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  • Writer's pictureAdam Gibby

BYU Football Top 100: No. 3 Ty Detmer, Heisman Trophy Winner

BYU Football is now only three days away from kicking off their season.

There is so much to write about Detmer that I'm going to get straight into the story of Ty Detmer.

No. 3 Ty Detmer - Quarterback - 1988-1991

The best individual award that a player can win in college football is the Heisman Trophy. 99.999% of the time the trophy goes to a quarterback from a Power Five Powerhouse team like Alabama, Michigan or Texas. Ty Detmer is one of only two players to win the award since 1948 that isn't in a current Power Five program.

While Detmer didn't win a National Championship for the Cougars, it was most definitely not his fault. Detmer was by far the best player in the country during his Heisman season and was arguably the best the year after as well. What made him so unique was his playing style and his ability to make plays out of literally nothing.


Impact A+

Ty Detmer was the perfect teammate and player for BYU in the late 1980's and 1990's. He was the kind of player that was able to motivate his teammates even if he wasn't on the field. There are so many video clips of Detmer going around while the team was on defense and pumping up his team for the next possession. He also impacted BYU Football almost as much Robbie Bosco did with the National Championship in that he put BYU right in the middle of the spotlight. Honestly, who wouldn't want to watch a player that can pass for 500 yards in a game? Since 1964, only 27 teams have had a player represented for the award and having BYU being one of them impacts how BYU is viewed.

Statistics A+

Detmer was one of a very short list of BYU quarterbacks to start for three seasons and play in all four seasons during his career. Not even Steve Young, Robbie Bosco or Jim McMahon did that. In total, Detmer threw for 15,031 yards, 121 passing touchdowns, 9.8 yards per attempt and 14 rushing touchdowns. Those numbers are ridiculous! His most crazy year came by no surprise during his Heisman Trophy winning season when the threw for 5,188 yards and 41 touchdowns. 5,188 yards in 13 games whereas it has taken 26 games and five different quarterbacks to reach that same amount of yards the past three seasons.

Memorable Moments A+

Detmer is our first and only A+ player across all three categories. Detmer has so many memorable moments that it would take hours to write them all down. Here are just a few that stick out more than the rest:

  • Taking down No. 1 Miami, including the game winning touchdown pass in the third quarter. The greatest play came on that pass when Detmer was rolling to his right and juked out two Miami defenders that ended up slamming into each other before Detmer made the touchdown pass.

  • Winning the Heisman Trophy

  • Becoming the only BYU Football player, and at the time the only NCAA all time passing leader to reach the 5,000 passing yards mark in a season.

  • 599 passing yards against San Diego State

  • Thumping Utah 70-31 and then 45-22 and finally 48-17. That's a combined score of 163-70.

  • Detmer had a habit of slamming, shoving, tackling or making any other kind of over the top hit to his players after a big play or a score. It's normally the linemen that do that, not the 6'0" 175lb QB.

  • A three game stretch where Detmer threw for 420 yards or more a game.

  • Combined 500 passing yards in six different games.

  • Being bloodied up at least three separate times during games and remaining in the game.

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