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BYU football: Most effective quarterback should play

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  • SoUtHapa Saint George, Utah
    Oct. 4, 2011 6:15 p.m.

    Who else noticed how puny and weak Heaps looked standing next to Lark on the sideline? Even with his helmet on and Lark only in a ball cap he looked like a little boy; narrow shoulders, tubular, weak arms and pencil neck. Hit the weights already!

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 4, 2011 3:56 p.m.

    As several have said already a big part of the problem is the coaching staff. Number one is Bronco. He needs to get a DC so he can focus on managing the entire team. Right now the offense is in disarray and he needs to spend some time with those coaches helping them see his vision and getting things worked out. It isn't enough for him to say I'm not an offensive coach. As head coach he needs to learn enough about the offense that he can recognize problems and veto decisions by Doman when necessary.

    Number two is Doman. He needs to figure what is working and what is not. He needs to figure out how to get the players to execute the plays he has designed. He needs to understand that enthusiasm and attitude only carries you so far. The fundamentals of your system have to work too. He has made a good start at correcting things by moving to the booth. Now he needs to finish the job.

  • Prep Fanatic Los Angeles, CA
    Oct. 4, 2011 3:09 p.m.

    Utah State did nothing to prepare for Riley Nelson on Friday night, except for him making a few appearances in the game. That is why Riley was so successful, and lucky, to come away with the win. Last night, I think that Craig Bolerjac said it best. He mentioned that Riley Nelson was a one dimensional quarterback, meaning that he was a running back playing a quarterback position. Riley doesnt have a strong arm, and his throws arent accurate, but because of his running and scrambling abilities, he has the ability to get out of trouble. The problem with this type of a quarterback is that when teams have multiple weeks to prepare from them, they seldom have a lot of success. We all know that from last year, that teams stacked the box and dared BYU to throw the ball. We also know that Riley couldnt deliver. Riley Nelson is not the future of BYU quarterbacks. A lot of time and attention have been spent on Jake Heaps. The boy can play, and I dont think the offensive woes are his alone. Brandon Doman needs to ride this storm out with Jake Heaps.

  • Big Hapa Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 4, 2011 2:18 a.m.

    PAUL

    That is just it, Jake can not run those offenses or thy would have had him do it.

    Jake is one dimensional, easy to defend the proof all the games he has played in this year.

    Limited talent produces limited results plain and simple.

  • Andermart Pullman, WA
    Oct. 3, 2011 11:35 p.m.

    It's important to surprise the next opponent, so we can't say who will qb next game. You will just have to prepare for both.

  • Cougar_Independence OMAHA, NE
    Oct. 3, 2011 9:09 p.m.

    Money Ball: Find the players which get the most points to win games.

    Riley: 14 points in 20 minutes of play for BYU against Utah State
    Jake: 13 points in 40 minutes of play for BYU against Utah State.

    Money Ball logic says you go with Riley Nelson.

    I honestly cannot believe fans who say they have watched the last 5 games and believe Jake has the attitude and personality to win football games for BYU right now. Riley is clearly a winner. He single handily won the game last Friday for BYU.

    Riley should start!

    Go Cougars!

  • ParkCoug PARKER, CO
    Oct. 3, 2011 8:36 p.m.

    I agree with Dustman. The real issue from my humble and unqualified opinion is Doman and Mendenhall's friendship with Doman. Horrible QB development and horrible offensive results for the first four games this year. Yes, Anae is starting to look good. And Coach Mendenhall, please quit blaming the fans, who have supported the team for decades, some longer than Mendenhall has been alive. We have a right to voice our displeasure over such a horrible offensive start, and seemingly poor coach hiring decisions.

  • spudlydoright McCammon, Idaho
    Oct. 3, 2011 8:31 p.m.

    Heaps was expected to do too much too soon by the fans and the coaches. It was beyond him to meet those expectations as a true freshman. He should have been redshirted and brought along slowly ala Kellen Moore at BSU. I don't know if he is salvageable now without redshirting next year and hopefully developing the way he should have last year. The coaches just made a poor decision.

  • BigRich Orem, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 8:28 p.m.

    A program striving for perfection and any kind of championship at the devision 1 level must have a "put up or shut up" expectation of it's players. The only person who can make Heaps realize his potential is Heaps. Failure tends to create more character than success. The coaches and press should stop worrying about how he feels about being benched and let's see if he has what it takes to rise above this. If he does, he 'll be the fighter we hoped he would be.

  • 54-10 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 8:28 p.m.

    What happens up north is you demolish BYU 54-10. Play either qb won't matter against quality opponents. Oh wait, you're in the WAC.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 5:08 p.m.

    What a problem to have as opposed to what's happening up north!

  • hedge hoggs Beverly Hills, CA
    Oct. 3, 2011 4:30 p.m.

    Bench Heaps!!!

    I am a longtime cougar fan, and I dont post alot, but I know leadership. Riley has leadership. I do professional leadership seminars for a living, and I know what a leader does. He has his underlings whisper in the coaches ear. He creates a disruption, and then says "Whatever makes me happy". I have taught "The Art of War" by Tsung Tzu. Riley is the man, and should start every game from now on!!!

    Riley should start not only this week, and the rest of the season, and in the NFL, another Steve Young, because he is Steve Young.

    The leadership he showed on the last drive is what Bronco talks about at his firesides.

    I never want to see Jake Heaps in a game again, or I will give up my Cougar Club membership, my 40 yard line seats, and my 3rd ros seats at the Marriott Center.

    If Bronco chooses Jake, I will know that BYU wants to never winn a game in any sport again.

    I don't post alot, but will if I have to so that Riley leads BYU to Victory...

    Ummm, Rise and Shout.... Popcorn popping on the Apricot Tree.

  • dustman Nampa, ID
    Oct. 3, 2011 4:26 p.m.

    The team was horrible with Heaps, and lucky with Nelson. Neither QB will excel with Doman at the helm. I cannot beleive how many people think he's a good coach. He wasn't a good QB coach and he's a worse OC.

    He admits that he's still learning. I cannot believe BYU hired a coach that is still learning to call plays.

    The problem is not Heaps, the solution is not Nelson. The fix is an experienced OC and a QB coach that teaches fundamentals.

    Heaps and Nelson play wild. Neither has any control. Everyone on the field won that game on friday, our of shear desire. Doman almost lost it again.

  • AggieLuva South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 2:31 p.m.

    Watching the players demeanor change when Riley came in was so obvious as to who they want out there to battle for a victory. The entire team rallied and played at a different level as soon as Riley went out on the field. Watching that was almost as impressive as what Riley was able to do once he was out there. I might be way wrong but I don't think so. If you have it DVR'd and are able to watch it again just for the last few minutes when he went on the field it was night and day. The players looked defeated when Heaps was playing and almost seemed like they wanted to just give up. The second Riley went out, they all had a swagger in their steps and were ready to play the rest of the game. The players have more faith in Riley and it was very clear to see. James Lark is the best overall QB between them all as far as a true QB, but Riley just wants to win and did what it took to win. Heaps needs to eat some humble pie for a year or so.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 2:13 p.m.

    re:lasermann

    What is wrong with Heaps you ask? Take a look up in the press box at that Offensive coordinator. Heaps had great confidence under Anae at the end of last year and Doman has managed to destroy all of that confidence. Whether it's the offense itself or if its the one-on-one time Doman spends with Jake it isn't working. Jake IS a good QB - he has the big arm and the mechanics and last year he showed that under a good offensive coordinator he has the mental part of the game too. I like Brandon but I am more disappointed in Doman than Heaps.

  • Veritas Aequitas Fruit Heights, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 1:51 p.m.

    socal380 | 1:02 p.m.
    APPLE VALLEY, CA
    I'm not sure there really is a controversy. If you actually watch the tape, the 2 biggest passes he completed were complete flukes. Jacobsen made a great catch, and the ball fell into Matthews' hands. The defense wasn't prepared for a running quarterback, which is why it was effective. If you want to pull Heaps, by all means do so. But Nelson isn't the answer. I'd rather see Lark out there.
    ===

    Your comments are so dead on obvious, yet not the most popular.

    All of a sudden we read new posters calling to bench Heaps.

    Makes you wonder how many Utah fans have found new handles and are praying that Heaps get benched. I'm sure it's they believe in Riley.

    And all Ogletree said was he believed in Nelson's two minute drive. Who really thinks any good DC could not stop Nelson for a full game. It took USU 3 drives. Anyone remember the near safety?

    If a player does not feel they can play their hardest, tell coach Mendenhall to bench your butt, and let someone on the field who wants to play regardless of who the QB is.

  • Woodyff Mapleton, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 1:49 p.m.

    Nelson needs a haircut

  • CaptainFD LITTLETON, CO
    Oct. 3, 2011 1:37 p.m.

    Redshirt Heaps next year since he can't take advantage of a mission anymore. Let Riley show what he can do this year and think about James Lark. It is nice having 3 Qb's that have great potential.

    The program is not going to get totally fixed until you do something about Mendenhall. He is the head coach and he isn't making the right decisions yet. He has been the Defensive Co for a while and the D is not impressive. He has made some good decisions but he seems very excuse ridden and "knee jerk". Set a good foundation and go from there. Following the Heaps Hype bandwagon has not paid off.

  • socal380 APPLE VALLEY, CA
    Oct. 3, 2011 1:02 p.m.

    I'm not sure there really is a controversy. If you actually watch the tape, the 2 biggest passes he completed were complete flukes. Jacobsen made a great catch, and the ball fell into Matthews' hands. The defense wasn't prepared for a running quarterback, which is why it was effective. If you want to pull Heaps, by all means do so. But Nelson isn't the answer. I'd rather see Lark out there.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 12:44 p.m.

    @Rock,

    I like your approach:

    In 1978 Marc Wilson was injured, McMahon took over for most of the season. The next year, Wilson's Sr. year, McMahon's Jr., McMahon redshirted.

    Redshirted. Let me spell that for Bronco/Heaps: R-E-D-S-H-I-R-T-E-D.

    The year after McMahon's redshirt he had a spectacular season setting 32+ NCAA records.

    @ Y Grad / Y Dad
    "The quarterback we all know [Heaps] can be."

    Do we? Maybe if he toughens up in the pocket, acts like a football player and makes an attempt at tackling someone who picked him off, shuts off the braggadocio (which is hard to do in Bronco's environment of talking=doing), and gets some accuracy. A redshirt year may help with that.

  • cougarNV Las Vegas, NV
    Oct. 3, 2011 12:43 p.m.

    @ Rational,

    Interesting & perhaps valid point.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 12:24 p.m.

    Veritas Aequitas | 10:08 a.m. Oct. 3, 2011

    We have a HC who cleaned up the program, instilled Band of Brothers, firesides,
    -----------

    Frankly, I find it ironic that a coach who didn't serve a mission thinks his job is to be a missionary coach.

    There a 100,000 men in the church who can lead firesides. There are other men on the staff who could be DC. Right now there is one guy who is the head coach. I'd just like him to focus on and become great at being the head coach. Right now he isn't.

  • cougarNV Las Vegas, NV
    Oct. 3, 2011 12:21 p.m.

    Y Grad / Y Dad | 7:52 a.m. Oct. 3, 2011
    Richland, WA

    I appreciate the sense of reason you offer. You say it better than i can.

    Thanks.

    Go Cougars!!!!

  • Don't Feed the Trolls Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 12:16 p.m.

    Big Hapa

    "Riley showed his metal"

    --------

    I'm sure that was a typo, and what you meant was "Mettle."

    Metal = Iron, steel, copper, etc.,
    Meddle = Stick your nose in where it doesn't belong; like me, here.
    Mettle = "vigor and strength of spirit or temperament"

  • BYUHOCKEY American Fork, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 11:45 a.m.

    QB controversies are usually due to coaching issues. BYU needs to hire a true QB coach for Heaps, Lark and Nelson. Nelson has the intangibles of being quick on his feet and "nothing to lose" mentality as he won't be in the NFL whereas Heaps is certainly NFL talent capable, has a lot of pressure from within and without as a result and with little "extra"-effort from his teammates makes Nelson a hero for a day. Sad. How do you "earn" respect from your teammates when BYU touts you as the best thing since sliced bread and then hangs you out to dry without a real QB coach or OC? I hope Tanner Mangum is taking notes and perhaps reconsiders his options to play elsewhere. Certainly Utah is in a better position with Chase Hansen, whom BYU didn't really even look at apparently due to all their "talent" stacking up behind Heaps.

  • WhatsInItForMe Orem, Utah
    Oct. 3, 2011 11:14 a.m.

    Jake is a practice and combine phenom. He's not a game phenom. Not yet, anyway.

    Jake is obviously afraid of contact. Likely never had it much in high school. Didn't get it much last year either versus the easy teams BYU played when Jake was winning.

    This year's tough defenses right out of the gate have made Jake gun-shy.

    Bronco should just make sure that during practice he gets hit on every throw, even if late (but not so hard as to injure him for games). Also make sure he doesn't throw to his planned first option--make him HAVE to go through progressions. Then, after awhile, Jake will get over it and begin to perform like we've expected.

    A little "tough love," Bronco!

  • Anonymous Infinity American Fork, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 11:05 a.m.

    Sports writers are paid to create controversy. Get out of here Rockmeister. Heaps is the starting quarterback. If BYU gets settled on their coaching, and not have head coaching also the defensive coordinator, and the offensive coordinator also the quarterback coach, it would help. I think BYU has more of a chaos in coaching rather than a player problem. BYU has always had issues with recruiting the top players; as in who wants to come to Provo? Entrance requirements dictates a lack of thugs available; so a lack of talent and speed at crucial positions; plain and simple. I am a BYU fan, and hope all the fairweather fans would just shut up and support the team. It was a great finish on Friday. Heaps is still our starter. Why promolgate a perceived controversy. Let's get some better position coaches down the line and the team will imnprove.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 11:01 a.m.

    I 100% guarantee if you bench Heaps you will be crying to bring him back in a game or two. We all saw Nelson last year and as for me I saw more than enough. Nelson can run and occasionally connect on a pass or two but give a good team time to game plan for Nelson and BYU is in big trouble. Then what do you do? Bring Heaps off the bench and expect miracles? Knee jerk coaching NEVER works and the only way I bench Heaps is if I have NO plans to EVER bring him back as the starter again. Doman and Bronco know Heaps so if we see him on the bench next game expect for them to start looking elsewhere for next years QB because once you break a QB's confidence you rarely are able to restore it. Detmer through 7 interceptions against Wyoming his freshman year but Edwards didn't abandon him - thankfully.

  • gramma b Orem, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 10:58 a.m.

    I had been hearing from people close to players that the team didn't like Heaps. I could sure see why. He wasn't delivering, at all, but he was still being treated like he was some kind of phenom, and shooting his mouth off at every opportunity. I think the guarded statement by Ogletree says is all, if any of the rest of them didn't produce, they got benched. Ogletree was careful not to say it, but you could almost hear, at the end of that sentence, "It's about time."

    I'm no expert, but even I could see the difference in the way the offense played when Nelson came in. It absolutely confirmed to me that, indeed, they don't like Heaps. After all, if Heaps can protect himself at all costs and still play, why on earth should any of the rest of the team put their bodies on the line?

  • Anonymous Infinity American Fork, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 10:52 a.m.

    Jake Heaps is in over his head and he doesn't motivate the offense, as in he can't scramble. But we are committed to Heaps. If Riley becomes the starter after he was instrumental in the miracle comeback last week, then Heaps is finished mentally. Continue to start Jake and bring Riley in as the reliever and in sport situations. Otherwise the season is in chaos and Jake becomes a major head case. Don't jump off the Jake bandwagon. He will get out of his funk if we don't panic. Come on you BYU Saturday, Sunday, and Monday morning coaches. We have to hang in there with our coaches. The players just need to strap it on and show some more fight, hustle and smarts.

  • Ballfan6 AMERICAN FORK, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 10:52 a.m.

    Think about this. Sit jake, let him watch riley. Red shirt him next year and let him watch riley, let him grown some more. Then go ahead and give him a chance and he might be ready. Jake isn't ready for this level yet. He has the ability and potential. He has a cannon. But he needs to learn something called touch. We all know he can throw a bomb, but he throws everything too hard with no touch. And one of the biggest problems I have with Jake is he is too scared to take a hit. He flinches every time someone gets near him. He needs to know and learn to take a hit.
    I think he can get there. I think he can be great. But he needs some time, and being on the bench will help take the weight of the world off his shoulders.
    Keep working hard.

  • AggieLuva South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 10:40 a.m.

    I can't hold my breath on this anymore. Riley should be the starting QB. On the 1st page someone put,"have you seen all the wabbly balls Nelson throws?" Um yes, I saw all the wabbly balls that Tim Tebow threw to, but some how he just found a way to WIN. Jake hasn't proven anything. If he can't handle being benched for a year to really learn how to play at the next level and feels like he needs to leave, see ya later then. From reports I have heard in camp anyways, Lark is actually the most consistant throwing QB on the squad, and Riley is just a flat out stud. Pick your poison, but we all know now that Heaps is not the answer for BYU to win games. Real simple decision if you actually watched the game Friday night. Riley, we sure miss you at USU, but hopefully you get the starting nod at the Y from here on out.

  • BYU Girl West Valley City, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 10:24 a.m.

    The only controversy I see from the quarterback situation is why isn't Riley following the honor code in his hair length? Does he get special treatment? If Riley won't follow the honor code then he shouldn't play. That's what happened to Brandon Davies--except for another reason--but it's still a violation of the honor code. If he cuts his hair he should be starting--if he doesn't--Jake Heaps should start. It's all about integrity.

  • Steez LOGAN, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 10:15 a.m.

    LAVELL EDWARDS would start RILEY NELSON over Jake Heaps that is without a doubt.

    Heaps isn't very good, maybe he should be the one running down with the kickoff scout team and learn how to give 100% of effort of every snap of the Football game! Riley's a Logan High All-American with 3 Natinal records. Reppin it big in Provo. Go Nelson Go

  • WhatsInItForMe Orem, Utah
    Oct. 3, 2011 10:08 a.m.

    Talk is cheap; losses are expensive.

  • Veritas Aequitas Fruit Heights, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 10:08 a.m.

    Watched the game again last night (thanks independence).

    Heaps started weak, but began to find timeing.

    After the half, USU made adjustments, and BYU was stalled again.

    Once again, BYU was outcoached.

    Nelson came in and saved the day, but many of his passes were weak and fluttery. The winning touchdown was tipped and could have landed in the defender's hands.

    Bronco has 1/2 year at the DC position, and also doubles as HC. A new OC, that doubles as QB coach. A new ineffective RB coach so far, and moved Reynolds to TE coach.

    Soooooooooo... Fans blamed last year on Riley, prayed for Heaps, and this year, play 3-2 against a stong first 5 teams, and give up on the kid who has more potential?

    We have a HC who cleaned up the program, instilled Band of Brothers, firesides, and many great things. But can the guy build a program?

    ===

    Please stop blaming a young QB, surrounded by new coaches all trying to put their own stuff in. Either heaps or Nelson, neither guy will look good until the coaches (and players... yes, the players need to break down their factions)begin acting as one unit.

  • Zoniezoobie Mesa, AZ
    Oct. 3, 2011 10:06 a.m.

    Riley is the man, Heaps is the deer in the headlights...just saying.

  • lasermann Orem, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 10:04 a.m.

    I'm baffled by Jake's performance. I thought that after his strong performance during the last five or six games last year, a spring and summer to work on technique (with time in the weight room), and with two huge receivers, there would be no stopping him.

    But I've watched him alternate bouncing passes or overthrowing receivers even before pressure has arrived. It appears that he has lost confidence in his ability and isn't having fun.

    Start Riley and see how Jake responds ... will he do better with the pressure off his shoulders? Riley clearly embraces the challenge of being the starting QB. The good news is that the next few teams should allow Jake to come off the bench and prove himself.

    Go Cougs!

  • WON84 PLANO, TX
    Oct. 3, 2011 10:02 a.m.

    There is no controversy. Heaps has played himself out of the picture until Nelson is either unable to play or starts to struggle himself.

    Is Nelson really a Junior? The article stated this though I seem to recall he is a Sr. unless he was granted a redshirt for last season.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Oct. 3, 2011 9:55 a.m.

    "I like Nelson and he did great, but the first few games of last season showed that Nelson definitely isn't going to take us to the next level"

    And Heaps is based off his offense so far this year? There has been no offense. You need to apply the same standards to both QBs... and Heaps just hasn't had what it takes this year.

  • newwest Ferron, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 9:55 a.m.

    Like rlsintx said, this is Wilson/McMahon all over again. Fans clamored for McMahon to run the team after he came in and saved a game when Wilson was struggling. The same folks later clamored for Wilson when McMahon had some bad games. Both quarterbacks ended up in the NFL.
    I also remember controversy about Steve Young. It's been said that the only one who could hold Steve to under 300 yards passing in a game was LaVell Edwards.
    I'm not saying that Heaps and Nelson are NFL-caliber quarterbacks, but they're both talented, if very different. Maybe Heaps would feel less pressure coming off the bench when Nelson struggles.
    I attended the USU/CSU and USU/BYU games. I think the Aggies are a very good team that will win most, if not all, of their remaining games.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Oct. 3, 2011 9:41 a.m.

    The Rock hit the nail on the head.

    Riley earned the starting position on Saturday. He deserves to start for the Cougs unless he proves otherwise. He may not be the best QB in the land, but he proved he can move the offense, generate points and is performing better than Heaps. Heaps will have to swallow his pride, but he should get some mop up time as the back-up against teams like Idaho and Idaho State.

    In 2012 red shirt Heaps, and give him a full year to develop. Nelson remains the starter with Lark as the back-up.

    In 2013, let Heaps, Hill and Munns compete for the starting QB. Hopefully Heaps will have refined his skills and be ready to lead the Cougs to a National Championship (said with tongue in cheek). Seriously, he should be much be prepared to lead the team at that point and I think he has the talent to be a great BYU QB in the future.

  • WallyD North Salt Lake, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 9:39 a.m.

    Start Heaps with the expectation that if he doesn't perform well Nelson will come in. Hopefully Heaps will rise to the competition and if he can't we play Nelson. Then we re-evaluate if Nelson should begin starting. We should give Heaps at least a chance to win the job back.

    I like Nelson and he did great, but the first few games of last season showed that Nelson definitely isn't going to take us to the next level.

  • Levin Hightstown, NJ
    Oct. 3, 2011 9:36 a.m.

    @Go Big Blue!! - Jake Heaps is married. I don't think there's a mission in his near future.

    I had to chuckle in the article about how not starting Jake is going to limit his development. Of the BYU greats, Detmer was the only one who got any significant starts as a freshman or even sophomore. IMO, one reason we had so many good QBs in a row in the late 70's and early 80's is that the 1st string QB built up such huge leads that the 2nd string could come in and get low pressure, real game experience late in games, and yet know that they had to prove themselves and improve to get a spot.

  • Still Blue after all these years Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 9:28 a.m.

    the only controversy should be who is 3rd string - Munns or Heaps. If Bronco or Doman put Heaps back on the field again, the controversy will be over coaching. I'm sorry, he's probably a really good guy, but he has insufficient heart and fire to lead a team. If Nelson falters, Lark should be next in line.

  • IDC Boise, ID
    Oct. 3, 2011 9:27 a.m.

    Nelson has fire but with the way he plays, he will not make it through an entire season. I just don't know how far Nelson can take BYU. I haven't given up on Heaps yet but maybe I should. The next couple of games should be interesting.

  • geggett Orem, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 9:25 a.m.

    I think BYU needs to make Heaps grow his hair out so he looks more like Jesus and less like a Nazi Skin Head! Maybe he'd gain some respect.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 9:22 a.m.

    Jake Heaps is the future and Nelson had a good game Friday night that probably won the game for the Y. If you bench Heaps you risk setting him backwards in his confidence and timing. You can't expect to bench Heaps for several games and then have him return to bail you out against a team like TCU. Nelson is a running QB. He would do well at Airforce I think and a team like TCU would completely shut him down. If it were me I would keep Heaps as the starter and let him know he doesn't have to keep looking over his shoulder. Nelson can come off the bench if need be - like Utah State but Doman and Bronco would be slitting their own throats but starting Nelson going forward. Riely isn't a fundamentally good QB and would be easy for other teams to game plan for if they knew he was going to start. However, to have him coming off the bench is another thing altogether. Utah State had no idea what to do with Nelson on Friday night and by the time they started to figure him out it was too late.

  • SCUte Rock Hill, SC
    Oct. 3, 2011 9:04 a.m.

    Heaps plays scared. He should start the next game and the O Line should just let a mad man take Heaps down with his best shot. One of two things will happen: 1) Heaps will survive the hit and realize it didn't hurt too bad and start playing without fear of getting hit, or 2) It will scare the spit out of him and he will realize football is not his game since he is too afraid to get hit or take one for the team. Either way - BYU comes out ahead.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Oct. 3, 2011 8:59 a.m.

    This is a win win situation.

    Jake has all the tools but has gone backwards a bit from last year. It is a mental thing. He has been picked off and that has made him gun shy and has over corrected. He needs time to settle down and he needs to get out of the pressure cooker.

    Riley was great on Saturday. Let him start for the rest of the season and give Jake time to get through this mental thing.

    Jake could red shirt next year and Riley and Lark can share duties next year. In 2013 Jake and Lark can battle it out. By that time Jake should be back to his old self and both Jake and Riley may have an opportunity at a professional career.

    Jake, Riley and BYU all win with this approach.

  • Hellooo Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 8:57 a.m.

    The problem with the Y's offense is it so structured any small event throws off the timing. And, the atheletes they have are not quite good enough to not allow those small events to happen. So, it is always out of sync. This is a great opportunity to be creative keepting starting Jake, play Riley with Jake as a slot back. He can catch the ball, or run, or throw it. Play Riley under center. Stay with the same starters, but give Riley a lot more opportunities to be a part of the offense.

  • bebot SHAWNEE MISSION, KS
    Oct. 3, 2011 8:54 a.m.

    Heaps inability to perform in the redzone has killed byu, how many drives did byu have early in that texas games that blown that game open but instead we settled for field goals or the interception. Heaps already cost byu the win in Texas which looks like it would have big against a much better Texas team than we expected. Heaps almost cost byu the win in Ole Miss, central florida, and he definately contributed to the Utah loss. How many games is byu gonna lose trying to develop Heaps. Heaps has no touch on the ball he throws it as hard as he can every time even if the player is wide open like Jacobson was last week, the only pass he can complete is the button hook pass to the tightends. Even the short routes don't work because he rifles it in there a 100 mph and its usually behind the receiver or at their feet. A 7 yard catch becomes very difficult when it's billeted in there high and behind you.

  • Go Big Blue!!! Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 8:41 a.m.

    Heaps should change his mind and get his mission papers in. Put down availability as NOW. Two years of maturity couldn't hurt.

    The problem again for the y is that the rest of the season is full of nobodies with the exception of TCU and Hawaii. So either quarterback is going to have a winning record and go on to a bowl game.

    Riley's totally different style caught USU off gaurd and the Aggies didn't have time to adjust. If a team is geared up for Riley (wanting to keep and run the ball 50% of the time) they will make plans for shutting him down.

    Bottom line - there isn't a clear cut choice for Bronco to make and the results of his choice will be hard to measure due to the soft schedule.

    If there is a silver lining for USU it's the fact that they have a tremendous freshman quarterback and a great running game. Go Big Blue!!!

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 8:40 a.m.

    Why don't we take a DNews poll?

    All those in favor of Heaps.

    All those in favor of Nelson.

    Yeah, right. That's the way for a coaching staff to run a football program.

    Heaven knows, there's plenty of frustrated, wannabe, once-were championship PeeWee coaches out there who "just know" they could get the job done.

    But ... that's sports and sports fans in America!

  • BYU blue through and through OREM, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 8:31 a.m.

    Riley has mobility, grit, and toughness...three things Heaps has shown a massive lack of this season. His arm is good enough to run the offense, and the team obviously responds better to him than Heaps. Jake came to BYU with a cockiness about him that to me bled into a sense of entitlement. Letting him sit behind Nelson and learn from the sidelines seems like the smart thing to do in my opinion. Should have been done three games before this.

    After all, it worked pretty well for guys like Wilson, McMahon, Young, Bosco, Detmer, et al, back in the day. They all had to be patient and earn their way onto the field. Nelson's proved he's a team-first guy by the way he's handled himself for the last season and a half. The Cougs will be better with him under center.

  • sls Columbia, MO
    Oct. 3, 2011 8:25 a.m.

    Riley Nelson is another Steve Young in the making. The problem is that most Cougar fans are too young to remember Steve Young at BYU. He was a left-handed, mobile QB who had some challenges throwing the football at times. If Riley had the opportunities that were given to Steve Young, he would develop into one of the great QBs from BYU.

    Cougar fans forget that Riley basically engineered the opening game win against the Washington Huskies last year (and they were a team that was on the same level as the team that just beat the Utes). Sure, Riley struggled a bit against Air Force, but so did Steve Young in a few games. The fans were just too impatient last year (and this) to give the reins to the young QB from Washington who had been hyped as a 5-star QB coming out of high school. And while Bronco complains about the fans, he listens to and is influenced by their comments. Maybe, that's part of the problem

    BTW, most fans may forget, but Steve Young's big break out game came against the Utah State Aggies, also.

  • Eliot Santaquin, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 8:24 a.m.

    I think Riley should start but only after he gets his hair cut.

  • Ironmomo Ogden, Utah
    Oct. 3, 2011 8:18 a.m.

    Interesting how fan opinions change. Last year when Riley Nelson was struggling in the QB position, many fans couldn't wait for BYU to get their blue chipper Jake Heaps on the field, and were happy when he got the chance after Riley was injured.

    Now Riley is the choice until when...his next poor performance?

    If the coaching staff chose Heaps to run the position, they must have believed he could do the job. Did they make a poor decision?

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 8:18 a.m.

    Doman only has to look as far as himself for an example. He played behind far inferior, yet much more heralded QB, and clearly Doman was the best one. Their injuries and ineffective play caused Edwards to make the same decision with Doman. Bench the heralded QB and play the best. That decision salvaged a lackluster final season for LaVell. Doman's fire and competitive spirit made the difference. Just like Nelson will.

    I've always maintained that Heaps was not as effective of a QB as Nelson. BYU ought to start Nelson and let Heaps get his head together and make something of himself. I even think Lark is better than Heaps. So what if he threatens to leave. Olsen left and that didn't hurt the Y at all. We got Beck and Hall, two pretty good QB's. Heaps leaves, so what. We have others in the wings. I think even young Kuresa is a better QB than Heaps and he'll never play a down.

    Bottom line, if Bronco goes with the two QB system again, he ought to be fired.

  • cork Murray, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 8:13 a.m.

    Whoa! Football should equal General Conference? I hope the players watch; I hope the fans watch, but I'm not ready to overlook shortcomings in performance on the field any more than my boss is ready to overlook shortcomings in my job performance.

    Heaps is full of not much but himself at the moment. Would hope that he can turn that around but only time will tell. Meanwhile, I hope that the coaches realize we have games to play and win as well as players to develop and fans to entertain. They have certainly NOT been entertaining this year until the 4th qtr. on Friday. I buy tickets to be entertained. It's a GAME, right? If they aren't entertaining, I take my money elsewhere and let Bronco go about his business of firesides and character development. I have nothing against those admirable pursuits, but if they don't lead to entertaining football, I have no problem taking my money elsewhere.

  • rlsintx Plano, TX
    Oct. 3, 2011 8:09 a.m.

    Ah yes, the Marc Wilson / Jim McMahon thing again...

    THE QB WHO SHOULD START IS WHO THE COACHES SAY SHOULD START.

    Fans shouldn't run the team, and frequently they don't know all the wrinkles of the situations...

    that said, you played one HECK of a game Mr. Nelson and just willed it to happen when things looked bleak. One of the great finishes in Y history.

    USU, you're a great team with a bad record, don't quit early - you're exceptionally good.

  • Topher Herriman, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 8:00 a.m.

    It should be seen that there needs to be a quarterbacks coach at BYU. Doman cannot focus on quarterbacks and coordinate the offense as well - something has to suffer. Jake was doing real well at the end of last season, now he is not. This is evidence of the lack of coaching and that needs to change.
    The real controversy is in the coaching - let's get it together Bronco, maybe you could get Robbie Boscoe to fill in until you get a coach there for the quarterbacks!

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Oct. 3, 2011 7:52 a.m.

    No need to be vicious toward Jake. Please try to remember this is a christian university.

    For whatever the reason, Jake has not been performing as well this year as last. Even if you take into account the level of competition. I think... sit him, red shirt him, and he has a year and half to prepare to be the quarterback we all KNOW he can be.

    Riley will throw less pretty passes than Jake, we know this. Wounded ducks that are in the vicinity of the reciever are still better than beautiful tight spirals that over-shoot the target. Or bounce off his hands.

    Riley moved the team into the "blue" zone four times, resulting in a fumble, a shanked field goal and two touchdowns. On specific plays, Riley looked to the reciever on the right, saw he was covered, looked elsewhere then came back to the now-open reciever on the right for a nice gain. On the 40 yard pass, Riley made that happen by buying 5 extra seconds.

    In 4 seconds or less, McKay has been shut down all season. In nine seconds, he catches a 40 yard bomb. I like that.

  • TheNun Granstville, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 7:35 a.m.

    Wow, where did all of this hate and comtempt towards, Jake, Bronco and Doman come from?

    This is only football people, the mean spirited attitude and words of derision you post are aimed at real people who are struggling with the difficulties of life just like you are. I doubt anyone shows up at your place of employment watches as you go about your tasks, then writes about your shortcomings in such a negative manner. And,if they did, how would you compare to the performance of your colleagues?

    Didn't any of you watch General Conference? The message was loud and clear. Display a happy and positive attitude in life, look for the good in others, overlook their shortcomings, be quick to forgive. Need I say more?

  • CaliforniaCougar Lake Elsinore, CA
    Oct. 3, 2011 7:15 a.m.

    Just curious, how long will the honor code allow Nelson's hair to go?

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 7:08 a.m.

    Riley has earned the top spot. Pull Heaps back and let him redshirt next year.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Oct. 3, 2011 7:04 a.m.

    Heaps failed to inspire or motivate his team. I feel for him, but he just wasn't getting the job done. He has time to learn, but the team needs someone else at the helm now.

  • scodyshootfight KC, MO
    Oct. 3, 2011 6:40 a.m.

    This is my ESPN bold statement. Jake Heaps will never reach his "potential." He says it all in his body language. Timid, overwhelmed, lackadaisical, and lacks toughness. He sure does talk a lot, though, just like Bronco and Domman. We keep saying he needs time to develop, but if he's still missing all the throws after over a year of developing, it's time the coaches wake up and realize that the kid has had more than enough opportunities and that he just didn't pan out.

    Riley has his issues too, but the offense will sputter as long as we have someone in their who won't will their team to first downs. Let's give Riley a shot, and then give James Lark his shot before deciding to re-insert Heaps.

  • Pete in Texas Copperas Cove, TX
    Oct. 3, 2011 6:34 a.m.

    CougarKeith, I beg to differ,

    If you review the play of Heaps during the UT game, there were multiple passes that were missed by him when he had open targets. A play is called in, but there are multiple receivers he can pass to. At the Texas game, he hardly ever threw over the middle. He focused on the out receiver and that cost us the game.

    What's frustrating here is Heaps ego. He bought into the hype surrounding him from the start and up to now and thought his victories would just be given him by this "annointment". He has no mobility. He doesn't care to try and chase down the dude that intercepts him. He uses words like "team" and "us", yet it's the general concensus from these posts that should BYU bench him, he'll bolt to another college. If he had any respect for the word "team", he'd man up, take his lumps, tell everyone in his interviews, "I'm really struggling here" to show his responsibility for what's been happening. I don't relish the thought of Nelson taking control, but Heaps isn't the answer right now. Maybe Lark should be given some reps.

  • Max Charlotte, NC
    Oct. 3, 2011 6:19 a.m.

    There will only be a controversy if they start Heaps. Heaps has proven himself over and over and over not to be up to the task. Moreover, I don't think the other players respect him. I have been puzzled for a long time (here in the comments section) over why they haven't put in Nelson sooner. I think Ogletree stated it perfectly. I know Heaps was a big recruit, but that was then and this is now. You can't keep playing someone based on their past and their potential. At some point you need to move on to the player who is actually performing RIGHT NOW! Frankly, if they start Heaps, I will feel sorry for him because I think the fans are going to be VERY unhappy and the boo birds will be singing. Moreover, Heaps never did win the starting job. He got it because Nelson got injured. Heaps hasn't earned a thing.

  • cougblood FARMINGTON, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 4:51 a.m.

    By the way, everyone should go back and look at the end of the Texas game when Heaps was being interviewed. I have never seen anything like it, as the reporter is asking him questions he never once looks her/him in the eye and is staring off into space. He is also as fidgety as all get out. I believe maturity is a bigger issue then what most of us have thought. Heaps has a lot of growing to do but he can get there.
    Go Cougars

  • cougblood FARMINGTON, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 4:44 a.m.

    Also, Nelson has given us no reason to split time between him and Lark. He has been the best thing we have seen on BYUs O all season, doesnt sound like a reason to have him split time with anybody.

  • Bob H Las Vegas, NV
    Oct. 3, 2011 2:40 a.m.

    Agree with local blue: There is a reason Riley Nelson is the backup and Jake Heaps was designated the starter. Jake can't seem to get the job done with any consistency but remember, he's still only a sophomore. Maybe his physical abilities are not the problem. Has James Lark gotten any snaps during practice? Maybe, just maybe, some of this falls on the coaches too. With all the 3/4 "star" players BYU gets, shouldn't they be playing at a higher level? I realize Bronco was brought in partly to clean up the mess (football and discipline- wise) made during Gary Crowton's tenure, and that the program is an extension of the church but does anyone else think that maybe football should be placed above firesides?

  • yonkers Fort Worth, TX
    Oct. 3, 2011 2:39 a.m.

    Nelson should remain the QB. He's a running Qb and that's what BYU needs. O

  • bobco SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 2:09 a.m.

    Fans are funny. It will be awesome to see what happens if Riley struggles after teams plan for him. Then the fans forget about all of their Riley hype and go to someone else who they think is better. We saw what Riley could do the beginning of last year.

  • DD JayMario American Fork, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 1:19 a.m.

    Whoever BYU plays for the WAC games will look like a hero. Jake or Riley will play well against weaker opponents. The question is, with some confidence, who would play better against TCU, Oregon State, and in whatever middling bowl game the Cougars get invited to. My bet is Jake. Riley's style works in short stints when it surprises a defense.

  • CoachWinWA POULSBO, WA
    Oct. 3, 2011 12:20 a.m.

    Bottom line....

    I'd rather lose with Riley's effort, then watch Hypes take another snap in a lack luster offensive effort, even if we win.

    Riley plays football. He brings 110% effort, grit, competitiveness, etc. He cant throw the ball as well as Heaps in practice, and he doesnt have the upside in terms of throwing skills, but spread the field, put one back in the backfield, and option, short game and draw to some fine wins. At least it will be fun to watch.

  • fan32 St. George, Utah
    Oct. 3, 2011 12:11 a.m.

    Has anyone really thought what has happened to Heaps? Remember the MVP in the New Mexico bowl? Don't give me this level of competition junk. It is not that!! Heaps the player isn't the Heaps we saw at the end of last year. Why? Maybe Doman has made him a head case. Maybe marriage did him in. Obviously, he has a good arm but he really isn't very athletic. Sit him down for a while, find him a quarterback coach, mop up with him if the game allows. Something is going on and it is not level of competition. Riley Nelson is no Steve Young but we can win games with him. Going to the games may become fun again. I think Bronco is intimidated by older experienced coaches. He won't hire any. That has been part of BYU's problem this year. The coaches are learning along with the players. That is a Bronco problem. I think Holmoe doesn't say boo to Bronco about his problem. Maybe Lavell could talk to him.

  • trentster TUSTIN, CA
    Oct. 3, 2011 12:08 a.m.

    It is time to insert Lark in the rotation. Nelson and Lark should be the two, and allow Heaps to sit and assimilate this process of what is required in being "the one". I am concerned about Nelson's lack of arm strength, of which Lark does not suffer. Lark and Nelson bring a sense of maturity to the field that Heaps seems to lack, so the dilemma is only who to start (Nelson) and who the #2 is, (Lark). Very simple!

  • JP Skillet SLC, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 12:07 a.m.

    Newsflash - it doesn't matter someone's rank or "consensus best HS player," or how big of a game they talk! If you don't make plays then you don't play. period!! There are people calling for other people to stop throwing heaps under the bus...well he put himself under the bus. I don't know what anyone sees in him except a big talker who thinks it's his team but doesn't play well. He's no different than any other qb in the country, why anoint him? He's not any good. Ok he played well in UTEP bowl game. but that's it. If he starts, and doesn't move the chains like a wild man and hit 70% of his passes, then he's out and Nelson is in FOR GOOD. Ah man, playing coach is fun isn't it?! ha. love being a fan

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Oct. 2, 2011 11:59 p.m.

    How ironic.
    Utah is afraid their starting quarterback won't play Saturday.
    BYU is afraid their starting quarterback WILL play Saturday.

  • Big Hapa Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 2, 2011 11:53 p.m.

    Talent ? Come on Jake has zero athleticism, he has the tubular body of a boy and big deal he can through the football a long way to no one.

    You must be blind, deaf, and dumb to think Riley did not earn the starting spot Friday night.

    Accurate, tight spiral, and bone crusher moves as a rusher dude there is no question Riley instead of the hyped Heap.

  • JonnyDanger HOUSTON, TX
    Oct. 2, 2011 11:25 p.m.

    I think most of us agree that Riley has at least earned another shot. This is Div 1 football, if you don't perform you don't play. I'm not convinced that Jake isn't the qb we all thought he'd be, but I am convinced that he isn't playing like it. Until he earns it, the job is up for grabs.

    Here's another thought. It is pretty obvious from the first third of the season that a decent man coverage is effective at shutting down our receivers. The weaknesses of man coverage are exposure in the event of a mobile qb (which Jake is not) and the fact that eventually somebody is going to get open enough for an accurate QB to connect with. The problem is that Jake hasn't been consistently accurate, nor has he been composed enough in the pocket to let plays develop and receivers come open. So defenses can effectively cripple our pass game with four athletic defensive backs in man coverage and leave 7 players to stack the box and stuff our running game. Riley forces defenses into zone coverage to help respect his running and that opens up some passing lanes.

  • BleedCougarBlue Enid, OK
    Oct. 2, 2011 11:21 p.m.

    Time to start, Nelson.

    Usually I'd say he's nowhere near as accurate as Heaps, but lately Heaps has been anything accurate. Plus, Heaps hasn't shown any real fire for quite some time this season.

    Over pride and an L or humility and a W, I'll take the W.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, Utah
    Oct. 2, 2011 11:11 p.m.

    My prediction:

    Nelson sees a lot more playing time, possibly becoming the starter. Heaps mans up and realizes he's not yet at the level he expects himself to be at (doesn't transfer, though; he's a better man than that). By the end of the season, Heaps gets better at decision-making and confidence in tough situations. By Heaps' senior year, he shines like a star, although his career stats are tainted by his freshman/sophomore years.

    Just a prediction, one which I will not guarantee will take happen. Just my thoughts right now.

  • RaininTime Orem, UT
    Oct. 2, 2011 11:09 p.m.

    I know what I would do. I would start Nelson and give Heaps mop-up duty this year and ask him to red shirt next year.
    Heaps has the respect from the team given to a guy who gets a lot of fan and media scrutiny, but not the respect give to a guy who knows how to win.
    I remember Mendenhall wanting Nelson's leadership last year and then again at the beginning of this year. I think Mendenhall needs to go with he believes is right and he believes in Nelson.
    Also, I remember Doman's first few years at BYU as well as a few spring games, his arm was pathetic, but he stuck it out and Lance Reynolds designed an offense to suit Doman and Luke Stahley and BYU started 12-0 before those two got hurt and BYU lost it's last two games.
    Doman should understand what it takes to win and quite frankly, Heaps simply needs to develop more as a leader. I know he thinks he is a leader, but nothing says leadership like results.

  • CougarKeith Roy, UT
    Oct. 2, 2011 10:48 p.m.

    Calm Down People!!! I remember as a kid in Buffalo, the Bills got TWO GOOD QB's, and Joe Furguson won the job over Gary Marangi, a few years went by and here and there Marangi got in and shined like a new penny! Then Furguson broke his back, and I thought, FINALLY THE BETTER QB will show them, HE STUNK! Marangi was gone a year later for Bill Munson! You can't just "Scrap" a guy who is the #1 Recruit for having a slow start after what he did last year, he needs work, he has a new offense, a lot of things ARE different for him, and his time is way off. In comes Nelson, a Go Getter who not only wants to play, but wants to win, and compete and he's a leader! He obviously deserves the start to "Observe" if he is the "Spark" the offense needs to get it going? Another thing with this, Texas was not Heap's fault AT ALL! When you Call Plays so your QB doesn't LOSE the game you give it away by losing your momentum! That was BAD OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR, so don't blame that one On Him! That was all_Doman!

  • yourstruly PAUL, ID
    Oct. 2, 2011 10:40 p.m.

    Pretty disappointed in the above comments. Surely Riley deserves to start the next game perhaps. But it is shortsighted to throw Jake the consensus best high school prospect under the Bus. He played great last year against Utah even when only allowed to pass on 3rd and long. BYU coaches need to take responsibility for anemic pass attempts per game for 2yrs, receivers dropping balls and little separation. Love Detmer etc. but Jake hasn't had the 4,5 interception games that other great BYU QB. have had. Let Heaps run the qb draw like McMahon, naked bootleg like Young,5 int. like Detmer etc. before you give up on him.
    Do you think BYU can recruit top receivers with a QB with an arm like Riley? The future likely rests with a QB with great tools like Jake or Tyson Hill. My advice to BYU open it up and play to win like the BYU of old.

  • Woodyff Mapleton, UT
    Oct. 2, 2011 10:39 p.m.

    With Bronco, who knows. So far this season Heaps has not shown he has the tools. And he should wait his turn, if that means he transfers, then he is more interested in himself than BYU. If Heaps transfers, can Bronco go with him?

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Oct. 2, 2011 10:38 p.m.

    I must admit, Nelson is refreshing interview for a BYU QB. Well done.

    Resurrecting the 2-headed monster (2 QB system) would be a very bad idea. It would be a gross injustice if Riley doesn't start. If he plays poorly, then try someone else. But Nelson at least has earned the start for the next game. If the coaches anoint someone the starter and can't lose it over performance issues, that sends the wrong message to future recruits that they won't be allowed to compete. Ogletree is right. Everyone else on the team has to perform to hold their starting position. Why not the QB.

    Shottaker--
    Your post is spot-on! I am getting tired of Bronco dissing on the BYU fans and boosters. If he is turned off by the high expectations of the fans and boosters then he needs to tone down the hype that he feeds to the media. He should take a lesson from Whittingham on remaining very low key in statements to the media before the season begins.

  • Old Navy Provo, UT
    Oct. 2, 2011 10:37 p.m.

    Heaps may be more talented, but sometimes it takes more than talent. Detmer wasn't the most physically gifted qb, but he was intense and smart. Kellen Moore at Boise State doesn't have the greatest physical talent either, but he can flat out play and knows how to pick a defense apart.

    Nelson brings leadership, maturity, mobility, and intensity to the table. The BYU offense responded to him differently than Heaps. And he found a way to win the game. That speaks volumes. Heaps may be the future, but let's worry about this season now. Nelson has earned the starting job.

  • Wyclif OREM, UT
    Oct. 2, 2011 10:25 p.m.

    Heaps will have the starting job again next year so he will be back. But he needs to learn from Riley Nelson right now.

  • Bluewombat8 Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 2, 2011 10:25 p.m.

    If I have to watch Neilsens Wobbbbbbbly duck passes all over the field for the rest of the season, or Doman calling a QB draw ever other play Im not sure if I will enjoy watching the rest of the games, I am still going to watch but Heaps doesn't need to be thrown under the bus just yet. They need to start him next game and see how he responds in the first quarter. If he doesn't step his game up then bring in Riley. but don't riley is not the future answer keep grooming Heaps. Heaps is the future not lefty. Sometimes players learn a ton more in controversy then when everything is peachy.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 2, 2011 10:16 p.m.

    "the few reps I get in practice and things like the spring game, I try to make those as game-like as possible. I tried to control my emotions so they were the same in those practice situations as they were in the game. I will admit you go in there and automatically the heart starts beating and your mind starts racing. I tried really hard to calm myself down and just play football. I didn't do it perfectly, but I feel like I did a pretty good job.""

    Kid has a good head on his shoulders.

  • UgottaloveMaxie SLC, UT
    Oct. 2, 2011 10:14 p.m.

    "Against the Aggies, Heaps completed 11-of-25 passes for 107 yards. Nelson completed 10-of-14 passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed 11 times for 68 yards. He also provided a jolt of energy to a previously listless offense. Even before Nelson's late-game heroics, he picked up a critical first down in the first quarter with an aggressive run on a fourth-and-1 play at the Aggie 5-yard line, picking up four yards and setting up the Cougars' first touchdown of the game."

    This should tell you the answer. I'd be shocked if they start Heaps. However, if Nelson finishes the season as the #1, Heaps will transfer guaranteed. I say we get rid of him

  • Wyclif OREM, UT
    Oct. 2, 2011 10:09 p.m.

    You cannot hurt Heaps development by benching him. You hurt his development by accepting his performance and letting him continue to play. His performance has not been acceptable. If Jake wants to play at this level then he has to learn to step up. Give him a few weeks on the bench and bring him in for a long bomb now and then. He will develop just fine from the bench.

  • tejas washington, utah
    Oct. 2, 2011 9:58 p.m.

    heaps should be rotated, right to the bottom of the qb list and rotate the other qb's one spot up towards there turn at the starting position.

  • shottaker5 MIDWAY, UT
    Oct. 2, 2011 9:55 p.m.

    Bronco, if "this community is difficult", it is at least partly due to you and players like Heaps continually talking about things like raising the bar, Quest for Perfection, and winning a National Championship. If you're going to make public statements about those kinds of things, you can't be surprised when the fanbase is disappointed and disillusioned when reality is so far away from the expectation that you helped set.

    Nelson has at least earned a shot as the starting quarterback, and personally, I'm much more comfortable with his deameanor and attitude in the spotlight than that of Heaps. You're right - the scrutiny that goes along with being the starting quarterback at BYU is tremendous; Nelson seems much better equipped to handle all of that right now, while Heaps still seems like a young man who needs to grow up a bit - physically, socially and emotionally.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Oct. 2, 2011 9:50 p.m.

    "Suddenly, BYU's coaching staff has a quarterback controversy on its hands, with important questions to consider and a big decision to make."

    No QB controversy here. The choice is clear. There are no big decisions. Riley Nelson earned the starting spot on Friday night. If Heaps can't take warming the bench (indefinitely), then the Cougars don't need him.

  • Big Hapa Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 2, 2011 9:49 p.m.

    Jake has done exactly what he did last year. Against poor programs he shined, and would fade against average to good programs Nevada last year, FSU in a rebuilding year and got hammered by USU enough said.

    Riley showed his metal and all could see he is head and shoulders above Jake. You could feel the gloomy, wet blanket of losing the game Friday night settling in LES and suddenly Riley shows up and saves the day.

    Yes you should play the QB that is going to bring leadership, respect and the complete effort, that rally's the team and they Rise Up.

    There is no doubt who is the leader and who needs to learn how to be a leader.
    There is no shoulda, coulda, woulda here Play Riley and win.

  • Dr Rush Saint George, UT
    Oct. 2, 2011 9:48 p.m.

    What? Rotate Nelson and Heaps? Yeah right,Heaps has played himself out of the picture,he got way more chances than he should have.They should rotate Nelson and Lark!! May the best QB win.

  • localblue Sandy, UT
    Oct. 2, 2011 9:47 p.m.

    The problem is coaching. We have the talent and athletes to compete with all these programs. What we don't have is the coaching I'm sorry to say.

    If we did have coaching, I'd say stick with Heaps. But since we don't, Riley needs to be given the reigns. He makes things happen even if we don't "execute". We won't win a championship with him but we will win some games.

    And finally what about Lark? He seems more mature than Jake and a little more prototypical passer. He also should be considered as they reevaluate things.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    Oct. 2, 2011 9:39 p.m.

    There is NO QB controversy. Start Riley. BYU needs a playmaker with a weak offense, a mediocre running game and a QB (Heaps) who clearly isn't ready to play. I'm not sure when or if he ever will be. The future is NOW to play and win. Stunting Heaps' development should be the least of BYU's worries.

    Riley, like last year, is the QB for BYU at this time and possibly through the end of the season. Nobody cares about next season. They care about winning games this season.