BYU coach Kalani Sitake has opened up the quarterback competition 10 games into the season after Tanner Mangum was lost for 2017 due to an Achilles injury.
A historically bad campaign turned worse during a 20-13 loss to Fresno State on Saturday when Mangum went down. The Cougars (2-8) are now in danger of their first nine-loss season since 1955.
Sitake said sophomore Beau Hoge, freshman Joe Critchlow and freshman Kody Wilstead will have an opportunity to win the job and start against UNLV on Friday.
Quarterback Koy Detmer Jr. and former quarterback Austin Kafentzis are not competing to replace Mangum. Kafentzis does have a wildcat package in which he lines up at quarterback.
”There’s some guys who haven’t really had their shot,” Sitake said. ”We’ll see if they deserve it. How well they do leading the offense, that can be established this week. … A lot of stuff factors into it. Who’s ready to be the guy and who’s going to take it? That’s why they have to compete for it.”
The BYU offense has been in shambles all season, even with Mangum under center. He averaged 192.5 yards per game and threw eight touchdowns and nine interceptions with a 57.2 completion percentage. The scoring offense is ranked No. 126 out of 130 teams with just 15.1 points per game. Mangum missed two games earlier this season due to a left foot injury and went down for good, untouched, in the fourth quarter Saturday.
The season has been drastically different from what was expected. The passing game looked like it was going to improve with Mangum, who was one of the top quarterback recruits in the country and set several freshman passing records in 2015. Mangum has been a disappointment but so has the run game, the offensive line and the play of the receivers.
”Obviously, look at the numbers and (Mangum’s performance) wasn’t good enough,” Sitake said. ”Overall, you’re talking about the whole season together. We weren’t good enough as a team. We’re sitting at a horrible record that I’m not proud of. I don’t think it’s indicative of the talent we have on this team. All I really care about is winning this game. Not really thinking about anything other than that.”
Hoge has started two games. The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder is more of a run threat and has completed just 48.7 percent of his passes. He’s thrown for 257 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. The 6-4, 200-pound Critchlow has completed 6 of 11 passes this season and the 6-6, 222-pound Wilstead has yet to play as coaches originally planned to redshirt him.