.

No. 33 Virgil Carter – Quarterback – 1963-1966

The year is 1966 and the game of football lives by running backs and mobile quarterbacks. The pass was almost utilized as a trick play and unless it was Tulsa every team passed for less than 2,000 yards every season.

When Carter arrived to BYU, the Cougars were an all running team. In fact, the year before Carter arrived at BYU the Cougars quarterback Doug Wardell threw the ball for 100 yards ALL SEASON. In fact, he was listed as a QB/RB on the roster.

The play and ability of Virgil Carter changed BYU Football forever.


Impact A

As mentioned before, BYU Football was not a passing school AT ALL before Carter arrived. While he didn’t lead the Cougars to any bowl games or even any crazy high scoring seasons, he forever changed the way that the BYU offense was run. I’m pretty convinced that players like Gifford Nielsen and Marc Lyons in large part decided to play for BYU because of the change of style of offense that was introduced by Virgil Carter.

Statistics C+

Remember, statistics don’t care about when players play or whether they had huge moments they just look at the numbers. Carter was a Top 20 passer for three seasons in the NCAA which is a really good statistic to have no matter when it is. His stats won’t blow anyone away with 5,125 career passing yards, 1,114 rushing yards and a combined 68 touchdowns. The most impressive stat however is that he led the Cougars to an 8-2 record his senior year, the first of many great football seasons for BYU Football.

Memorable Moments A-

Going from running the ball CONSTANTLY to suddenly passing the ball every third play would have been much watch football. Leading the team to an 8-2 season also is memorable in the sense that it set off a tradition (that was picked up about a decade later) that defined BYU Football. Finally, Virgil Carter beat Utah twice, the first one being only the second time in the past 20 seasons. The Utes would go on to win four more times after Carter left before the Cougars would go on their own 14 out of 15 games.