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BYU football: Why Cougar quarterbacks just can't seem to stay healthy

Published: Monday, Oct. 8 2012 10:17 a.m. MDT

Utah Utes defensive back Mo Lee (5) knocks the ball away from Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Riley Nelson (13) in what was first called a fumble but reversed to an incomplete pass as the University of Utah and BYU play football Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, in Salt Lake City.

Tom Smart, Deseret News

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John Beck and Max Hall started 63 of 64 games from 2005 to 2009, according to Cougar Tracks.

The consistent good health of BYU quarterbacks "speaks to our schemes," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said at the time, according to the article. "Seldom does the opponent have a clear shot at the quarterback before the ball is delivered. Usually, the only time our quarterbacks get hit is when they don't read the play out correctly. The ball is gone too fast."

Mendenhall's comments came just before he tried a two-quarterback system with Riley Nelson and Jake Heaps, in the 2010 season, according to the article. Nelson didn't survive the 12-game season, as he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in the third game. After Heaps struggled in 2011, Nelson replaced him.

Nelson's ability to run made the BYU coaching staff change its philosophy with quarterbacks, according to the article. But in 2012, both Nelson and freshman quarterback Taysom Hill have been injured on designed run plays for the quarterback. Since Hall started 39 games in a row at BYU, the Cougars have gone through an almost constant rotation at quarterback.

Read more about BYU's quarterback problems on KSl.com.

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