Key Matchup: Max Hall
There is good news for the Rams Saturday: they will not be facing last year’s BYU quarterback and 40th overall NFL draft-pick John Beck.
The bad news: they have to slow down his replacement, Max Hall.
Seamlessly stepping into the shoes of Beck, the redshirt sophomore quarterback is lighting up Mountian West defenses with an efficiency modeled in Beck’s scary-good shadow.
Through seven games, Hall’s quarterback rating is just 42 points lower than the 173 that Beck put up last year (ranking him second in the country).
“They’re like USC, teams that have real good solid programs,” CSU coach Sonny Lubick said of the seemingly continuous wave of talent washing through Provo. “They have a solid program with a lot of resources. There’s only been one dip in the program in the last 20 years. In the 14 years I’ve been here, BYU has always been the team to beat.”
This season, Hall has been a fundamental part of the success that has led the team to a 5-2 start and the top of the Mountain West.
He leads the MWC in yards with 2130, 200 more than the nearest competitor and 304.3 per game. He is also efficient with the football, throwing 14 touchdowns to six different players and just nine interceptions.
Still, Hall says that he thinks he can do more with the league’s most high-powered offense.
“I don’t think we have played to our potential yet this year,” Hall said.
The Cougars average 30.3 points per game. The Rams, who currently have the worst ranked defense in the conference, surrender an average of 30.8.
“I don’t think we are going to change a thing,” Hall said of BYU’s offensive approach this week against a struggling defense. “If we come out and we play hard, we’ll win.”
Coach Lubick was keen in his praise for Hall, saying that the Rams will need to play solid defense to slow down BYU on Saturday.
“They always have a good quarterback. I’ve never heard of them having a bad quarterback. This quarterback is getting better by the day,” Lubick said.
Sports writer Nick Hubel can be reached at email@example.com.
Name: Max Hall
Born: Oct. 20, 1985 (Age 22)
Hometown: Mesa, Arizona
By the Numbers
2130 – Passing yards this season (most in the MWC)
27 – National rank among quarterbacks on rivals.com
5 – More touchdowns than interceptions this season