This article is by Ralph Sharaga who is part of the Jets Rewind Podcast team
Myth1: “Zach Wilson has only competed against cupcakes.”
In 2019, (before he injured his hand) BYU played Utah, at Tennessee, USC and Washington. And while BYU was over-matched talent-wise in all four games, they managed a split.
At Tennessee, in front of 100,000+ screaming SEC fans, Wilson drove BYU the length of the field with under a minute remaining, to set up the game-tying field goal. He then threw a touchdown pass in OT to win the game 29-26. Wilson stats: 19-29, 232yds. 1TD 0 INT.
A week later, BYU beat USC in OT 30-27. Wilson stats: 20-33, 280 yds, 1 TD pass, 0 INTs and one 16 yard TD run late in the game to give them a 27-24 lead (Again a late game drive, this time to take the lead) If you watch the game film, he was one of the best, if not the best, players on the field.
Now let's consider the bowl game in December against Central Florida (a solid football program). Remember that game? Wilson carved them up like a Sunday roast. Stats: 24-36 425yds. 3TDs 0 Ints- plus 2 rushing Tds. Turns out, two of UCF's Defensive backs, Aaron Robinson CB and Richie Grant S are projected to go in the 2nd or 3rd round of the upcoming draft. How many Power 5 schools can make that claim. Very few, I would imagine.
Myth 2: “Wilson played poorly against Coastal Carolina. Their only true test this year”
Coastal Carolina was a good team this year. Final rankings in the three polls were 12, 14 and 14. Actually, Wilson had a good, not great, game. Stats: 19-30 240 yards 1TD pass 1 Int. The interception was a Hail Mary on the last play of the half. But what jumps out in this game is the last second drive Wilson engineered. Down 22-17, BYU took over on THEIR OWN 8 YARD LINE WITH 34 SECONDS LEFT! Wilson proceeded to complete 5 of 5 passes (33yds, 12 yds, 15 yds, 15 yds and 16 yds -BTW, almost no YAC on any of the passes.) At that point the clock ran out as his receiver was tackled at the two. I'm not saying Lawrence or Fields aren't capable of engineering a drive like that. We just don't know because their teams were so strong they were never put in that position. Well, actually Fields had one chance against Clemson 2 years ago. I just named 3 games where Wilson did it. Just saying.
Myth 3: “Wilson is a one year wonder. Did nothing before this (his junior)year.”
The two games previously mentioned against USC and Tennessee were in his sophomore year. In his (true) freshman year, Wilson took over the starting job in the 7th game of the season. From that point on, his stats were: 1,578 yds passing, 65.9% completions, 12 td passes 3 Ints. In their bowl game BYU 6-6, played Western Michigan at 7-5. Wilson's stats: 18-18 (that's not a typo) 317yds 4TDs and I don't have to tell you how many Ints.
One final thought on the idea that playing for a Power 5 school makes you a better, less risky prospect.
The following is a list of colleges that have produced QBs who have won Super bowls.
Louisiana Tech Morehead St.
Southern Mississippi Northern Iowa
Miami of Ohio Fresno St
and oh yes, BYU (with 2 Qbs)
Next is a list of all the colleges that have never produced a Super Bowl winning QB.
Ohio St Penn St
Mich St Nebraska
Texas A & M Missouri
Clemson U of Miami
I could go on but you get the idea.
The point is, if a guy can play, he can play. Don't get hung up on where he plays. The fields are all 100 yds x 53 yds. - even Boise State's blue field.
Ralph Sharaga, wrote this article. Ralph appears on the Jets Rewind Podcast and has been a Jets fan his entire life. The Podcast can be heard at:
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