BYU has struggled to hold onto a starting quarterback this year with Zach Wilson, Jaren Hall, Baylor Romney and Joe Critchlow all having played the position. In fact, BYU hasn’t had one quarterback start every game of a season since Taysom Hill started every game during his sophomore season in 2013.
Wilson and Hall were both taken out with injuries at different points during the 2019 season, allowing Romney to step in. Wilson started the most recent game against Idaho State on Nov. 16, but in the fourth quarter when the team was already up 42-10, Critchlow came in and threw his first pass since 2017.
Wilson was BYU’s first-string quarterback going into the season. He started the first five games but injured his thumb in a game against Toledo on Sept. 28 while attempting to tackle a Toledo defender who had intercepted his pass. He had surgery on his hand shortly after and returned to the field five games later against Idaho State. During the game against Idaho State, Wilson was put in a similar situation when he was picked off by Kody Graves, and once again the sophomore quarterback went for the tackle. Luckily this time he escaped without injury.
“That was just instinct. It was like, ‘If I’m a competitor, I’m not going to let someone have the ball back,’” Wilson said.
Wilson has thrown for a total of 1,499 yards this season and has a 61.7% completion rate. He’s thrown an average of 7.3 yards per pass attempt and his longest pass was a 75-yard touchdown pass to Aleva Hifo against Toledo, which was the longest play of his career.
Hall was BYU’s second-string quarterback and replaced Wilson when he left the game against Toledo. In the next game against South Florida, Hall left the game with a concussion and was replaced by Romney. After taking a week off, the redshirt freshman was cleared to play against Utah State on Nov. 2, but another hit to the head meant he would miss the second half of the game. Two weeks later, Hall has still not been cleared to play after his second concussion of the season.
Hall has passed for 420 yards this season and has a completion rate of 67%. His average yardage per attempt is 9.1 and his longest completion went for 36 yards.
BYU third-string quarterback Baylor Romney is a walk-on at BYU. He had originally signed with Nevada, but after serving a mission in California, Romney decided to walk-on at BYU in an attempt to play with his younger brother Gunner Romney. Romney has played well for the team, but head coach Kalani Sitake said after the game against Idaho State that Romney didn’t play because he is a little banged up and is taking some time to recover.
Romney has thrown for 747 yards this season and has a passing rate of 63.5%. He averages 8.8 yards per passing attempt, and his longest pass went for 77 yards against Utah State.
In the fourth quarter of the Idaho State game, Critchlow came on for the last drive of the game. In his short time on the field, he threw for 58 yards with a 100% completion rating. His longest pass was an 18-yard completion to Tevita Ika, and his average yardage per attempt was 11.6 yards.