BYU Football is now only 20 days away from kicking off!
This time in three weeks we will either be celebrating the long awaited win for BYU Football or be wondering if we should just cancel our subscription to ESPN for the season. Okay maybe not that extreme, but you get the point.
That is sort of the reward/downside of playing Utah in the first game.
Ute fans like to make fun of BYU because the Utah game is the biggest of the year, whereas for them it is not. Currently that is true. If BYU loses they will have no shot at the BCS and no matter how you spin it, no other game, including a bowl game would even come close to matching the importance of the Utah game. In three weeks, we will know.
Today's player in the Countdown struggled to beat Utah, but one play against them will forever eliminate the memory of the three other losses.
No. 20 John Beck - Quarterback - 2003-2006
John Beck will be remembered in history for one play. He actually had quite a few really good plays, but the highlight that will still be played in 50 years will be the Beck to Harline play.
It was the most iconic play of the Holy War for either team ever. Sure the Brandon Doman QB run, the Utes field goal block and even Andrew Georges OT touchdown were all amazing plays that essentially or did end the game, but the way the 2006 game ended was different. It was the play. It took so long happen and when Beck threw it, Harline was out of the frame. Everyone thought he was just throwing it up for grabs when Harline came in and made the catch.
Beck did so much more during his career, and hopefully we can bring back a few memories.
John Beck was Bronco's quarterback. In a time when Cougar Nation was down, new Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall was looking for a spark offensively. Since Doman left in 2001, the following four years saw seven quarterbacks play some significant time, none of them including Beck really doing much in the four years after Doman left. When Bronco Mendenhall arrived, his options were a Junior QB who had thrown for 2,500 yards the year before with 56% completion and 15/8 TD/INT ratio or a more experienced QB, Matt Berry. Not terrible, but not encouraging. Mendenhall took that though, and created a QB who for the first time since John Walsh in 1994-95 threw for 3,500 yards for two straight seasons. He got Bronco Mendenhall off to a good start and got his legacy going in the right direction immediately.
Beck's first two seasons with the Cougars weren't great. He threw for 3,427 yards with 20 TD and 13 INT on 54% completion rate. Not the best statistics to have. Once under Mendenhall things changed, drastically. In his final two seasons, Beck threw for 7,592 yards with 59 TD and 21 INT on 64% completion rate. More importantly he found ways to win games. In his first two seasons he led the Cougars to a 4-8 record as a starter. In the final two seasons he posted a 17-8 record. Luckily for him and this ranking, he improved every season which makes his ranking nearly unaffected by his first two seasons.
Memorable Moments A+
The Beck to Harline play will probably forever be a Top 5 play in BYU History. Aside from that play, Beck led the Cougars to their best season since 1996 when the Cougars were 14-1 and won the Cotton Bowl. Some of his other memorable moments include a fake Jet Sweep touchdown pass against San Diego State, a huge 517 yard game against TCU and overall his ability to extend plays with his feet. Although he wasn't a running QB, his ability to roll out of the pocket and get the extra half second before throwing the ball resulted in hundreds of extra yards and points.