BYU Football: Watch Zach Wilson's Best Deep Throws this Season
Even before a great performance against Texas State, Zach Wilson was on pace to have a historic season for BYU. Wilson's 2020 performance has earned national recognition and his name has been included in Heisman conversations. It's important to appreciate greatness while it is happening, so check out this compilation of some of Zach Wilson's best deep throws this season:
On Tuesday morning, BYU Statsman (Twitter @BYUstatsMAN) put out Zach Wilson's passing stats on throws 20+ yards downfield:
381.6 passing efficiency
Wilson's completion percentage on deep balls (20+ yards downfield) is 71.4%. For reference, Steve Young holds the record for the highest completion percentage in a single season at BYU. His record, which has stood since 1983, is 71.3%. Wilson is completing deep throws at the same rate that Young was completing all throws during his historic 1983 season. Wilson has completed 78.3% of his passes this season.
Last week, Max Clark wrote about four reasons why Zach Wilson has burst onto the Heisman scene:
BYU's Perfect Record
If the Cougars lost any of their first five games, Zach Wilson would unquestionably be out of any and all Heisman talk. But, the Cougars success has highlighted the junior quarterback’s ability to pick defenses apart and quickly move the ball downfield. Surely, Wilson is not the only piece of this BYU team that is responsible for the Cougars perfect start, but the cougars perfect start is certainly a defining characteristic of his Heisman campaign. Wilson will need to lead the Cougars to a sixth straight win on Saturday night if he would like to keep his name on the Heisman ballot.
Improved Passing Ability
Zach Wilson’s completing nearly 80 percent of the passes he throws this season. In fact, Wilson is on track to set the record for the highest single-season pass completion in NCAA football history – former Texas standout Colt McCoy (76.7%) is the current record holder. Wilson 78.7 percent completion percentage is not the only impressive thing about his passing ability. Wilson has a total of 12 touchdowns and just one interception through five games. A huge improvement from last season, when Wilson had 11 total touchdowns and nine interceptions. Wilson has attempted his last 132 passes without throwing an interception, the sixth longest streak in BYU history. The junior quarterback will need to attempt 33 passes without an interception to surpass Charlie Peterson’s who is currently the record holder in this category. He could very well hold the record by the end of Saturday night’s meeting with the Bobcats.
“Mahomes-like” Style of Play
College football analysts have compared Zach Wilson to different NFL quarterbacks including Super Bowl champions Pat Mahomes and Aaron Rogers. Zach Wilson fan-boy and ESPN Analyst Andrew Ware said Wilson was “a poor man’s Aaron Rogers in a college football uniform.” Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel said Zach Wilson has shown Mahomes-like flashes: “Wilson has flashed an unmatched verve that’s allowed him to emerge as one of the season’s most compelling players. He’s sashayed into the spotlight with no-look throws from the Mahomes playbook.” Pat Mahomes recognized Wilson’s game via Twitter after BYU ran a play called “Chiefs” applauding BYU for the execution of their copy-cat play.
Many of Wilson’s coaches and teammates have alluded to Zach’s diligence on and off the field. In a press conference following the Cougars victory in Houston BYU head coach Kalani Sitake said, “I guarantee (Zach) probably already addressed it, the mistakes he made, probably on the flight home.” Wilson has been known to be very dedicated in watching film and studying various aspects of the game. Wilson even travelled to California several times over the summer to train with quarterback coach and former BYU great John Beck.
While Trevor Lawrence is still the clear favorite for the Heisman Trophy, it is safe to say that no Cougar fans ever anticipated Zach Wilson would be in the running for college football's most prestigious award.