1979 was a season in which senior the Cougars QB was a consensus first-team All-America player, WAC Offensive Player of the Year, and All-WAC Team player. A few weeks before the 1979 season started while in the mountains of Idaho, Wilson was struck with appendicitis. Fortunately for BYU he recovered quickly and was able to play in the season opener in Houston against Texas A&M. Wilson led the Cougars to an 18-17 upset. Taysom Hill through a touchdown pass in his first play as a Cougar, but Marc Wilson threw three touchdown passes in the first three plays at San Diego State in 1979. He finished the season with 3,720 passing yards and 29 passing touchdowns. Wilson later said, "I would take that '79 team and play them any team in the country from any era."