I was rooting very hard for Heaps to not just make a good showing, but a great showing. I expected a night and day difference between the Jake Heaps from the first five games of 2011, similar to the night and day changes seen in 2010 after the bye week.
Sadly, the Jake Heaps that took the field against Idaho State was the same old Jake Heaps. The problems and troubling trends that existed in the first five games were readily apparent with Heaps at the helm against Idaho State. Consider the following:
- Heaps had four offensive series. They ended as follows: turnover, punt, touchdown, turnover. A 2:1 turnover to touchdown ratio.
- Heaps zeroed in on Ross Apo. Two of his first three passes were to Apo. (Apo left the game after Heaps’ first series.)
- Heaps averaged just 6.7 yards per attempt, and only 8.4 yards per completion. Those numbers weren’t too far off his season averages of 5.3 yards per attempt and 9.5 yards per completion.
I had been waiting for the TCU game and Riley Nelson’s performance to better judge how the quarterbacks should be managed in 2012. After Heaps played the same way against a very bad FCS foe as he did against FBS teams, it might not matter what Nelson does this Friday.
Nevertheless, I still believe in Heaps. I still expect Heaps to finish his BYU career as a member of the quarterback club. The take home message last Saturday was that it is going to take more work than I originally thought—more work from Heaps and more work from Brandon Doman. More work means more time, which favors redshirting Heaps in 2012.
Hopefully, Heaps gets two more chances this year against Idaho and New Mexico State, and he can take a step or two forward in those games.
The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org