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  • Writer's pictureAdam Gibby

If BYU Football beats Utah it won't be because of Zach Wilson

Although Zach Wilson will have to make key plays in order for BYU Football to have a chance against the Utes, it isn't the QB who needs to perform really well.

Everyone knows that the Quarterback is the single most important player on just about any football team. Sure there can be exceptions for a team that runs the ball 80% of the time. For example, one could say that Jonathan Taylor is the most important player on Wisconsin's team. But 95% of the time, the most important player is the quarterback.

BYU Quarterback Zach Wilson is no exception. If he goes out and throws four interceptions and has a 35% completion rate on 39 attempts, then BYU will probably lose the game no matter how well the defense or running backs play. Wilson has to make plays if the Cougars are going to win, and he is the most individually important player on the team.

But if the Cougars pull off the upset, it will not be primarily because of Zach Wilson. It will be because of the offensive line.

While the Utes may not have the secondary of LSU or Michigan, they are still dangerous and if the O-Line doesn't hold and give Wilson time to throw, the secondary will be all over the BYU receivers.

BYU Football is going to need to depend on the offensive line if they hope to take down the Utes in 2019.

The receiving core for the BYU offense is the weakest position group on the field. They are going to need time to get open and that will only happen with good protection.

Last year the Utes shut down Wilson when the defensive line took over in the fourth quarter. In the last few drives of the game, Wilson was 7-9 for 35 yards while being sacked twice and forced to run five times for 22 yards. While trying to win a game and have a comeback, those are not the kind of stats the Cougars were looking for. In total (with the sacks -10 yards) that is 47 yards on 16 plays. That is 2.9 yards per play when Wilson was supposed to throw the ball, mainly in the 2-minute offense, an offense that often picks up 7-8 yards per pass play.

While many like to point at the injury of Matt Hadley as the reason the offense stalled, when looking back at it again, it was the deterioration of the offensive line. Hadley may have been better than Riley Burt, but with no running lane, not even Jamaal Williams would have been able to do anything with that. Wilson as mentioned earlier wasn't given time to throw and the offense stalled.

The offensive line needs to play well for the Cougars to win, and against one of the best defensive lines in the country, that may be tough to ask. But nobody said beating the No. 15 team in the nation is easy to do.

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