Jaren Hall or Baylor Romney: The Case For and Against Each
There are very few problems having two capable backup quarterbacks. Deciding who starts after they both play well is the exception.
In today's game of college football, one coaching decision can be the difference between a really good player returning to play or deciding to transfer. It used to be that a player doing this would be selfish and honestly poison to a football team, but now in the day of not playing in a bowl game, refusing to play certain positions and demanding to be paid it is the norm.
BYU has two very capable backup quarterbacks, and the Cougars are in a position where they have to at least consider the possibility that one of them will transfer if they aren't the starter against Utah State next week. It is a good problem to have, sort of. The danger runs in one player getting upset and deciding to leave for somewhere else. After all, Hall was named the backup after hundreds and thousands of snaps in practice. At the same time however, practice and actual games are different and Romney just went out and took down the 14th best team in the nation.
The case for Jaren Hall
Hall hasn't done anything not to be the starter against Utah State. He was playing pretty well against South Florida and even had a lead when he went down with an injury. Had Hall continued to have the stats that he was projected to finish with, he would have had 200 yards passing and 110 yards on the ground with zero turnovers. You don't just bench a player who has those kind of stats.
Jaren Hall is a scholarship player who showed during Spring Practice that he was better than any of the other quarterbacks while Zach Wilson was recovering from shoulder surgery. Hall wasn't sharing backup reps with other quarterbacks, he was getting the first team reps and was playing well. Had Wilson been healthy, then Hall would have been sharing backup reps with the other quarterbacks which would have made the backup battle more murky.
The case for Baylor Romney
Why fix something that isn't broken? BYU just took down No. 14 Boise State for the first time in the Sitake era. Despite terrible weather conditions, Romney threw for 221 yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions on 58% completion in a rainstorm that many assumed would be a sloppy game.
Romney never made a really bad play or put his team in danger with his arm or on the run. He looked composed, confident and quite honestly, he led BYU on some of the most complete drives we have seen all season against one of the best defenses BYU has played all year.
What about the game plan?
Something else to consider was the game plan. Much of Romney's success against Boise State came on trick plays that had Bushman so open that Kyrhis Tonga probably could have made the throws. At the end of the day Romney did make the plays which was good, but it was more of the play call and less about the individual performance of Romney that made those plays happen.
Essentially it comes down to whether the coaches trust what they saw back in Spring Ball or whether they go off of what. Either way, it is going to be a big decision for the Cougars as they prepare to play the Utah State Aggies next week, a team they have lost to three out of the last five years.