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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Heaps Wasn't THAT Bad

After three quarters of scoreless football on Saturday night, anxious cougar fans started having flashbacks of quarterback Jake Heaps at the beginning of the 2010 season. A sophomore, he looked his age, making bad decisions and missing his targets. Cougar fans' frustration peaked when Heaps threw an interception in the blue zone that was returned 96 yards for a touchdown (the only touchdown scored by the Rebels).

But it wasn't that bad, and here's why:

First of all, BYU came away with the win. Although the win is mostly credited to the defense that did not allow an offensive touchdown, you can't undervalue a W on the road against an SEC opponent.

Second, Heaps was able to gather himself after throwing the interception and come back with a touchdown throw to the correct team; a 19-yard completion to redshirt freshman Ross Apo.

Finally, and most importantly, Heaps' performance was not abysmal as most fans probably think. His 63% completion percentage was certainly sub-par, but nothing to panic over. He showed an ability to make throws on the run on roll-out plays. His touchdown and 25-yard completions to Apo showed that when he calms down he can make big throws.

Now don't take this the wrong way. I am not excusing the many mistakes Heaps committed tonight. He would be the first to tell you that he has a lot of work to do in the film room and that this win belongs to the defense.

But if last year was any kind of indication of what to expect, Heaps will continue to improve and his team will be just fine. He didn't play that great, but don't blame him too much for the team's struggles tonight.

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