Of Mice and Men - and Max

"A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody. It don't make any difference who the guy is, so long as he's with you. I tell ya...I tell ya, a guy gets too lonely, and he gets sick."

It's a good thing Max has friends like Matt Reynolds that can pummel Hall's vilifiers.  Apologies for beating the proverbial horse here, but this is too polarizing and interesting of an issue to ignore.  Many Cougar fans, much to Mendenhall's dismay, continue to criticize Max Hall's performance - both this year and cumulatively.  Of course, Hall has thrown ten interceptions already this season and several were primarily his fault despite the best efforts of his coaches to state otherwise.  His clutch play against Oklahoma has been negated to some extent by subpar games against Florida State and Colorado State.  These results have caused critics to reminisce on Hall's poor finish to 2008 and his struggles against defenses that play above the MWC average.

Still, Hall is presently 6th in the nation in quarterback efficiency with a 162.6 rating. Only Clausen (Notre Dame), Moore (Boise St.), Tebow (Florida), Bill Stull (Pitt) and Riley Skinner (Wake Forest) are higher.  He has led the Cougars to fairly consistent national recognition during his tenure, including the program's greatest regular season win in well over a decade.  He has generated 26 wins as a starter - behind just Ty Detmer and Marc Wilson (T-29) in school history. 

Even if Hall (9, 528 career passing yards) were to have a Derek Anderson-esque disaster on Saturday, he will pass Jim McMahon (9,536) to become 3rd all-time in passing yards among BYU quarterbacks.  Hall currently trails John Beck (11,021) by 1,493 yards.  To catch Beck, Hall has to average 213 yards passing for the remaining seven games.  That appears very attainable considering the Cougars still have San Diego StateNew Mexico and Wyoming on the schedule. 

To give you an idea of how far out there Ty Detmer (15,031) is in first place, Hall would have to average 786 yards passing per game for the remainder of 2009 to catch the Heisman winner.

Here's a breakdown of Max's current standing:

Player, Years Psg. Eff. Rtg. Psg. Yards Yrds./Attmpt. Comp. % TD INT
Ty Detmer, 1988-91 162.74 15,031 9.83 62.61% 121 65
Steve Sarkisian, 1995-96 161.96 7,464 9.46 66.92% 53 26
Jim McMahon, 1977-78; 1980-81 157.50 9,536 9.03 61.84% 84 34
Brandon Doman, 1998-2001 152.03 4,354 8.64 62.10% 35 14
Steve Young, 1981-83 149.82 7,733 8.52 65.20% 56 33
Max Hall, 2007-Present 149.53 9,528 8.26 65.30% 74 36
Robbie Bosco, 1983-85 149.39 8,400 8.43 63.99% 66 36
John Walsh, 1991-94 147.60 8,390 8.60 60.25% 66 35
Gifford Nielsen, 1975-77 145.23 5,830 8.24 58.62% 55 29
Ryan Hancock, 1992 143.17 2,586 8.98 57.29% 17 13
John Beck, 2003-06 141.29 11,021 7.77 62.41% 79 34
Kevin Feterick, 1996-99 141.05 8,065 8.05 61.18% 53 26

 

Some might argue, Hall's success is largely due to having BYU's greatest WR (Austin Collie), TE (Dennis Pitta) and RB (Harvey Unga) as targets for the past couple seasons.  But Detmer had Eric Drage and Chris SmithYoung had Gordon Hudson.  Essentially that's a hard argument to make because as good as these weapons were/are, Hall is part of the reason they've been so productive.

In attempting to rank these QB's, Hall has the numbers to objectively be ranked among the Top 10, if not the Top 5. Yet, others look at last season's let down and this year's loss to FSU and feel that Hall doesn't deserve to be so highly regarded by Cougar fans.  In the end, it probably depends on what you feel a Top 5 QB at BYU demands.

What is your opinion?

Finally, Hall is coming off his most efficient game in 2009.  His passer rating against UNLV was 201.8.  Of course, that was against the Rebels.  But, he was without McKay Jacobson as a target.  Nine different players caught passes - and Unga wasn't even one of them.  And Hall is expected to dominate again this weekend. However, possibly the most significant games to Hall's "prestige" or legacy at BYU are what follow thereafter.  TCU.  Utah.  His third bowl game.  Time will tell...

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