John Beck, BYU's next QB Great?

This week John Beck was named the Mountain West Player of the Week after he lit up the stat sheet and scoreboard in a heartbreaking 51-50 effort against TCU last Saturday. Even though he is only three games away from his sophomore year, Beck had shown flashes of great BYU quarterbacks of old.

During the Boston College game, BYU's offense played a "dink and dunk" passing game and left void the long ball passing attack. The result turned into 330 total yards of passing for the game. For the EIU match up, Beck passed for 225 yards and scored three touchdowns with more intermediate field completions and a successful running game from Curtis Brown and Fahu Tahi.

"You know, I think we might have needed that first and second game because during the first game we were taking all the short stuff, and then during Eastern Illinois we tried a couple more deep," said John Beck. "Then in this last game we where short, intermediate and deep. I mean we did all three and that's why we were successful and I think this team believes in that.

"We feel like we've now kind of figured ourselves out now with the new offense. I mean we've got a lot of new guys out there in a brand new offense in their first game. So we have new players, a new offense and so everything was kind of brand new. Now that we've kind of learned it and settled in, I think you saw who this team really is this past Saturday except now we're going to win."

The pre-conference match ups were offensive tune-ups as BYU prepared, practiced and fine tuned the total package for their first conference game against TCU, and despite the overtime loss, the offensive results where very impressive.

Beck completed 30 of 51 (.588) attempts to post a MWC record by racking up 517 total passing yards and became the third player in Mountain West Conference history to throw for over 500 yards in a single game. He tied a MWC league record by throwing five touchdowns in a single game.

"The biggest difference between this and the Boston College game is we came out reacting to the Boston College defense and took what they gave us and during practice that's what we did," Beck said. "We would read the defense and if they gave us the short stuff, don't pass it up. We wanted to hit the short passes to set up the long ones. I think the difference in us for the Boston College game was we were reacting to what they were doing to us, but this last game we were gashing and trying to attack them and not pull off of what they did to see what we can get here and there. We just came out and said we're going to attack you with this and we're trying to go here, and I think that was the big difference."

After throwing for 517 yards against TCU, Beck has compiled his sixth career 300-yard games, and needs just 644 yards to move into fifth place on the MWC career passing list. Early in his junior season, Beck has 28 career touchdown completions and needs just seven more to move into fifth place on the MWC career touchdown completions list. A record he is sure hold, among others, by the time he finishes up this season.

"If this offense can have that same feeling we did this past Saturday throughout the rest of the season we're going to be very successful," said Beck. "I mean, we play better when we have the attitude of we don't care who is on the field because we're going to come out and put up 50 points.

"I think the best thing the coaches did was they came out and said, ‘We don't need to have an attitude of playing not to lose. We need to have an attitude of playing to win.' I think as an offense we thought a lot about that and I know I did a lot. Was I playing not to lose or was I playing to win. That was the biggest thing for me because I stepped onto that field with the attitude that I'm not here to just gash you guys. I'm here to try and put up 50 points, and not to see if I can but I'm going to do it and that's the main difference."

On a national level, Beck currently ranks third in passing yards per game (367.3) and is 10th in total passing yards (1,102). He currently leads the MWC in both categories. Beck also leads the MWC and is ranked fourth nationally in total offense, averaging 357.0 yards per game.

"One thing coach Mendenhall tells us once we step out onto the practice field is we are always working to make ourselves better," said Beck. "After watching film of this last game the offense saw things that we still think we can do better. I mean, I saw things I can still do better like instead of taking a shot here I could have gone over here to Johnny [Harline] for another fifteen yards, so I still have some big improvements to make and I know the other guys feel the same way. We still have room for improvement and we're stepping out here for practice to work on those things that we see, and come game time we'll take all those new things we've learned and worked on and just let it go and play. I'm very excited for this next game.

"But you know for me, I'm never going to be satisfied with how I played. I'm always going to go back and improve on things so I can be the best player I can be to help this team. I just want to be the best I can be."

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