When Utah's starting quarterback Travis Wilson left the Michigan game in the second quarter, Utah fans were probably thinking, Here we go again!
Utah's quarterback troubles have been well documented, really to a point of making fans nauseous. At the 11:20 mark in the second quarter, Travis Wilson rolled out to the right on a pass and, for some unknown reason, tried to leap over defenders about six yards from the first down marker. The results of the play weren't pretty. He went ankles over head, then landed on his head and folded practically in half. He stayed down on his hands and knees for a moment, left the game, and eventually went back to the locker room for the rest of the first half.
Utah's coaching staff has been working all offseason on shoring up the depth at quarterback. However, backup QB Kendal Thompson came in the game and was very shaky to start. After a pick six on Utah's own goal line, there was Twitter talk of bringing redshirt freshman QB Brandon Cox into the game. Thompson eventually led a nice drive at the end of the half for a field goal, but his inability to be a consistent passing threat inhibited the team.
After halftime, it was a great sight for Utes fans, Travis Wilson was back on the field behind center. As if the nasty fall knocked some confidence into Wilson, in just under a minute and a half, the 6-7 signal caller took the first possession of the second half and led the Utes offense down the field in five plays for a touchdown. Wilson's 28-yard touchdown strike to Dres Anderson on drag route put Utah up 20-10, and the Utes never looked back.
For the remainder of the game, Wilson stood tall in the pocket and made great, confident throws. He wasn't going to be denied on the ground either. During one series in the game, Wilson made some key decisions on the ground, one by fighting for a first down after fighting through tacklers, and practically dragging fools on Michigan's turf. That was followed by a key 14-yard scamper to put the Utes into Andy Phillips range for a 50-yard field goal.
Wilson was generally a calming influence to the offense, which in the past hasn't always been the case. For the day, Wilson was 14-of-20 for 172 yards, one touchdown, and only one sack. Best of all? He didn't turn the ball over. That brings his season total, which mind you is basically around seven quarters of football, to 38-of-58, a 65% competition percentage, seven touchdowns and zero turnovers. Wilson also has one rushing touchdown this season. He's been efficient. He's protected the ball, and he has helped lead the Utes to a 3-0 start. Furthermore, he may have quelled any thoughts of a quarterback controversy for the remainder of the season.
Now the real season begins next week, the Pac-12 season. First up, Washington State, and one question that has been answered in this early season, is Travis Wilson the undisputed starting quarterback for this football team? That's affirmative.