The praise continues to come in for BYU after its 43-26 win over Houston Friday night. Zach Wilson is the fuel behind BYU’s rise in the college football spotlight, as he is commonly named as a Heisman Trophy contender.
Below are excerpts from National media members’ reactions after week 7 of the college football season.
Stewart Mandel of The Athletic says Zach Wilson is making the best case so far for the 2020 Joe Burrow Award. From Mandel:
BYU QB Zach Wilson is making the best case so far for the 2020 Joe Burrow Award. A promising but injury-plagued player who made 16 starts his first two seasons, Wilson has gone from 62-percent passer last season to 79 percent this season, from 7.5 yards per attempt to 12.0 YPA and from an 11-to-9 TD-INT ratio to 12-to-1. He was fantastic in the fourth quarter Friday night against Houston, turning a 26-21 deficit into a 43-26 rout to get to the 14th-ranked Cougars to 5-0.
Bruce Feldman of The Athletic has BYU ranked at number 4 in his top 10 rankings. From Feldman:
4. BYU (5-0)
The only QB who may be playing better than Zach Wilson is Trevor Lawrence. Wilson has accounted for 18 TDs and has just one INT. The Cougars are physical and play hard on defense. They got a nice win against a dangerous Houston team on Friday night.
Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated also ranked BYU number 4. From Forde:
BYU had it easy through its first four games, and then Houston made the Cougars work for this one. Trailing 26–14 late in the third quarter, BYU exploded for 29 unanswered points to win going away. It was yet another showcase performance for quarterback Zach Wilson (25 for 35 for 400 yards and four touchdowns, plus 40 yards rushing), and a defense that had trouble stopping Houston much of the night rose up to make some big plays in the final quarter. The Cougars will be heavily favored in their next two games (Texas State and Western Kentucky) before facing Boise State Nov. 6. If the Cougars run the table, they will likely be the most argued-over team from a College Football Playoff perspective.
Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports had BYU among his “winners” of the week. From Thamel:
The march toward New Year’s Six consideration continued on Friday night for No. 14 BYU. The Cougars trailed 26-14 to Houston in the third quarter but reeled off 29 consecutive points for a 43-26 win. Zach Wilson was 25-of-35 passing for 400 yards and four touchdowns and also led the team with 40 yards rushing. Wilson’s completion percentage of 71.4 was his lowest of the season as he keeps showing how he could be a potential first-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft.
Bill Connelly of ESPN thinks “this BYU team if for real.” From Connelly.
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 Wilsonwent 25-for-35 for 400 yards and four touchdowns. This BYU team is for real.
Chris Vannini of The Athletic highlighted Zach Wilson’s completion percentage and BYU’s improvement in getting after the quarterback.
10. BYU quarterback Zach Wilson has completed at least 71 percent of his passes in all five games this season for the 5-0 Cougars.
Wilson completed 25 of 35 passes in a 43-26 win at Houston (71.4 percent), his lowest percentage of the season. But his 400 yards were a season-high, and he added four touchdowns and 40 rushing yards. He has 18 total touchdowns and 29 incompletions this season, and he’s thrown 132 passes since his last interception.
The BYU defense has 16 sacks through five games after recording 17 in 13 games last season.
Joel Klatt of Fox Sports ranked BYU at 10 and Kirk Herbstreit has BYU at 6.
My CFB Top 10 (10/17)— Joel Klatt (@joelklatt) October 18, 2020
Almost: @GoBEARCATS @CanesFootball @oregonfootball
My top 4 THIS WEEK. Ranking ONLY teams we’ve seen play.— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) October 18, 2020
Next 2@AggieFootball @BYUfootball
During the second half of Alabama-Georgia, CBS showed a screen graph with Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson in its Heisman Watch.
October 18, 2020