BYU-Utah State football: Five keys to BYU's victory


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  • CougarKeith Roy, UT
    Oct. 2, 2011 8:23 p.m.

    Heaps still lacks "Poise", he has plenty of talent! He may also lack some "LEADERSHIP" skills by not taking the bull by the horns and Getting it done! He seems "Lax" when it comes to "Step It Up Guys", it's like he is waiting rather than demanding and commanding like a field general. At any rate, he'll get another shot, they won't give up on him, he's young! As far as Nelson, he's done about anything he can just to get on the field, HE IS HUNGRY to Play and WIN! Heaps is like a guy with a silver spoon in his mouth, that is what he shows us from my perspective? I will agree, you have to call plays to Let Heaps MAKE PLAYS, not call plays to keep him "Safe" and from "Losing Games", that is Exactly why we lost to Texas, and NO OTHER REASON! We should be 3-1 minimum right now, and if one little thing was different against Utah that night, it could have been a win, that was a disgrace! So now we Surf to Dallas as long as the team doesn't "Surf" too! This is their chance to get going!

  • cougarNV Las Vegas, NV
    Oct. 2, 2011 4:26 p.m.

    Nelson played like a BYU QB. He had heart and grit. Unlike Heaps, he was not afraid about getting "touched" or hit.

    I am not calling for Heaps to be replaced. I do hope the coaches can make sure the QB for the Cougars has heart and grit like Nelson did this game.

    Go CougS!!!!!!!!

  • Andermart Pullman, WA
    Oct. 2, 2011 2:12 p.m.

    I too was a bit upset that Riley Nelson had to sit on the sidelines while Heaps took the credit for running in a touchdown from one foot out, a play set up by Nelson's run. At the very least, Heaps should have run up to Nelson on the sidelines immediately after that touchdown and thanked him for setting up the play. He finally patted Nelson on the back after he congratulated about 20 other players.

    I hope Heaps develops into an accurate passer, and gains a few running moves, because in today's BYU football, we need a mobile QB. I thought Nelson out-played Heaps those first few games of last season, and I think if he had not been injured last year that he would be the starter today. Well, maybe now he will be the starter again. I hope so. His determination along with his ability will win a lot of games this season. I think TCU better take notice, because they could have a third loss yet this season, well, a fourth, because Boise will beat them too.

  • Square Kokonut Orem, Utah
    Oct. 2, 2011 1:35 p.m.

    If anyone deserves a game ball it's OC Doman for suggesting the move to replace Heaps in favor of Nelson which I believe could have changed the outcome in the Texas and Utah games. Mendenhall's indecisiveness on such lineup moves hurt the team last year and will continue to hurt BYU this year. Also Heap's 1-yard TD plunge was a disservice to Nelson who should've been left in the game for that play as well since it was his gutsy run that made that score possible! Nelson's arm may not be as strong or accurate as Heap's but coupled with what he does with his legs, he makes what he can do with his arm count when it matters most which inspires his team mates play as well as it did yesterday...something Heaps does not!

  • Fred Vader Oklahoma City, OK
    Oct. 1, 2011 5:34 p.m.

    First, I must give credit where credit is due...Riley Nelson played with some serious heart last night and got the job done.

    Secondly, however, I think it would be funny if someone switched Heaps and Nelson's names around in the comments above, and you would see exactly the same comments made in favor of Heaps that were said last year when everyone wanted Nelson benched.

    Let's not crown Brother Nelson "King of the Quarterbacks" just yet. He played a great quarter and a half, but that is all it was. That "fake throw/quarterback run" isn't going to fool too many defensive backs in the future. Eventually he is going to have to throw more deep balls, and if I remember correctly from last year, Nelson's arm is a little soft.

  • Veritas Bountiful, Utah
    Oct. 1, 2011 6:03 a.m.

    Too much credit is being given to Bronco for "pulling" Heaps in favor of Nelson. In his post-game remarks, Bronco admitted that the decision had been made by Doman and he agreed with the decision. While I am still not sure about Doman and whether he will make it as an OC, I at least want to give credit where credit is due. Don't give Mendenhall more credit than he deserves.

    As for Coach Andersen, I wonder about his game plan and decisions of his assistants. Last week against CSU, instead of going for the tie in OT with a chip shot FG (which would have forced 2OT)he tries for two and loses; against Auburn his special teams failed to catch the infamous on-sides kick that had no business being caught by Auburn, and then yesterday, he lets his own OC operate the offense conservatively for much of the fourth quarter. If any other team had Turbin as a back, he would be carrying the ball at least 20 times a game. It is not merely bad luck USU is losing these close games; it is poor coaching.

  • DRay Roy, UT
    Oct. 1, 2011 12:55 a.m.

    What Heeps could learn from Nelson includes being more patient to find an open receiver. Nelson did not panic, he often waited to let the receivers get open, whereas Jake just wants to get rid of it too soon.

  • Elcapitan Ivins, UT
    Oct. 1, 2011 12:29 a.m.

    Riley Nelson is fun to watch. He is gutsy and agressive. Quarterbacking like that makes a game interesting and that is the reason the fans attend the games.
    Fans do not want to have to appologize for the lack of energy shown by a quarterback who is afraid of the big guys. They want to be a part of the win and feel the glory. Riley Nelson can restore hope.

    Good work USU, you deserved a win, except, Riley Nelson came in and upset your hopes. I will be a Y fan once again when changes are made to upgrade the Cougars with a winning quarterback. Heaps just does not turn a lot of us on any more. I will be looking forward to seeing Riley Nelson do his stuff.

    Cougars with

  • rjpkp Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 1, 2011 12:20 a.m.

    Some have said that the play calling is to blame for Heaps' poor play. I disagree. You cannot be an aggressive play caller if the QB can't make the throws. Jake cannot consistently make the throws required in this offense. He could at the end of the year last year, but this year he looks timid and unsure of himself, and it shows. There were a few throws tonight that fell 5 yards short, above and to the side of receivers. If you are a receiver, and your quarterback can't get you the ball, you tend to lose confidence and you don't run your routes as well because who knows if the ball will be catchable.

    But then you see Riley step in there, and he at least gives his guys a chance to get their hands on the ball. I'm not sold on Riley yet because it is tough to make judgements on a quarter and a half of play, but I sure like how he put the team on his back and carried them.

  • Herbie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 1, 2011 12:07 a.m.

    Five Keys to BYU's Victory:

    1. Riley Nelson

    2. Riley Nelson

    3. Riley Nelson

    4. Riley Nelson

    5. Riley Nelson

    With 1 minute 97 yards to go, Riley Nelson wanted this win! He made it happen, he was the reason the guys got fired up to win this thing. This sort of thing does not happen very often at BYU... a drive to win! Fun game to watch. This is the reason I love football, to see a team come together and work as a team when it is needed and pull out a win like that was amazing. And yes, there was a little bit of luck as well, but, without the determination from the guys that luck would have been for nothing.

  • Frankenberry Saint George, UT
    Sept. 30, 2011 11:49 p.m.

    Great game. Nelson earned his shot tonight as far as I'm concerned. Heaps looks scared. As for the Aggies, another heart breaker. I love Gary Anderson's agressive attitude but sometimes you can get a little too cute. The unsuccessful fake field goal? Shoulda kicked it. What a dog fight. Gutty effort by both teams.

  • CT98 Saint George, UT
    Sept. 30, 2011 11:07 p.m.

    Heaps has played terrible for 5 weeks in a row. Keep him on the bench. I want to see James Lark in the game next week backing up Riley.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Sept. 30, 2011 11:02 p.m.

    Heaps was so impressive the last half of last season. Some people call it the Sophomore slump. I have no idea, but he looks no better today than he did in Game 1 against Ole Miss. Every game we see him throw a few impressive passes to remind us of his talent. But his overall performance is so far below his capability.

    I wonder if we'll see Jake Heaps again this year? I wonder if we'll see him ever play another game for BYU? Nelson doesn't have half the talent that Heaps has, but he's got twice as much heart and desire. In the end heart and desire win out.

    Nelson reminded me of Steve Young tonight. He ran, he passed, he put the team on his back and found a way to win.

  • Alpine Coug Alpine, UT
    Sept. 30, 2011 10:56 p.m.

    Utah State Aggies: the very best 1-3 team in the nation. Three heart-breaking losses in a row. All games they owned late in the 4th Quarters. Really hope they win out and go bowling.

    Great game Cougs! Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good, as you were outplayed by the Aggies tonight.

    Nelson is the leader and playmaker that we so desperately needed to replace the ineffective Heaps.

  • idaho cougar fan Twin Falls, ID
    Sept. 30, 2011 10:43 p.m.

    The play calling, IMO, has gotten better after Utah. Doman is calling a better game, but Heaps has not gotten better. I wanted him pulled earlier in the Utah game. Heaps was given the keys to the car without passing his drivers test. He never earned the starting job in the spring or fall camp, but was just given it. Heaps has great potential and I think this will actually help Heaps in the long run. If he wants to start (next year) :) he will have to earn it this time and he will be a much better QB for it.

  • JonnyDanger HOUSTON, TX
    Sept. 30, 2011 10:35 p.m.

    The most important thing Riley did was keep multiple drives moving. I'm convinced the inept offense and frequent three-and-outs are the biggest weakness of the defense.

    And what's with kicking the extra point to go down by four late in the game? You got lucky on that oversight-it could have cost us the game. There's no reason not to go for two there...

  • Farid @ Pocatello Pocatello, ID
    Sept. 30, 2011 10:29 p.m.

    Though I'm excited that BYU didn't take that step off the precipice to become a losing team yet again, I feel bad for Utah State. Unlike Utah, who I love to hate, I respect Utah State's athletic program and the school itself.

    Let's be honest; BYU didn't deserve this win. The l-o-n-g pass to Mackay Jacobson was a Hail Mary -- Riley said as much. And the winning TD pass just happened to be tipped BYU's way.

    But a win is a win is a win.

    I think the Cougars have sure wins coming against San Jose State, Idaho State, Idaho and New Mexico State. That's 7-2. TCU has to be a sure loss (7-3).

    Oregon State looks terrible and Hawaii looked good early but they lost to UNLV. So if they split those games, they'll finish the season 8-4, a number I'll gladly take considering the offense still looks woeful.

    On the Big-12 dilemma, my vote: join Big-12 football only but remain in the WCC. BYU's alumni footprint IS the WCC. I doubt we have much of a fan base in the Midwest.

    Sorry, Utah State; you deserved to win.

  • Ironmomo Ogden, Utah
    Sept. 30, 2011 10:24 p.m.

    Until Utah State can learn to play to win they'll continue to be a sub-par team. Gary Anderson needs to light a fire under his OC when the game is on the line.
    You can't run three plays up the middle, like USU did, and then punt. You have to play like you're behind in the game. They didn't and BYU rallied for the win.

  • Striker Omaha, NE
    Sept. 30, 2011 10:18 p.m.

    Both coaches had questionable calling. USU seemed content to just try to run out the clock by using simple run plays and not attack BYU by getting first downs. That, in my opinion, lost USU the game. Still, to go 98 yards for a last minute TD was great too.

    Will the wheels fall off of USU like they did last year after the BYU game? The WAC does have some good teams. I think a goal of getting 6 wins is what they are looking for. Forget the WAC championship because they won't win it.

  • shaybo Richfield, UT
    Sept. 30, 2011 10:17 p.m.

    It's nice to finally see byu move the ball down the field. BYU needs to change running backs for the go-too guy, Deluigi fumbles too much. They also need to find a different punt returner, not fielding that last punt was a terrible decision. It was obvious he was thinking about his muffed catch against Utah.

  • byufootballrocks Herndon, VA
    Sept. 30, 2011 10:14 p.m.

    Heaps made several drives, a touchdown and a field goal. and was the victim of poor play calling in the red zone. He also has a lot of missed passes.

    After we blew it in the red zone just before half, we have two or three drives in a row in the third quarter where it was run, run, run, dink-and-dunk, which is not the reason we recruited Jake Heaps from Seattle.

    So then we replace him?

    It turned out to the be the right move, but it was coaching/play calling once again that led to BYU being the hole in this game.