Dick Harmon: James Lark's moment in time has finally come, projected to start in Poinsettia Bowl
Meaningful practice, meaningful reps, a chance to start?
Lark says everything is different on this bowl trip.
"I'm very excited. The mindset? Well, I've tried to keep it focused," he said, "but in past bowl games, my mind hasn't been as strong as it is now. I have to stay focused. I can't enjoy the city as much as in times past because I have to stay in and watch extra film and get prepared for the game because, ultimately, we are here to win a football game."
In San Diego State, Lark will face a defense that's probably 70 to 80 percent more efficient than NMSU in terms of coverage, tackling and pass rush. In order to win, BYU has to run the ball and in order to run, the Cougars will need the Aztecs to not crowd the box and place men in coverage.
That's where Lark's skills will come in. He has a stronger arm than Nelson and is healthier in delivering with his arm, shoulder and legs than Nelson's whole core passes that require a kind of hop to get velocity on the ball.
Quicker delivery on bubble screens, corner outs, slants and even trying to hit the post all come into play with Lark.
SDSU gave up 434 yards passing to North Dakota State and 536 to Fresno State. If BYU can get Lark close to those numbers without having to throw 50 times, it would bode well for the Cougars. But it starts with the run.
Come Thursday, BYU will give the Aztecs a dose of Lark, but Nelson could come in for situational downs, if healthy.
James Lark. All he wants is another chance.
He's got a career to make in a one-time, single-shot December night in Navy Town.
Who could ask for more?
Not this true believer.
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