I guess, in retrospect, they should have gone with my idea of starting Sean Sellwood at QB.
I wasn’t going to write one of these this week, because everytime I do, the Utes seem to get beat in a new and creatively heart-breaking fashion. But since we lost at UCLA in a new and creatively heart-breaking fashion, I figured maybe I actually wasn’t the cause. Of course if it worked, and it does turn out that I have some sort of random manipulative power over the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, I should really be using in more responsible ways – feeding the hungry, healing the sick, and getting filthy stinking rich playing Roulette in Vegas.
Anyway, if we’re really being honest with ourselves, didn’t we pretty much have to know that Wilson was going to start at some point this season? I just don’t know how long coaches could justify watching our offense continually rank outside of the Top 110 nationally while keeping the 6’6 Elite 11 QB with the cannon arm and perfectly shaggy hair on the bench.
That said, starting Wilson in this game seemed kind of panicky to me. I figured they’d let Hays manage games in the hostile environments of Pasadena and Corvallis, and turn it over to the frosh in front of 45,000 swooning and desperate Ute fans at home against Cal with the season on the brink. But whatever….
Of course, once I saw Wilson play, I see why they did it. He’s going to go through some mental struggles this year, but his sheer physical superiority over Hays really doesn’t make him less likely to lead us to a win. Disgruntled Ute fans clinging desperately to their fading sense of entitlement will quote forever the fact that Hays has started a bazillion times and has yet to throw for 200 yards in a game. Wilson did it in his first…and some of those yards were pretty spectacular. The 37 yard rope to Drizzy Dres as a glimpse of what the young California Dreamboat can bring to the table was better than sex….or maybe I’m just doing it wrong.
The sad thing is that there will be many Ute fans who turn on Wilson almost immediately. Hell, the guy who sits next to me in RES was talking about how he hasn’t seen anything out of him at the USC game – this was before he led us down the field for our final aesthetic TD, of course. I asked what he expected to see when he’d really only played like 8 snaps. He just said that in those 8 snaps he’d seen nothing to make him think he was ever going to be good. I mentioned that he had 3 TDs – which really is a pretty good ratio when you think about it, and he just said, and I quote, “Bah”, and left. So there’s that.
In the end, Wilson will very likely become a very very good QB for us. I see him being a Mike McCoy type worst case, and if his young line can develop and continue their improvements, he’s got virtually no ceiling. He could be mentioned in the same breath as Smith and Mitchell. But it’s not happening this year.
Thing is, we’re still going to struggle with Wilson at the helm offensively….particularly if BJ keeps insisting that JWIV can only run in the appropriate down and distance situations – defined as 1st and 10 or 3rd and 15+….but I digress. Wilson will show glimpses of greatness, but if we continue to lose, 10 brilliant throws will be completely eclipsed by the 1 where he throws into double coverage and ends a drive. For much of our incredibly entitled fan-base, the concept of letting the freshmen grow and improve is heresy, and his first bad incompletion on a critical drive will lead to calls for the heads of BJ, Kyle, Chris Hill, Dave Pershing, and probably Thomas S. Monson, because a 3 point loss on the road to a PAC-12 school gets them teased for 30 seconds at church on Sunday by fans of a school that we actually can and regularly DO beat…..but I’m not bitter.
The last thing that watching PAC-12 football the past 2 years has really proven to me, is that entire games can be turned or decided on one or 2 plays. The USC game went from being anybody’s game at the start of the 4th quarter, to being a blowout in 2 plays. The UCLA game got away from the Utes on 1 blown CB read and failed FS gamble going for the Int rather than the tackle. Teams that contend for South Division championships will be the ones who play consistently every play, and have those 1 or 2 plays per game go their way rather than their opponent’s. Consistency isn’t the hallmark of having a freshman laden roster. Just sayin’.
At this point, the most important thing that needs to be remembered by those with any sort of influence over our athletic programs is, “DO NOT PANIC.” Panicking is what destroyed our basketball program. Having 1 good year, losing 80% of the contributing talent from that team, struggling the following year, leading the coach to run players off and try to plug in spark plugs that don’t work out…and some other stuff….is something that happened twice. Consequently, our basketball team has had exactly one (1), Uno, un, один, 대명, #@$%ing ONE 4-year contributing senior graduate who was recruited in the past five years. Meanwhile, we’re turning over 3 times as many players as games won….well, you see what panicking gets you.
The worst thing Kyle can do right now is panic. Our offense is flat out offensive. It makes small children cry and causes me to question the existence of a just and loving God when I watch it. But firing BJ would be a huge mistake. We can’t move on to our 6th offensive coordinator in the past 5 years and expect our players to grow. Similarly, he can’t panic and think he’s got to scrap everything our freshman laden O-Line is learning on the job, and run out and grab a bunch of fat JUCO Linemen and average LBs for next year – neglecting impending losses on the D-Line, DB, and RB. He needs to keep doing what he’s doing – upgrading talent across the board, recruiting depth and plugging holes, and realize that the guys getting their butts kicked and making mistakes this year will be SUBSTANTIALLY better players 2 years from now for it….and if you breakdown what our roster will/can look like in 2 years, it could shape up to be a special season again….but everyone needs to just be patient and let it.
But if our fans prefer to panic, scream for everyone’s head, and covet TCU’s interception stats…I don’t freakin’ care. I’ve got actual important things to lose sleep over.