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PROVO -- In Heaps' first official start as BYU quarterback against the Nevada Wolf Pack, the freshman signal-caller was 24-45 for 229 yards. Not bad noted Heaps' quarterback Coach Brandon Doman, but with some highs came some lows in Saturday's game.
"I'm really happy with Jake," Doman said." I think Jake's going to be an outstanding player."
With a shoulder injury taking Riley Nelson out of the lineup, Heaps has become the Cougars starting quarterback, which comes with a lot of responsibility, particularly for a true freshman. Doman recognizes that many will look at Heaps' progression as inching forward and in the right direction; however, neither Heaps of Doman are content with that.
"Between Jake and I, we don't have time to mature. As far as he and I are concerned, we don't want to inch forward. We want to play mature right now."
Reflecting on Heaps' game against Nevada, Doman feels comfortable with Heaps as the Cougars' quarterback.
"He made all the right decision; he threw it to the right guys most of the time; he made some audibles at the line of scrimmage that were very good," Doman said. "He made some route adjustments with the wide receivers that were very good and threw the balls that should have been thrown; we just missed the throws."
Although Doman knows that Heaps is a strong quarterback, there are areas of improvement in his game that are essential for the Cougars to win more games, particularly on third down conversions.
"In critical situations, 5 for 15 on third down isn't going to win you very many football games. We're averaging 5 for 15 on third downs, so hopefully we can get there as quickly as possible."
Only time will tell how Jake Heaps will mature and improve his game.