Behind the Mic: The 'Riley Risk' is key part of BYU's two-QB plan


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  • SportzFan
    Sept. 1, 2010 2:54 p.m.

    "In five seasons under Mendenhall and play-caller Robert Anae, the BYU attack has been one of the most potent in the country, finishing in the FBS Scoring Offense top 25 four times and in the top 15 twice."

    And yet he still sometimes gets a little panicky. Last year against Florida State and TCU he could've negated their speed advantage by pounding the ball with BYU's all-time leading rusher and bruising back Harvey Unga.

    Go Cougars!

    Go away trolls!

  • Desert Coug
    Sept. 1, 2010 4:54 a.m.

    Duck house, Do you or any other commentator give Sarkisian any credit?

    I am cheering for a Y victory, but make no mistake, UW has an experienced QB and team. Sark will be ready. But I hope Anae will be also.

    I would love to see a blow out by the Cougs, but I can't see it being big. Of course, I felt the same way about UCLA a couple of years ago....

  • duckhouse
    Aug. 31, 2010 11:00 p.m.

    Wayne Rout way to go. You will see a great BYU win.....by 10 or more. Could be by 17. Washington is a good team, but is over-rated---because of one thing----they are in the lower level of the Pac-10. Which is a hard spot to get motivated, because you know you are going to end up in the lower levels of the Pac-10.

  • duckhouse
    Aug. 31, 2010 10:41 p.m.

    BYU-----24 Washington ----13

  • fender
    Aug. 31, 2010 9:51 p.m.

    These guys aren't sharing "equal duties." Nelson is the starter, because the coaches believe he gives them the best chance of a win on Saturday. This is his spot to lose, not the other way around.

    Also, preparing for two instead of one is no big deal. It's basically the same offense. One of the big drawbacks to actually having 2QBs share reps, so that each can do what he does best, is that the defense can key on it. There is no way BYU has these guys scheduled for a certain number of reps each in this game. No way.

  • JediMormon
    Aug. 31, 2010 7:41 p.m.

    I predict that Nelson/Heaps will make folks forget all about Leak/Tebow. Tebow was just the backup to Leak...never shared equal duties like Nelson/Heaps will.

  • Oh, please!
    Aug. 31, 2010 5:14 p.m.

    I think I can see why "runner" thought the article was negative about Nelson. Perhaps, it's more the headline..."Riley Risk." This great kid (wonderful in the classroom, on the field and his other extra-curricular activities) has had enough negative press that he doesn't deserve, i.e. the outlandish and rude comments made when he switched schools and the notoriety of having the "Riley Nelson" rule named after him.

    He's been selected to start. Let's stop the negativity about him, about all the MWC conference teams and players and let these kids do their best representing their schools, teams, and themselves.

  • Aggie84
    Aug. 31, 2010 4:33 p.m.

    No Aggie comments as of yet, might as well throw mine in. Can not wait to see what kind of reception Riley will get when he steps on the field. There will be a huge target on this young man. It will be interesting to see what type of hits he will be getting. Hope he can run fast because me thinks there will be much blitzing going on. I hope this game will actually be a game for the first time in how many years. Go Aggies Go Anderson

  • Big Hapa
    Aug. 31, 2010 4:16 p.m.

    Let the Game begin and all will see Riley lead the offense to a victory. This kid has been dogged by the media and fans alike, oh well , great people all have there Rubicons to cross.

    Rise & Shout !

    "POLY" Cougar Nation

  • Big Hapa
    Aug. 31, 2010 3:56 p.m.

    History is a good barometer and Wrubel your article is laying out the historic pattern well. However, BYU must embrace the spread, that is why the team spent time this off season preparing the BYU version of the spread Offense.

    Anae and company have been moving this direction from the time he became part of Bronco's staff. You did not see this spread style at all with Hall because you do not teach an old horse new tricks or switch horses in mid stream you stay on course.

    With the annoucement { cautious reluctance } of Riley Nelson starting you will see the Cougar version of the spread for the first time this Saturday. Lets wait and see how all this pre-season prep pans out. Hold on folks it is going to be fun.

    "POLY" Cougar Nation

  • Buster
    Aug. 31, 2010 3:55 p.m.

    Utefan | 3:06 p.m.
    "arguements ad hominem" have no place on the comment boards. Agreed.
    Bronco made that statement before the fall practices, but from the people I know who have seen them both, feel that both earned the starting job...

  • JediMormon
    Aug. 31, 2010 3:43 p.m.

    As a former 90% Heaps / 10% Nelsen fan, Greg's articles have forced me to a 50/50 stance. I'm excited to see how the 2 QB systems works. I think it will be devastating against opponents because they're going to be forced to prepare for both QBs. Saturday will tell. GO COUGS!

  • coachcarter
    Aug. 31, 2010 3:21 p.m.

    This 2 QB system is completely different than the one Florida used with Leak/Tebow. Please Cougar fans, stop making that comparison. Nielsen/Heaps is nothing close to Leak/Tebow

  • Utefan
    Aug. 31, 2010 3:06 p.m.

    3grandslams...arguements ad hominem when you want to make yourself feel more important than you really are!

    nottyou...I'll be here...but one game does not a season make, nor your correct...if you check, you will see that Bronko actually did comment that if there was no clear starter it was because neither had distinquished themselves-thus mediocre.

    gr8britton: never use we and Utes in the same sentence...everybody will realize you are talking about things you know nothing about!

  • Buster
    Aug. 31, 2010 2:04 p.m.

    So let me get this straight.

    The local media thinks it's risky for BYU to put a double threat of two extremely talented QB's in the game...

    The Local media doesn't like it? While I appreciate the media, they are rarely right in their prognastications, yet 100% correct on Monday.

    That's all I need. It is totally the right decision. Go for it.

  • Tommy2Shoes
    Aug. 31, 2010 1:15 p.m.

    Thurs night let's watch the FUN vrs the Pitt. Should be a blast. MWC vrs Big East. Then Sat let's watch TDS vrs Wash. This should be really a blast. Let the season start and win it on the field. Last season to have a FUN vrs TDS game that may matter. If Riley is as successful as I hope he is, Jake can take his time learning defensive schemes and preparing for life without the FUN. Go Cougars.

  • LMBCougarFan!
    Aug. 31, 2010 12:50 p.m.

    I don't get why people like yarrlydarb keep comparing this quarterback situation to the one that Florida used to win a National Championship when Tebow was a freshman. In that offense Chris Leak was without question the starter and leader of that offense going into the season and throughout the season. They just happened to have a very talented freshman that could come in and run the ball after taking the snap. He threw a few passes here and there but Tebow was never thought of as THE quarterback for that team.

    BYU very well may work their quarterback situation like that as the year goes on (and hopefully they will) but right now the leader of the offense, if there is one, is not coming from the quarterback position. The coaches and players will do everything they can to make the best of this situation but that doesn't make it ideal. Hopefully one of these kids emerges from the other as soon and as few setbacks as possible.

  • Veracity
    Aug. 31, 2010 12:46 p.m.

    Live Hard...hate consumes you...take a deep breath and count to 10.

  • TheSpiker
    Aug. 31, 2010 10:57 a.m.


    You forced me to go back and re-read the article.

    Where is the criticism of Riley? Go back and read it again.

    The "Riley Risk" was that as a mobile quarterback that will aggressively run with the ball and will take more hits than traditional drop back quarterbacks.

    I have read all of Greg's articles and have not seen the bias. I think you are reading through "Riley tinted glasses".

    Good luck to both young men.

  • yarrlydarb
    Aug. 31, 2010 10:03 a.m.


    Did you have the same comment for the departed-from-the-U Coach Urban when he used two quarterbacks and won the national championship at the Florida Gators? I don't think so. And, by the way, how's your application for head coach going with Podunk U? Have they called you for an interview? Maybe you ought to add you blog posts to your resume. Then they'll never be able to deny your superior wisdom, knowledge of the game, expertise, etc.

  • Wash DC Reader
    Aug. 31, 2010 10:02 a.m.

    To Runner: I am sure Greg W. will prove he is a professional and not let his personal opinion interfere with the coverage he provides.

  • Runner
    Aug. 31, 2010 9:18 a.m.

    Greg, I love your broadcasts and the insight you provide into BYU Football, but I must take exception to the way in which you have covered and commented on the QB competition this fall. It has been painfully obvious that you are a Jake Heaps fan and have painted a very positive picture for him. I'm not saying that is necessarily bad other than it does a bit of a disservice to Riley Nelson. Now that Riley is the starter, and I understand that they will both play, but the question is, will you give equal commentary and explanation to both or will your comments continue to be very favorable toward Jake? Please, I ask, give Riley his due!

  • gr8britton
    Aug. 31, 2010 8:03 a.m.

    Utefan is right. And he should know. Over the past two decades how many times did we see our Yewts under the direction of McHide and UnWhittyham squander a game or even a whole season over second guessing which of their "star" play makers were actually going to make a play. I was tired of it. Bronco, please don't make the same mistakes as the TUN (Tools up North).

  • Wayne Rout
    Aug. 31, 2010 8:02 a.m.

    Flying a thousand miles to see a BYU victory Saturday.

  • Pipes
    Aug. 31, 2010 7:58 a.m.

    And so the trolling begins by the haters. Feel better about yourselves boys?

  • nottyou
    Aug. 31, 2010 7:58 a.m.

    Utefan: You will be watching and you will be hoping your prognostication is accurate...but when it's not, make sure you come to these same boards and eat some crow. I will be watching Thursday night with the hope that the Utes go down in flames...that would be a beautiful thing.

  • 3grandslams
    Aug. 31, 2010 7:37 a.m.

    re:utefan- seriously you're up at 4:24 am to rip on BYU? You're a tiny, tiny person and reflect the utah fans base. Very immature.

  • Y4LYFE
    Aug. 31, 2010 7:31 a.m.

    Regardless of who plays BYU is going to beat an over-hyped under-performing pac-10 team. Like much of the pac-10. Maybe we'll have another 59-0 route of a pac-10 team. Nobody in the country is giving BYU a chance, but they will turn everyone's heads with great wins.

  • Utefan
    Aug. 31, 2010 4:24 a.m.

    Ah, the justification of Bronko's indecision or the inability of Nelson or Heaps to separate from the other's mediocrity is now elevated to a new level with this apology!