Gary Andersen is a quarterback killer

Year one in the second Gary Andersen tenure for Utah State has to be seen as a disappointment, capped off by Friday night’s loss to Kent State in the Frisco Bowl to finish 7-6. Remember, this team won 11 games last season and returned a future NFL prospect at quarterback.

But Gary Andersen is a quarterback killer. His offenses are the final resting place where the game’s most important position goes to die. The latest victim is Jordan Love.

Love had a fantastic 2018 season, completing 64% of his passes for 3,567 yards with 32 touchdowns and six interceptions, leading the Aggies to a bowl win.

Enter Gary Andersen.

Love had more turnovers than touchdown passes leading up to the bowl game this season with numbers dropping in every major passing category. He was cited for marijuana possession days before the bowl game and despite his regression in 2019, he’s still entering the NFL Draft after considering a transfer.

This shouldn’t be much of a surprise considering Andersen’s history with quarterbacks dating back to 2013 when he left Utah State for Wisconsin. Then quit after two seasons for Oregon State. Then quit on Oregon State in the middle of his third season. He’s lucky there’s one of the 130 college football teams willing to bring him in.


I’m a lone wolf in Badger nation as a Joel Stave believer, but in 2013, he threw for 22 touchdowns, second most in the Big Ten. Instead of looking to build off the previous year’s success, Andersen shocked everybody by going with Tanner McEvoy, who played safety the previous season.

McEvoy completed 8 of 24 passes for 50 yards and 2 interceptions in a season-opening loss to LSU and was benched in the first game of Big Ten play.

Bart Houston was the highest-rated Wisconsin quarterback in the recruiting rankings era at the time, so naturally Andersen moved him to punter that year. In the meantime, Stave suffered a case of the yips because of the out of nowhere benching and forgot how to throw a football.

So in one season, Wisconsin started a safety at quarterback, moved their most prized quarterback recruit to punter and drove the previous year’s starter to insanity. He left the team with the taste of a 59-0 loss to Ohio State in the Big Ten title game to become the next coach at Oregon State.

Oregon State

In Corvallis, Andersen inherited Marcus McMaryion, who he clearly thought was not good enough to play for him. Freshman Seth Collins started over him, and in the following season McMaryion only played when the top two quarterbacks were hurt and nobody else was available.

McMaryion started in two of the Andersen’s three Pac-12 victories but was again passed up to start the next season, so he transferred.

McMaryion was a star in his two-year career at Fresno State, especially as a senior, completing nearly 70% of his passes for 3,629 yards with 25 touchdowns and five interceptions. He led the Bulldogs to a 22-6 record with a pair of bowl victories and a conference championship.

Meanwhile, Andersen quit at Oregon State midway through the season, throwing assistant coaches under the bus on the way out.

If you’re a quarterback looking to play for Gary Andersen anytime soon, run. Run away from Logan, Utah as fast as you can because your football career could be next.

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