Tanner vs. Taysom: Who should start?

BYU currently has a good problem on their hands: They have two really good QB’s that can start and compete at a high level, but don’t know who to start. Taysom and Tanner have both had their taste of success as starters, but it’s hard to say who should be leading the team this year.

In his freshman season, Tanner Mangum threw for 3,300 yards, with 23 TD’s, 10 INT’s and a QB ratio of 136.01. Those are pretty good stats for a true freshman. He also had some very memorable wins against Nebraska and Boise State last year where he threw game winning passes in each contest.

As for Taysom, who knows where he would be now if he could have stayed healthy all these years. He begins this season as a 5th year senior, after a few season ending injuries in the past couple of years. However, Taysom provides a skill set that Tanner does not have, which is the ability to run the ball. Taysom has top-tier speed for a QB, and is the current BYU record holder for most rushing yards as a QB. With Taysom, the defense has to stay on their toes because they don’t ever know what he will do with the ball.

I think Tanner Mangum can develop into a top 5 QB in the college, and potentially be able to play in the NFL one day (That’s how highly I think of him and his skill set) but should he start with Taysom healthy on the sideline? Reports say Taysom is 100% healthy and ready to go.

My Prediction

Even though both QB’s are good enough to start, I think Taysom Hill will be the week 1 starter for the Cougars. He has more experience, and gives BYU another threat of being able to run the ball more effectively. BYU plays some really good defensive teams this year. Utah, Toledo, Michigan State, and Boise State all ranked in the top 11 in the country for rushing yards allowed last year, so BYU will need to be creative when running the ball against them. Taysom will help with being able to catch the defense off guard while playing those teams.


I think Tanner is the QB of the future for BYU and will be able to learn a lot from Taysom this year as the backup. But for those hoping to see Tanner starting this year, expect him to start his Junior and Senior seasons as he continues to develop.

Head coach Kalani Sitake and Offensive Coordinator Ty Detmer have said they want to make a decision quickly on who to start, but have no time-table.


– Jesse Thayne

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