Comments about ‘Dick Harmon: Benching Riley Nelson for freshman QB Taysom Hill too little, too late’

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Published: Thursday, Sept. 20 2012 10:00 p.m. MDT

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Apollo Beach, FL

La Furia Roja, I love BYU football and will continue to be upset every time I see a play that does not go our way. However, I disagree completely. If you have a defense that has not allowed a Boise State Offense to move the ball more than a few yards the entire second half. How could you not allow them to have a chance to be the hero's and stop Boise one more time. Our new improved quarterback was making much wiser decisions than our experienced quarterback and very likely would have gotten in the endzone again. However, even if he didn't and even if we had lost, at least you put it in the hands of the best performers that night the Defense and allow them the chance for victory.

Pleasant Grove, UT

Taysom Hill is a man among boys, and he gives BYU the best opportunity to win. This has been apparent since he was a senior in high school, so the decision to pull Nelson was loooong overdue. But the real head-scratcher is why Ziggy Ansah didn't get more minutes much earlier in his career? He has been a terror in practice for two years now, and yet he has only recently been given the field time he deserves.

Santa Monica, CA

It's telling to note that neither in Harmon's article, nor in any of the comments listed here--is credit ever given to BSU for having played a better game. BYU's defense was very good and may have "put on a show for the ages," but BSU's defense was every bit as good, if not better. It's tough to man up and credit a superior opponent when you have been beaten in close games over the last two weeks by two of them--but it's in times like these that true character is revealed. I know my Utes will face real tests over the next few weeks. If we fail at ASU, at home against mighty USC or wherever, I hope I can remember to not call for my coaches firing, or fail to give credit where credit is due.

Apollo Beach, FL

Archer you are wrong. I don't know if you saw a different game than I did, but to call Boise State a good offense that night would be stupidity. And your defense has been more than dominating them. Give the defense the accolades and let them stop Boise one more time. I for one wanted to throw my remote at the TV when I saw BYU line up for the 2 pt conversion. But instead I watched in agony as their Defense (only legitimate part of Boise's team that night) was given the glory.

Danbury, CT

This is what we get for hiring an OC with no experience whatsoever running an offense. Doman is responsible for prepping the QB's and now for the second year in a row, his starter has tanked after 3 games.

Ohio BYU Fan
New Albany, OH

Riley is a good guy and a hardworker. No doubt about that. But moxy and toughness can only get you so far.

BYU and Coach Mendenhall created this problem last year when they benched Heaps in favor of Nelson. I said at the time that BYU won the battle (BYU won the Utah St. game) but lost the war (Nelson is not a long-term solution). There was no doubt that Heaps was struggling and something needed to change. But I believe that Heaps would have improved simply because of the schedule. The end of the year schedule hid how poor of a QB Riley really is.

Let's also not forgot how bad the O line has played this year and how the offense has not gotten on track under the helm of Doman. Serious questions and analysis needs to take place and someone may need to lose their job. Example, Jaime Hill after the USU game.

If Nelson starts against Hawaii next week he will look good simply because of how poor Hawaii is.

The season is over with 2 losses (meaning NO BCS) we need to move to next year!

Ifel Of'a-sofa
Alpine, Utah

Dear Riley,
Thank you for transferring to BYU.
Utah State

Humble, TX

ESPN announcer Palmer summed up my frustrations: BYU has Hoffman, Apo, and a lot of other weapons at TE. But they can't get them the ball. Anyone who thought Riley was a legit QB...wow. He has finally been exposed over the past 2 games. So they now have Hill at QB with Doman still at the OC - both can't/dont know how to get the ball to the weapons. Doesn't look good.

Coach Biff
Lehi, UT


You will eat those words. Taysom Hill is the present and future of BYU football. He is 6 2, weighs 210 (and just returned from a mission) and runs around a 4.5. He has a canon for an arm and is extremely bright. I wouldn't be crowing to much until Utah proves they have any offense on Saturday.

River Falls, WI

-4.49 QB efficiency. Enough said.

Idaho Falls, ID

The biggest mistake here was Coach Mendenhall promoting Coach Doman to OC last year. Why hire a rookie OC when you potentially have one of the best QBs in the country with Jake Heaps. Doman was over his head from day one. Now that QB is gone. Riley is benched. The real 2nd string (Lark) was not played - putting Hill in was like putting another Riley Nelson.

Ifel Of'a-sofa
Alpine, Utah

Riley/Hill reminds me of Riley/Heaps

Riley struggles and they throw Heaps in too soon. He does ok for a while but is too young and loses confidence. They they go right back to Riley.

They are going to do the same thing with Hill... just wait.

Murray, UT

Someone should lose his job? YOU BET. Will they? Not in this church.

All of our comments will be dismissed by BYU officials as coming from armchair QB's, guys just upset with a loss. "Heck, they'll get over it. We've seen this before, yes? Ain't no big thing. WE still have our jobs and nobody is holding our feet to the fire."

Such poor decision making should be followed by consequences, but never are down there.

Murray, UT

Does anyone besides me wonder why it is that we see report after glowing report of the Y signing the world's greatest QB's only to yet again be involved in "gut-wrenching" decisions as to which one will play? If these guys are half as good as we are told they are, PLAY THE ONE THAT CAN WIN!!!!! Bronco, this is not rocket science, nor is it a game of who's my best friend that didn't get recruited, that had to make it on his own, like me, so MUST be the right guy.

If you want to coach defense - fine. Just tell Holmoe to start looking for a real HEAD coach.

Somewhere in Time, UT

I love Riley. I think he's great. BUT, he should have taken himself out of the game before the coaches did.

The two-point conversion was nothing but bad judgement all the way around.

What was Bronco thinking?

Herriman, UT

Sad - all I said was if our offense scored more points for us than for Boise we could win this. Turns out I was right - but Nelson had such a sad showing that he actually managed to score more points for the other team. I realize he is a tough guy, but the coaches need to show their maturity and BENCH players when they are HURT. It is offensive to me that they would let him play, risk further injury, and perform poorly enough to lose this game despite the incredible efforts of the other players on the team. And if I am Lark or Hill, I'm offended that the coaches think an injured Nelson could out-perform me, when that is so clearly not the case. Shame on the coaching staff and their stubbornness.

Big J
Bountiful, UT

I like Riley Nelson and he has many great qualities. Is he a great QB? No but he never was. He had one thing Heaps never had and that was the respect of his teammates. With two losses and a hurt QB everyone is jumping ship.

The biggest problem with BYU fans is they never take a realistic look at the talent on their team. I mentioned several times too many of them this off season, where is the Y improved over last season? The answer was nowhere. Expectations should have been the same as a year ago. But they were talking undefeated and NC.

With that said there are some good players on the team. I would take Hoffman and Van Noy any day. The D line is also solid. The secondary is average at best. The O line is poor and got worse with the loss of Reynolds. The running game is poor. There is some hope at tight end and maybe Apo will come around. It is what it is.


Why did Lark get demoted to third string again? Does anybody on the BYU coaching staff have a brain? Lark could be one of the top quarterbacks in the nation, but he is never even given a chance. In fact I think James Lark could go to the NFL combine after this season and get drafted if he chooses to do so. No NFL team would look at Riley Nelson, and Hill is just a wildcat type of quarterback. It's a joke that the coaches at BYU have continued to disrespect Lark and not reward his loyalty and hard work. Shame on Coach Mendenhall and Coach Doman.

St Louis, MO

SC Coog: theoretically your strategy is sound . . if Boise would've been dumb enough to fall for it. They weren't trying to score on their final drive, they were trying to run clock. If all of a sudden they saw our D part like the red sea and invite them to run into the end zone, I have to believe any well-coached player would be smart enough to go down.

Going for 2 was, stragetically, the wrong decision. Looking at it logically and dispassionatly, without the "Look at me! I'm a riverboat gambler!" bravado, Bronco didn't play the percentages. And yes, I would've been giddy if it would've worked, but even if it did it wasn't the choice more likely to result in a win. Given the clock and timout situations, Bronco had to take into account that if the attempt failed, the game was over. Given the way both teams were playing in the 4th quarter, you have to like the Y's chance in OT. But, we'll never know. Bronco went with his gut, and he lost. Oh, well.

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

I hate to bring it up, but wouldn't it be nice if Jake Heaps had not transferred. Riley's style of play just doesn't seem to work with BYU's offense. It shows up in the tough games. He's got a lot of other great qualities, but maybe an investment in Jake Heaps would have brought big dividends, about noew. For whatever reason, people just never warmed up to Jake. Maybe if he had the personal characteristics (and age) of Riley Nelson, people would have been willing to let him continue to learn. His potential is certainly higher than Riley's, but I guess everyone was too impatient. I don't think Cougar fans would have stood for Jake starting again after the Utah State game. I wouldn't be surprised if Riley starts the next game though. If those who think he should be benched constantly praise him.

Tough problem.

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