NCAA Football

How BYU quarterback Jaren Hall has dealt with losses this season

How BYU quarterback Jaren Hall has dealt with losses this season

How BYU quarterback Jaren Hall has dealt with losses this season

The fifth-year quarterback has dealt with injuries, a revolving door at receiver and perhaps the most disappointing stretch of BYU football in years.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jarren Hall (3) runs the ball as BYU hosts East Carolina in NCAA football in Provo on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022.

Law • A few weeks ago, Jarren Hall escaped.

It came after Friday night’s loss to East Carolina, and Hall took a weekend away from the football facilities. He watched the film himself and let the four-game losing streak sink in.

There was obvious disappointment when he saw on tape the struggles of his football team and the collapse of a season that had once held such promise.

As a leader, he could be justified in coming to Monday’s meetings and expressing his frustration. But this is not Hall. So when he came back that Monday, he downplayed the most disappointing collapse in recent BYU memory. He said everything correctly. And BYU responded with two straight wins to regain bowl eligibility.

But even if Hall was pushing all the right buttons externally, what’s more interesting is how the face of the program internally handled this season that went wrong.

“As a leader, you can often take on everything. You can let a lot of things become overwhelming,” Hall said when asked about the mental toll it took on him. “So for me, [I have to] stay positive and then look outside to see guys to reach out to.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a [internal] a challenge for any of our leaders,” he continued. “I would say it’s a great opportunity for the coaches and the leaders and all the players. Focus on each other and make the most of the situation that we can.”

Before the season started, Kalani Sitake didn’t mince words when he said this was Hall’s team – and it was an opportunity for the fifth-year quarterback to put his stamp on the program.

Hall’s first year start was defined by running back Tyler Allgeier. The year before, it was about Zach Wilson. Hall was supposed to move BYU to a this season third straight 10-win season before joining the Big 12.

But as the final weekend of the regular season approached, there was a laundry list of things that went wrong.

The hall was sorted out shoulder injury since the fifth week of the season. He never had a full stable of receivers to throw to. And as BYU went on a four-game losing streak for the first time since 2017people started pointing at him to hold the locker room together.

“Now you just have to do the best you can and have the right perspective on things,” Hall said of his outlook for the season. “… Regardless of what we thought we deserved from the beginning and what we wanted to happen at the end. Because it will say a lot more about how we finish than anything else. So just respecting the game and each other and Kalani and everything he’s done for us.”

This year the hall played well. He has 28 touchdowns, which ranks eighth in the nation. He threw for 3,085 yards. According to ESPN, he could be the sixth quarterback taken in the 2023 NFL Draft.

But Hall knew he was expected to lead one of the best offenses in the country. Instead, the Cougars ranked 65th in total offense before the Boise State game.

“We had a rough season,” wide receiver Chase Roberts said.

Hall confessed afterwards loss of Freedom that the offense has been too inconsistent this year. It wasn’t helped by a fluctuating flurry of receivers that seemingly derailed progress at every turn.

His top three receivers missed a combined 17 games. Gunner Romney played in two games all year. Puka Naqua missed most of the first month of the year.

And then Hall lost one of his top targets, Cody Epps, for the season to a shoulder injury.

“[Jaren] as consistent as you’re going to find,” receivers coach Fesi Sitake said. “Maybe the team has guys [who’ve worn down]. Anyway, his energy and ability to speak increased through this fire, if you want to call it that.

In recent weeks, as the season approaches, Hall has shifted his messaging to a more relaxed state. He spoke about the nature and finish of the season, which he knows was not what was expected.

And for him, it seems, there is peace in that.

“I think it shows the character of this program and the players,” Hall said this week. “We play with our hearts for Kalani and everything he has built here. If you don’t have the perfect season, the season you’re looking forward to, it all comes down to how you finish it. We cannot control what has happened up to this point. We lost control of it. So now that’s something we can control and that’s Stanford this week and the bowl game.”

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