What National Analysts are Saying after BYU's 5-0 Start
BYU football is 5-0 for the first time since 2008 and analysts across the country have noticed. No, they haven't played any P5 teams, but they've been dominant enough to create a lot of national hype despite their schedule. Here is a summary of what national college football analysts after BYU's 5-0 start.
1. CBS Sports predicted that BYU would be ranked #11 in the AP poll this week:
11. BYU (14): It's time to start having those difficult conversations with your children about BYU as a College Football Playoff contender. Zach Wilson threw for 400 yards and four touchdowns as the Cougars won a game of runs with a 22-0 finish for a 43-26 win at Houston. The Cougars have two more games in which they should be heavily favored (against Texas State and Western Kentucky, both at home) and then comes arguably the toughest test of the season, at Boise State on Friday, Nov. 6. If Wilson continues to play like he's been, BYU might be a 7-0 team headed to the Smurf Turf with hopes of impressive the CFP Selection Committee.
2. ESPN's Kyle Bonagura and Mark Schlabach both projected that BYU will play in the Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma State in their latest bowl projections.
BYU's win was three distinct games in one: BYU bolted to a 14-3 early lead, Houston took control with a 23-0 run in the middle quarters, and BYU outscored the hosts 22-0 in the final 15 minutes. The BYU defense completely shut down an explosive Houston offense over its last four possessions, and even without star wide receiver Gunner Romney for much of the game, Zach Wilson went 25-for-35 for 400 yards and four touchdowns. This BYU team is for real. -- Bill Connelly
4. BYU ranked #9 in ESPN CFB power rankings:
BYU took its biggest step yet toward an unbeaten season with a 43-26 win at Houston on Friday night, and junior quarterback Zach Wilson took another step toward inserting his name squarely into the Heisman Trophy race. The Cougars scored 29 unanswered points after falling behind 26-14 in the third quarter, and Wilson threw three of his four touchdown passes in the final 15 minutes and 53 seconds of the game. BYU, averaging 43.6 points per game, still has its toughest games to come against Boise State (on the road) and San Diego State.
5. Kirk Herbstreit puts BYU in his top six:
6. During the Georgia-Alabama game, Zach Wilson was listed alongside Trevor Lawrence as part of the Heisman Watch:
7. Yahoo's Pete Thamel on BYU going "back to its roots":
Few stars have seared their way into the spotlight more dramatically than BYU’s Zach Wilson. In a prime-time Friday game against Houston, Wilson led the No. 14. Cougars to a 43-26 victory and added another vintage performance to his scintillating season.
Wilson threw for 400 yards and four touchdowns, and he entered Saturday’s game ranked second in points responsible for (110) and passing yards (1,641).
Wilson was poised to break out last season after leading BYU to upsets of Tennessee and USC. But injuries and some inconsistencies around him got in the way.
The BYU revival is well underway, and Wilson has done it with a mix of flair and football acumen. NFL scouts are quickly becoming infatuated with Wilson, as he’s a natural thrower who can deliver the ball in small windows from a variety of arm angles.
While the highlights are myriad, what’s impressed coaches is his command of the offense. BYU co-coordinator Aaron Roderick, who has overseen Wilson’s development there, said Wilson’s maturity can be seen in how often he’s set the right protection at the line or checked BYU out of a bad play.
Opposing coaches have noticed. Troy coach Chip Lindsey saw plenty to like in BYU’s 48-7 win over Troy earlier this season. “It looks to me like he has a great understanding of what they’re doing and how they go about running their offense,” Lindsey told Yahoo Sports. “He’s in control and an accurate thrower. I didn’t see him put the ball in jeopardy. He’s confident in what he’s doing.”
And we’re confident we’ll be hearing a lot more about BYU and Wilson the rest of the season.