PROVO — Amid BYU’s competition at the quarterback position this week, now that junior Tanner Mangum is out for the season, the coaches are evaluating three QBs, including freshman Kody Wilstead.
The 6-foot-6, 223-pounder from St. George, who recently returned home from an LDS mission, hasn’t taken a snap this season.
Offensive coordinator Ty Detmer said Wilstead doesn’t want to redshirt.
“He wants to have an opportunity if one’s there. We’re not worried too much about redshirts for those guys. I think experience is more important,” Detmer said. “If I was a (player), I might want to save that redshirt for down the road if there’s an injury or if I need to leave, I have a year to burn where I could sit. It’s not the worst thing to keep that in your pocket for a little while. You look at Tanner. If he’s not able to return next year, he would still have the redshirt year. We’re not worried about the redshirts and neither are the players. If they were concerned about it, then we would probably err on the side of doing what they want.”
EVALUATING MANGUM: Mangum underwent successful Achilles surgery this week.
How would Detmer evaluate Mangum’s performance this season?
“I thought the last couple of weeks, he played well. He started getting a better feel for it,” Detmer said. “We opened it up for him and allowed him to make some plays. There’s still some reads we’ve got to be better on and opportunities that were there that we didn’t capitalize on. You’d like to see that to continue to improve but he can’t do that right now … As coaches, we started getting a better feel for what we need to do with him. He battled and played through the ankle and all those things. You appreciate that as a coach.”
GENERATING MORE SACKS: BYU’s defense has produced 12 quarterback sacks this season. The Cougars are looking to get more pressure on the QB when they take on UNLV Friday night.
“The No. 1 thing is always motor. Then, really, crushing the pocket of the quarterback, making sure he doesn’t have a lot of time and that he feels the walls closing in fast on him,” said BYU defensive lineman Trajan Pili. “As a defensive line, that’s something we could definitely do — just crush the pocket for this quarterback. UNLV has a mobile quarterback so the smaller area we can give him to run will be best.”