Flashback: Steve Sarkisian Has Only 70 Yards Passing (1996)

Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jake Heaps has passed for less than 100 yards in each of the last two games, and the natives are getting restless. A sub 100 yard passing day is cause for alarm at BYU. However, Steve Sarkisian had one such game that is still celebrated 14 years later.

On November 23, 1996, Steve Sarkisian rarely dropped back to pass. In fact, he only attempted 12 passes the entire game. He completed seven of them for a modest 70 yards. BYU ran the ball 63 times—525% more runs than passes—and Cougar fans everywhere rejoiced. There was no concern that BYU did not have a touchdown pass. No one was worried that a tight end dropped a pass on third down, or that a penalty negated a would be fumble by another tight end. Sarkisian missed open receivers on deep balls, and he repeatedly checked down and threw to backs out of the back field. There were no gripes that Sarkisian opted to run multiple times on designed pass plays. The fact that BYU’s passing output was the least in over 20 years was largely ignored.

BYU had just steamrolled arch rival Utah 37-17 in Salt Lake City. All that mattered was that BYU had ended its three game losing streak to the Utes.

More flashbacks can be found on the Flashbacks page.

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