BYU football notebook: High-five shows Riley Nelson having fun


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  • SoUtHapa Saint George, Utah
    Nov. 6, 2011 11:06 p.m.

    So, this is my fourth attempt to respond to Howard without getting denied. It's difficult to respond politely enough to your comments, Howard, because they are so...I better not say if I want this approved.

    Suffice it to say that I happen to know that Riley did this 100% spontaneously, nothing forcibly or maliciously intended. Nothing harmful. Fortunately, the official was rational and understood the nature of the rule.

    Despite that you portray yourself as relatively uptight, even you can rest assured that this is probably a one time thing, from Riley anyway. Hopefully, for the sake of your blood pressure, the copycats remain at a minimum.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    Nov. 4, 2011 8:45 p.m.


    Wait... what?

    Personal space? Don't do it again?

    I think the Cougs ought to high-five the ref. after every score.

    After all... it's not a foul and as long as it's fun for Riley and Bronco who cares about invading the personal space of an unsuspecting game official.

  • greenshovel SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 4, 2011 11:15 a.m.

    Personal space.
    I wouldn't recommend doing that again.

  • SoUtHapa Saint George, Utah
    Nov. 4, 2011 8:11 a.m.

    You are correct in mentioning that there are a number of non BCS conferences. However, BCS or not, the teams within their conferences are already scheduled to play each other for years down the road.
    The challenge for a NEW independent, as was the case for BYU last year, is to find teams who have holes or will create them to fit BYU in. Games early in the year are easier to schedule as teams typically are filling their non conference cards then, i.e. Ole Miss and Texas. The later you go in the season,the tougher it is to find teams with non conference holes. So, you end up with what you see now.
    Also, the other 3 independents, Notre Dame, Navy and Army, all have deep tradition in scheduling set. BYU was fortunate to get the long term deal with ND put together and one with Navy would be great as well. Army, not so much, but still better than some of these current opponents.
    All in all, it's a minor miracle there is a full schedule at all on such short notice.
    Hope this makes sense.

  • SoUtHapa Saint George, Utah
    Nov. 4, 2011 12:49 a.m.

    Okay Howard, you can wake up now.

    What foul? There is no foul. The actual wording of the rule betrays you, friend. No contention necessary here. You are simply letting your prejudice cloud your judgement.

    It was initially funny, as in amusing, that you'd throw this issue up for comment. But, now that you are actually seriously defending it a second time? You're scaring me. Halloween was Monday, bro. Spooky.

    There is no way any clear thinking official ever calls this. It is obviously intended to protect officials from an attack...not a high five.

  • Noblepromise PROVO, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 10:39 p.m.

    Riley as the quarterback deserves to be the starter as he isn't responsible for the scheduling of his opponent. Heaps was the starter last year because of injury to the starter and he performed well last season. BYU football schedule this year is easier in terms of strength of schedule than all the previous seasons when BYU was in MWC. The questions is why did BYU schedule this as a independent, so many teams from non BCS conference? Was it to ensure a winning season, as I don't see it helping BYU get into a BCS bowl or being invited into a BCS conference?

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 10:04 p.m.

    So, it appears the apologist are out in force defending the high-five foul committed by Riley Nelson.

    Let's look at the matter another way Cougar fans.

    If, as you contend, Riley's high-five was not a foul against TCU, it wouldn't be a foul against Idaho, or NM State, or Hawaii.

    So, test the proposition... Do it again...

    After every BYU score, Riley should seek out the nearest official and offer up a celebratory high-five.

    If, as the Cougar Nation claims, a simple referee high-five is within the intent of the rules... then... no harm and no foul.

    But, if the celebratory high-fiving of young Brother Nelson is considered outside the realm of NCAA propriety... the officials will certainly make their intentions known with their yellow hankies...

    And who knows... maybe Riley will get a second NCAA rule named after him.

  • jarka-rus Layton, Utah
    Nov. 3, 2011 4:50 p.m.

    Why don't we just encase the refs in little bubbles like the Pope? Good grief. I think the Utesies have violated a myriad of PAC-?? rules for putting the most inept offense in the nation on the field.


    Cuz the Utes never have had a ridiculous call go there way that awarded them points last year in the rivalry when the replay officials couldn't clearly see a knee down.

  • Big Hapa Kaysville, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 11:32 a.m.


    Editing out "Forcibly " and then rant a top your self appointed soap box. Like always all you need is to give them enough rope and they will hang themselves.

  • SoUtHapa Saint George, Utah
    Nov. 3, 2011 10:53 a.m.

    It seems our friend Howard did a little exclusionary editing as the rule he is referencing says exactly the following:

    Article 4: Persons subject to the rules shall not intentionally contact a game official forcibly during the game.

    Forcibly=high five. Probably not even for a Utah fan.

  • Starfarer Mesa, AZ
    Nov. 3, 2011 10:11 a.m.

    Howard S

    The key word in the rule is intentional (and I am pretty sure it also implies malicious.)

    I am not sure Riley knew he was high fiving.

    Go back and watch how fast it all happened.

    And it wasn't malicious at all. I think the ref was smiling too.

  • CalmDown Saint George, Utah
    Nov. 3, 2011 9:16 a.m.

    There ya go. That's sensible.

    So, every time a player shakes hands with an official after the coin toss they should also throw a flag and eject him.

    It certainly would be intentional and fits your strict adherence to the rules. The team would really have to reconsider who the captains would be that they sacrifice to this strict application of this notable rule you've found.

  • junkmail Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 9:11 a.m.

    Good thing Howard wasn't a referee at that game. He would have called the penalty and we would have ended up losing the game.

    Oh wait...

    But at least it would have taught that dirty player Nelson a lesson, right, Howard?

  • UtahManDan Providence, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 8:32 a.m.

    Now hold on now Howard! We can't let a rule get in the way of a little fun, can we?

    Of course if Jake Locker gets excited and throws the ball 'high' into the air, then the official must throw that flag!

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 11:28 p.m.

    Since it's all about fun here today, here's a fun fact for Cougar fans.

    Riley's high-five celebration was a violation of Rule Number 9, Section 2, Article 4, of the official NCAA Football Rulebook.

    Its true, Cougar fans, look it up. The rule prohibits intentional physical contact with a game official.

    Its a dead-ball foul, 15 yards on the succeeding spot, and disqualification of the player.

    Certainly seems odd to me that Bronco would praise Riley for committing a foul that should have resulted in his disqualification, and further commenting that he would love for that image to be a symbol of BYU football.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Nov. 2, 2011 10:04 p.m.

    Take a breath, folks. He made some poor decisions, trying to push the edge. Two to one he made some great plays, pushing the edge. I'll take him, warts and all. You can have someone else - Wynn? Hays? Heaps? If Jake learns from Riley's attitude, he may yet become the QB we thought he was well on his way to becoming.

    Really? Ragging on the high five? They HAD just scored a touchdown, and then he EXERTED his will over the TCU defense and got the conversion, despite a fine defensive effort by several players. You expect him to get off the ground mourning? In case you hadn't noticed, BYU was still trying to win the game at that point, and don't look back, but TCU had not stopped and put in the second teamers either.

  • USNGary West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 9:27 p.m.

    I am surprised no one has made a comment on his attitude about it being him. If it were heaps you all would be saying he is arrogant. He does need to make better decisions. He has taken momentum away from BYU at times they needed to keep it.

  • Ville Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 8:30 p.m.

    For those of you who are all giddy with your local boy QB Nelson, continue to have that wonderful feel good attitude. Talk to me when he beats a team with a winning record and can get to a meaningful bowl game. I hope we get some good QB's to continue on the tradition in 2013 and beyond. 2012 could be a long year, unless you're satisfied with a less talented but gritty, fun loving team leader and wins against sub .500 teams. Glad the Cougs will be relevent in basketball again with a new conference.

  • CalmDown Saint George, Utah
    Nov. 2, 2011 6:55 p.m.

    So, here is a young man with a mature and realistic view of his game, yes, game. He has done what it takes to qualify for a scholarship to play this game and get an education to become a surgeon.

    Surgery? Now, there's something that may have life or death consequences, but football?

    He's right. It's just a game. And, just because so many of you live frustrated lives of vicarious sports role play, [flawlessly I might add, as you'd certainly never make a mistake if coach would just put you in] you can't stand that he isn't losing sleep, like you are.

    Calm down people.

  • TrueBlue Orem, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 4:53 p.m.


    BYU would have been in the Big 12 before TCU, if BYU had been willing to accept an invitation without any conditions. Nobody who really knows has stated publicly the specific conditions BYU was unwilling to bend on, but one thing is certain, they weren't insignificant to BYU.

  • Rickwell, P. Mesa, AZ
    Nov. 2, 2011 4:42 p.m.

    Chris B

    Your so cool. Hangin your entire existence on utah's two BCS wins. In twenty years you'll still be chiming "we won 2 BCS games." Then you'll sound just like BYU fans who talk about 1984.

    You want respect? BYU is having the second down year in a row, yet they are all over the national news.

    utah can barely get a headline nationally...

    even with their 2 BCS wins.

    I seem to remember you always pointing out to BYU fans that what you have done recently is more important than what you did in the past.

    Take your keen eye and examine what utah has done the last 13 games.

    Respect? Yep, there's some respect.

  • phantomblade Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 2, 2011 4:14 p.m.

    Juggernaut / Patriot

    Do you use tea leaves or a crystal ball to fabricate your soothsaying?

  • Christy B Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 2, 2011 4:10 p.m.

    Sorry little sister, but a BCS invite is far more complicated and involves many more factors than your simplistic definition of "BCS respect".

  • Juggernaut Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 3:34 p.m.

    I agree that you should have fun but the game was in hand when he did the high five. It is true, that should not be the highlight of the game. Bronco is totally infatuated with nelson, heaps won't be at the program very long.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 2:58 p.m.

    Big 12 call yet?

    And they won't.

    You EARN BCS respect.

    Try going undefeated.
    Try going undefeated again.
    Try earning a BCS Bowl.
    Try earninga BCS Bowl again.
    Try winning a BCS game.
    Try winning a BCS game again.
    Try finishing #2 in the polls.
    Try beating the SEC's second best team by several touchdowns.

    There is a reason the BCS won't call. Too much baggage with not much to provide.

  • truthserum LEHI, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 2:52 p.m.

    BYU BA Degree, 2005.
    Absolutely loved my time at BYU. Will recommend my children go to BYU, and hopefully my two boys will be good enough athletes to play sports at BYU, or at another Pac 12 school.
    Not a Ute Troll. The Utes are also a wobbly ship right now. A pivotal year for them. Recruiting could go way up or way down depending on how they finish the year. Terrible planning by the Utes to have ZERO backup options at QB, and the Utes are as mediocre as they are because of the QB situation. Their record is telling.
    But let's be honest with ourselves Ute and Cougar fans.... both teams are underachieving this year, no question. So to answer your question TrueBlue, yes, the Utes are also a wobbly ship. No pretending here. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. If Utah doesn't fix some things quickly they are destined to remain in the bottom third of the Pac12 for years to come, if not forever. And if BYU doesn't get into a BCS conference (hopefully the Big 12) soon, BYU football may be destined for some tough times as well. Time will tell.

  • TrueBlue Orem, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 2:33 p.m.

    truthserum = Ute troll

    nice try, but BYU is hardly the wobbly ship you would like to pretend they are

  • truthserum LEHI, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 12:19 p.m.

    Are we really talking about "having fun" as any sort of consolation for losing the game? This is Division 1 football! Win, win, win, win, win, period. No excuses about injuries, QB situations, turnovers, etc. BYU football is nearly irrelevant now, where high-fiving the ref, catchy slogans and "having fun" are as important as winning. Sadly, the truth about the Cougars, a proud and nationally respected program, is that we are slowly slipping, and I fear never again to be the formidable opponent we believe ourselves to be. In all honesty, does anyone think BYU has a leg up on the competition in recruiting, coaching, scheme or athleticism? This year has been bizarre, to say the least. Doman doesn't have the experience, Nelson is a benefactor of a terrible schedule, and Bronco is flat out too quiet, and kind of weird. I would love to see some fire in his eyes every once in a while. I am both a BYU and a Utah fan, and hold degrees from both schools. My attempt is to call a spade a spade with both BYU and Utah. I love both schools, hopefully BYU can right a wobbly ship.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 11:55 a.m.

    "I would love that to kind of be a symbol of BYU football you're having so much fun that you're finding someone to celebrate with."

    I don't know, coach, I'd kind of like beating Top 25 teams to be the symbol of BYU football.

  • IDC Boise, ID
    Nov. 2, 2011 11:04 a.m.

    Good energy from Riley and the team. The loss hurts but it is the punting game that was the difference. BYU is very athletic and is good on defense and good in offensive skill positions. The rest of the year will be fun and many of the players will be around for the next 2.

    Riley is going to make big exciting plays but he will also make mistakes with his style of play. Live by the Riley, die by the Riley. I hope Jake figures things out, redshirts, or takes the starting position from Riley because Jake gets so good. I'm enjoying the ride. Go Cougars!

  • Eddie Syracuse, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 10:21 a.m.

    I think that if more BYU players had Riley's attitude, they would be undefeated. Number one, have fun. Take it serious, but have fun. You can do both with a little dicipline. If you're not having fun, then don't play the game. I loved it when he high fived the ref. All of a sudden, it didn't really matter that we were losing. He made the game fun to watch. If all you care about is winning, then you are in for a miserable life.

    Thanks Riley for making me look at the game from a different view and taking the stress out of life.

  • SyracuseCoug Syracuse, ut
    Nov. 2, 2011 9:44 a.m.

    If high-fiving a ref after a score in garbage time is our highlight of the game, then BYU football has sunk pretty far. I like Riley's heart and fight, but Riley needs to cut out the turnovers then I'll high-five him all day.

  • cheeks Corona, CA
    Nov. 2, 2011 9:36 a.m.

    I think Nelson has been fantastic. He's made plenty of mistakes, but The WHOLE team has. I expect Nelson to get better with experience. The biggest thing is he needs to know when to take a sack and try on another down. The offense is light years better than with Heaps. I think Heaps will get there, but he needs some time to grow into the position. Do you not remember Heaps locking into receivers, telegraphing his throws, putting the ball in the wrong spot, throwing the ball 100 mph, etc.? Heaps needs to learn how to leave everything on the field and win like Nelson, and then he'll be fine. Until then, I'm having a great time watching Nelson.

  • So. Cal Reader Escondido, CA
    Nov. 2, 2011 9:25 a.m.

    Re: Wayne Rout-- I agree w/ most of your post/comments. However, as much as I, too, am frustrated, you lost me with your last statement-- "Bring back Crowton." In the immortal words of Malkuly Culkin in "Home Alone"---- Noooooooooooo! Crowton brought the program down to a new, all-time low that we don't want to return to. Crowton is doing what he's best at, being a good offensive coordinator. Bronco has turned this program around. I just don't think the program has continued to progress the last two seasons now (counting the current one), which is why I believe his shtick is starting to get old.

  • Victor Layton, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 9:21 a.m.

    @Howard S. - No kidding. Yes, as funny as it was it is actually frustrating to some BYU fans like myself.

    Heaps was under the microscope 24/7 while Nelson cant do anything wrong?

    As long as it was wonder boy Nelson that high fived the ref though it was okay right?

    If it was Chambers, it would be considered rude and disrespectful towards authority and he would have had gotten a tongue lashing on the sideline.

    If it continued then his scholarship would be pulled and a year of eligibility would be lost. Then the arrogant player would need to prove himself for a year by writing on the chalk board a thousand times a day "I am not allowed to have fun".

    Not trying to make a political statement here. And dont tell me to lighten up. I already said I thought it was funny too. I'm just saying. The coaching staff needs to be careful of the perception of a double standard. The RUDYs of the team seem to be getting a lot more cheerleading than others.

  • Ragnar Danneskjold Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 9:14 a.m.

    He's having fun? It reminds me of the scene from 'Money Ball' when he finds the team partying and having fun after a loss. He tears up the locker room and asks, "Is losing fun?" They are silenced. He says about the silence, "that is what losing sounds like".

    I like Riley's intensity, but celebrating a touchdown in basically garbage time of a game like that kind of shows that the bar has been lowered at BYU.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    Nov. 2, 2011 9:08 a.m.

    I'm glad he is having fun. It was not too much fun for me watching his constant mistakes. I can't understand how his mistakes, which are many, are excused while Jake's are not. BYU will never win with Nelson...there is no hope. He will always "shoot himself in the foot". I have decided to give up my season tickets held for over 25 years. I can't take it any more. Bring back Crowton.

  • So. Cal Reader Escondido, CA
    Nov. 2, 2011 9:00 a.m.

    Amazing stuff. So glad that this writer and, especially, the coach both agree that Nelson is "having fun." Now, how about a little input on wishing Nelson could be more consistent, more wise/smart with ball possession, more aware of the other teammates on offensive who can help him out, more aware that he doesn't need to be a Super Man on literally every play. Granted, I laughed when I saw him high-five the ref, but I don't know if that's worthy of an entire article, which also includes such a comment from the Coach. Seemed to me I read an article about how "stunned" Coach was with is punting team. Glad he's ok with the offense because his QB is having fun. I love me Cougs, but I have to be frank with you, I've never questioned as many things about Coach as I have this season. So, I try to enjoy watching the games and not paying attention to Coach. But then I read statements like this ... Sigh.

  • Honestly?Really? Hurricane, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 8:54 a.m.

    granted we have a weak schedule but after last year it's nice to be well above .500... in 5 years most people won't be worrying about the level of competition they'll just look at the win/loss column. true it is better to have national relevance but i'll take a wining season any day.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 8:13 a.m.

    It must be heartening for BYU fans to know that losing won't keep Riley and Bronco from having fun.

  • hammercoco ALAMOSA, CO
    Nov. 2, 2011 7:09 a.m.

    Nelson did a great job in the come back against Utah State. However, his liabilities have been as much as his contributions since. The offense which came back almost complete from a year ago was really clicking last year. I was thinking, the only big change was the offensive coordinator. Perhaps Heaps has taken too much of the brunt.

  • Big Hapa Kaysville, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 6:06 a.m.

    Life is played very fast and if you don't slow down and look around you are going to miss it, way to play this awesome game Riley.

  • CaliforniaCougar Lake Elsinore, CA
    Nov. 2, 2011 12:08 a.m.

    We were flipping channels back and forth between this game and the World Series. This high five was happening the exact same time as the Cardinals won the Series. We wanted to watch the Cardinals celebrate, but seeing Riley pull this off made us glad we stayed glued to the Cougar game.

    That was classic, Riley.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Nov. 1, 2011 10:58 p.m.

    I thought the ref was going to throw a flag for excessive celebration on the high five. I guess he was too stunned.

  • Ute's R Gr8 Sandy, Utah
    Nov. 1, 2011 10:09 p.m.

    Riley's the man!

    Smart move to start him at Q, the Y wouldn't have had any points on the board without him.

    Hang in there Band of Lil Brothers

  • SoCalTrueBlue San Diego, CA
    Nov. 1, 2011 10:07 p.m.

    Even the highest level professionals can make dumb mistakes (such as Phillip Rivers fumbling the snap on what should have been the Chargers winning drive on Monday night football). Riley Nelson has brought energy back to BYU's offense, and the future is bright as long as his body can survive what he subjects it to with his fearless style of play, which is something to be admired.