Comments about ‘BYU football: There's a lot on the line as cougars weigh QB decision’

Return to article »

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 5 2011 7:00 p.m. MDT

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Eagle Mountain, UT

If BYU had kept the ball enough to score 41 in the Utah game, Utah would not have scored 54 and would likely have lost. I am happy to see a Ute fan finally admitting that BYU beat themselves in that game and with only 1 or 2 turnovers, would have won that game.

I don't see what the big qb controversy is. Ride the Nelson energy wave until is isn't working. When BYU is ahead by more than 10 pts at halftime, put Heaps in. If the offense stalls with Riley for more than 2 drives, put Heaps in. if BYU is behind at halftime, put Heaps in.
There is no way Jake Heaps can be surprised if he does not start Saturday. It is easy to see that he is struggling with taking his lumps from his poor performance and being pulled. The worst has happened; maybe he can settle down now and play like we all think he can. If he does not start and throws a tantrum, move him to 4th string and let Lark play some. He will get the hint and will either transfer or pull his head out by next Fall.

Mcallen, TX

Forget it folks! I'll start.

Virginia Beach, Va

This is not a hard choice. Anyone who has watched every game this season knows the answer. Riley is the answer. Heaps is not a leader and isn't as good of a QB right now. I hope this controversy is to keep the opposing team guessing and not really the coaches not being able to choose.

Sandy, Utah

Max Was Wrong; FYI, I am a Y grad, proud of it. But I call things as I see them. The past years decisions in Utah County have been less than intelligent. Decisions like the QB issue, all have been decided by emotion. We should have stayed in the Mt West and watch things work out. At least a decent bowl game to work for at season end and not this Helicopter Bowl deal. Believe me I'm sure the Ute fans are enjoying their PAC 12 all the way to the bank ( I hear it every day.) They're going to burry us with financial resources for their team in the future, if we dont start making the correct choices. We are digging our own hole. Should have stayed in the Mt. West and waited for the BIG 12. And started the right Q at the beginning of the season, Riley.


any other head coach worth his salary would've made the choice already but just like last year Roscoe can't make a tough decision and it will ultimately hurt his team.
I've been saying this for two years, the players on the team don't have near the respect for Heaps that they have for Nelson, and it was obvious on Friday that was the case. What makes it so hard for the coaches to choose is beyond me but it will once again turn into a circus and will hurt the team.
Stop treating Heaps like he's earned anything, he can't move the offense or complete passes in a game, put him on the bench where he's earned a spot.

Boise, ID

Read what Mendenhall said about him looking at the big picture and what is best for the program in the long run. Mendenhall is going with Heaps and I think Heaps is the best bet. Yes, Riley has heart and I love to see him play but his 2 best plays were lucky - the 40 yard pass could have gone either way and the touchdown pass was wobbly and behind the receiver. Bring Riley in on 3rd when you will also go for it on 4th. Bring Riley in to mix it up and confuse the defense.

@bleedred - BYU is one of the only athletic programs in the nation to make money last year. BYU already has great facilities and they are making a lot more money this year. They may not get into the Big 12, they may refuse and invite, either way, money is not the big issue.

Heaps may not be the answer but he is BYU's only chance at being great.


I am not a big Heaps fan, but i do think you need to start him. But I also think Riley needs to see a lot more time. Neither of the two have both the running and passing ability. But together they can hurt a defense. I think when Riley does go in, it will help take pressure off Heaps. I really hope he becomes coachable and learnes from Riley. Somehow Jake needs to become tough and not scared to take a hit. Learn to go at someone. Riley isn't scared and he likes to go at people and get a couple extra yards. Riley is exactly what Jake needs. Lets just hope they can rub off on eachother a little. Then we can expect some good things.

Cedar Hills, UT

If I were Heaps I would be making some phone calls and look to transfer. Heaps is way to talented to be on the bench behind Nelson. I really have no idea how Nelson even made the team other than his running ability. The problem with playing Nelson is you start a running - Air Force style QB - in a passing BYU system. This will never work and it pains me to see Bronco doing this silly experiment. At the end of the day you are going to have Jake Heaps with less confidence going forward which is not what you want with your supposed future QB. So what if you start Nelson and beat San Jose State with more rushing yards than passing. Try that against TCU and see what happens. Jake Heaps at least gives BYU the chance to compete against top 20 teams. Benching Heaps is a BIG step back for the program but Bronco seems like he has trouble making "head coach" type decisions anymore.

Norman, OK

How's Ben Olsen with all his potential doing these days?


Maybe if Jake does have a little less confidence he will hesitate for just a second. Maybe that's what he needs to finally wait that extra second for the reciever to break open.

Salt Lake City, UT

Don't expect Bronco to tell anybody until game time. And then, he'll take 10 minutes expounding why he made the decision he made and it's implications on Eternal Life and poverty in Africa and how he enjoys being a mission president/football coach.


how can people actually still come on here and say Heaps gives the Cougars the best chance against top quality teams? What games have you been watching? Can you possibly think for yourselves or are you still believing all the hype? No wonder people make fun of Cougar fans so easily, nobody who understands the game can possibly believe Heaps is still capable of leading a team to victory, not even his teammates have his back. Get with it folks, cut your losses and move on, you've got plenty of talent waiting, they can't possibly be worse than Heaps.

Beverly Hills, CA

Wake up, Nelson is not that fast, Usu made him look good. Usu are 4th quarter chokes and BYU got luck. Nelson got rag dolled by the Utes, a much faster defense. Nelson will get hurt again, this isn't high school ball where linebacker are mid sized men. Heaps at least attempts to run the lays designed. Nelson is doing to domain what domain did to crowton, that is wht domain supports heaps,

Orem, Utah

I really don't think Heaps' problem is fixed by more game experience. It's whether he can learn to put TOUCH on balls and have the PATIENCE to read through his progressions.

He has the physical skills, just not the mental ones (yet). I don't see where game time versus weaker defenses will help him to progress in this. He did fine against weaker defenses last year, but faltered versus the better defenses so far this year.

Jake needs some "tough love" in practice to learn patience (getting hit when you throw because you're making the correct reads) to discover that it doesn't hurt so much as he thinks, and to put some touch on passes where his man is past the defender.

The shock of getting pulled in the last game might help him to work on those things. Who knows?


Nelson was the beneficiary of improved play from every offensive skill player on the team. Hoffman made a diving, one-handed catch. The running backs came to life. Jacobson held on to Nelson's heave after dropping multiple in the game (at least one that basically hit him in the chest). I think the team should be thinking about the effort of the players around Heaps when he is in the game.

Nelson is a scrappy guy who will obviously give everything for the team, but he doesn't have the arm to be a deep threat. Let Heaps lead the team down the field and when they reach the part of the field where he has struggled mightily (and where you don't need to go deep) put in Nelson. Think Lark/Tebow from 2006. Also, make him the holder on field goals. He clearly deserves more time, but in a Heaps-style offense he will struggle against good teams.

I think that we beat SJSU, OSU, and Idaho State with either QB, but that we will not beat TCU without a guy who can go deep (something they have shown some susceptibility to) and Heaps needs some confidence building games.

So. Cal Reader
Escondido, CA

Re: plyxply "how can people actually still come on here and say Heaps gives the Cougars the best chance against top quality teams?" Thank you for supporting my point of staying with Heaps. Other than TCU and Hawaii (at the Island), our Cougs don't play any more "top quality teams." Period. Now's not the time to replace your QB & entire offensive scheme (from pass 1st, to run 1st, 2nd & 3rd). You don't make that monumental switch in the middle of a season when you're getting ready to face these Betty Crocker-type of teams.

Heber City, UT

Dear Dustman. I am not impressed with Doman up to this point, but one big factor you failed to think about is that Anae had been a play caller for several years before he came to BYU. I have not researched how effective Anae was at his previous school. Doman may have a steeper learning curve right now with a untested QB. I hope he can climb it faster.

As an armchair QB who does not watch daily practices and is not on the sidelines or in the booth, I think we need to start Riley. I was impressed with his maturity. However, it was pure luck on the final touchdown. Maybe they practice that, but it was still pure luck that Matthews was in the exact spot he needed to be.

Ute's R Gr8
Sandy, Utah

ESPN asked Dick Harmon, his thoughts about Utah joining the PAC 12, his response; Utah was invited because they are not BYU. So does that mean that TCU was invited to the BIG 12 because they are not BYU?

Ivins, UT

Never start mediocraty when looking at the rest of the season please. that is no way to run any team unless you live next door to the kids mother. This is college sports on ESPN and BYU's reputation is at stake. Play the winning quarterback please. Heaps has got some shaping up to do to regain his position.

Ivins, UT

Do I see Riley's pants falling off...his belly button is off limits? Maybe, as one coach put it, give me the talent first, I can develop character later. Come on Riley, pull up your pants.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments