COUGAR SPORTS SATURDAY

Top Five Performances By BYU Quarterback Zach Wilson … So Far

Aug 19, 2020, 3:32 PM | Updated: 3:41 pm
Zach Wilson...
Quarterback Zach Wilson #11 of the Brigham Young Cougars signals behind the line of scrimmage against the Utah Utes in a game at Rice-Eccles Stadium on November 24, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – BYU Quarterback Zach Wilson burst onto the scene as a freshman, pushing incumbent Tanner Mangum in Fall Camp and, ultimately, winning the starting job after six games. During the last two seasons, Wilson has shown a lot of promise with big-time performances.

He is expected to be the starter in 2020, Wilson is finally healthy and ready to prove the hype is real. As he prepares to lead the Cougars again this season, I take a look at the top five performances of Wilson’s career.

Best Performances Of BYU Quarterback Zach Wilson’s Career

5 – 2018 vs Utah

The toughest loss of his young career, Wilson and the BYU Cougars came out swinging to earn a 20-0 lead at halftime. However, BYU’s depth was tested and inexperience proved to be the downfall for the Cougars.

Despite the 35-27 loss against the Utes, Wilson had one of his best games of the year. He threw for 200 yards, 2 TD’s and had 73 rushing yards. In fact, with a lead in the 2nd half, BYU running backs carried the ball 13 times for 27 yards.

The only spark on offense during the half was Wilson, on the ground and through the air. A costly pick-six to open the half shifted momentum towards Utah, but Wilson’s resilience on the road against a ranked, in-state rival was impressive.

4 – 2019 vs UMass

Listen, the UMass Minutemen are not the stiffest of competition on the football field. Last year’s meeting in Amherst, a 56-24 blowout, is an indication of that.

BYU led 49-0 at halftime and Wilson sat out the entire second half. Despite that, Wilson threw for 293 yards and 4 touchdowns, to go with only three incompletions.

Kalani Sitake-led teams have, at times, struggled to dominate the inferior competition. That wasn’t the case that day in November when Zach Wilson could have thrown for 500+ yards if they kept him in the game.

3 – 2018 vs Hawaii

In his first start as a true freshman at BYU, Zach Wilson was electric. Coming off of a disappointing blowout loss to in-state rival Utah State, the team gave the ball to the baby-faced freshmen.

Wilson responded with 194 yards, 4 touchdowns (including one on the ground) and a lopsided victory over the former WAC foe. His agility and penchant for big-time plays made him must-see TV and BYU fans felt optimistic about the future of BYU football.

2 – 2019 vs USC

The biggest win of his young career, the upset victory of #24 USC was the best game by Wilson last season. He threw for 280 yards and had 2 touchdowns, one on the ground.

In the back-and-forth overtime win, Wilson stayed poised to keep his team fighting; scoring on an electric 16-yard run in the 4th to put BYU ahead.

The defense came up big in overtime and gave the Cougars one of the biggest wins of the year. In an up-and-down season for Zach Wilson, the USC game shines as an example of the poise and determination Wilson can exhibit on a big stage.

1 – 2018 vs Western Michigan

This one is pretty easy, right? It’s not too often that a QB throws for a 100 percent completion percentage in a bowl game, let alone as a true freshman.

BYU, led by Zach Wilson, came out of halftime down three and on the very first drive scored a touchdown on three plays and took under two minutes to do so.

They didn’t look back from there. The Cougars put up 35 unanswered to cruise to a 49-18 win in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Wilson was a perfect 18-18 for 317 yards and 4 touchdowns, with an absurd passer rating of 321.3. Wilson earned MVP honors and showed BYU fans just how special he could be.

Zach Wilson is going into his junior season with stiff competition behind him. Jaren Hall and Baylor Romney played very well last year in his absence, missing games after having surgery on his right hand.

He says he’s now fully healthy and feeling the best he has since before his off-season shoulder surgery in early 2019. Wilson is likely to earn the start against Navy on September 7, but with the talent behind him, he will have to earn his starting job week by week. Based on what he’s shown us in his early career, I believe he is up for the task.

Dallen produces Cougar Sports Saturday. Tune in every Saturday on KSL Newsradio. 

Or download the podcast here. 

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