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Figuring Out Jake Heaps

Following Kevin Olsen's suspension, I decided to go to my archives. I've written about QB Jake Heaps many times over the years, but could never solve the riddle. My picks involving his team at BYU were usually disastrous. Time to figure him out.


For the last few years, I’ve been writing a college football column, picking about ten games a week. I brought my writing to State of the U at the start of the 2013 season, but I still have all my older articles archived in my email. When Jake Heaps transferred to Miami, I had very mixed emotions. Out of all the hundreds of games I’ve picked over the years, I always remembered the times I’d picked Heaps or BYU to play well. I could never seem to figure him out, resulting in numerous frustrations, especially in 2011. With Kevin Olsen suspended for a game, it seems clear that Heaps is the favorite to start against Louisville, barring a miraculous recovery from Ryan Williams, or an incredible camp from Brad Kaaya. I decided it might be fun to look back at my records and find every occasion that I’d mentioned Heaps. The following accounts make it clear. I’ve rarely been able to accurately predict how he’ll play.

That being said, I am ready to fully support Heaps and hope he plays well if he wins the job. The talent he’ll have at his disposal on offense is certainly better than he’s had at his previous two schools. Playmakers like Coley, Duke, Walford, Waters, and Dorsett need to step up and make things easy for Heaps. The good news is that Heaps’ experience and intelligence should help him pick up the new offense quickly. Despite what you are about to read, I still expect Miami to have a successful season. Heaps has shown flashes over the years. His freshman season in 2010 was by far his best and in the final five games of that season, he threw 13 touchdowns and just two interceptions. If he can put it together, protect the ball, and find his speed guys early against Louisville, Miami has the ability to win on the road.

I apologize ahead of time for when I pick Miami this season. I fully understand that I’ll take some heat if my jinx causes the Canes to lose.

September 29, 2010

"BYU has been an overrated team all season and freshman QB Jake Heaps has struggled as a first year starter." (BYU lost to Utah State 31-16)

December 18, 2010

"Although freshman QB Jake Heaps picked up his play lately, he hasn’t dealt with a bowl game situation before." (BYU beat UTEP 52-24)

September 1, 2011

(I went to see BYU play at Ole Miss, wrote this preview before the game)

"Unfortunately for them, I think BYU wins this game by a touchdown or more. BYU returns 10 of 11 starters on offense and I really liked the way young QB Jake Heaps improved as last season progressed." (BYU won the game 14-13)

September 8, 2011

"I saw BYU play in person this past weekend and came away unimpressed. While the Cougars rallied late for a victory, I didn’t see the confidence and decisiveness I expected to see in sophomore QB Jake Heaps." (BYU lost this game 17-16 to Texas)

September 15, 2011

"BYU QB Jake Heaps will finally step up the way he was supposed to this season and lead his team to victory." (They went on to lose this game to Utah 54-10)

Finally fed up with BYU and Heaps, I picked UCF to beat them the following week.

September 27, 2011

"After my experience on my JetBlue flight on Friday night, I could sense this wouldn’t be the weekend I was hoping for. I picked Central Florida to beat BYU and was thrilled to see UCF dominating the game and leading at halftime on the road. BYU QB Jake Heaps looked like Rick Ankiel in his last few appearances as a pitcher, consistently missing his target by ten feet or more. Surely UCF would be able to close out the game and give me a 2-0 start to the week, or so I thought. While the rest of the plane rented the movie Bridesmaids and sipped their cocktails, I writhed in pain as I watched UCF blow the game in epic fashion – allowing a kickoff return TD and three turnovers, highlighted by the worst muffed punt in football this year." (BYU beat UCF 24-17)

December 30, 2011

"BYU is one of the hottest teams in the nation coming into this game, but they haven't beaten any quality opponents while winning eight of nine games. QB Riley Nelson played well enough this season to force Jake Heaps to leave the program and will cause Tulsa some problems today." (BYU beat Tulsa 24-21)

Heaps sat out the 2012 season after transferring to Kansas.

September 11, 2013

"Rice will be one of the best teams in Conference USA and Kansas is still years away from being credible. Jayhawks QB Jake Heaps has always been an enigma from his days at BYU and I don’t trust him in crunch time." (Rice beat Kansas 23-14)

If he wins the job, I'll surely be picking Jake Heaps to lead Miami to victory several times in September. 2014 will be the year I finally figure him out. Follow me @Jpickens15 for a rollercoaster ride this season. Go Canes.