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

Return to article »

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

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended

First thing First. BYU has a great D. As a Ute fan I a very impressed and I can appreciate the frustration of not having an offense that can keep up with the D fense My hat is goes off to them. That said, While I know Most of you love the guy, Bronco is a great Defensive coordinator and a horrible head coach, who makes poor decisions and fails to make in game adjustments! His decision to go for two was yet another prime example, BSU does not trust their Kicker, BYU Has all the momentum your D has kept Boise out of the endzone all night even when they had the ball on the 1! And you go for two with no timeouts to stop the clock to get it back to your offense? I know it is my opinion but wow. On a side note, I was cheering for BYU as I cannot stand BSU and think they are way over rated this year and think that the blue turff is cheating!

Aloha Saint George
Saint George, Utah

Sorry for Riley. Who ever knows who the best QB will be. Sometimes you go down the line and bring in the 5th string QB- Steve Young- and the rest is history. Be careful, Hill while they build you up to be the next Savior of BYU Football. They did that to Nelson, Heaps, and many others.
It's not surprising about Lark. At USU, and UTAH; the best guy plays and their very careful with politicizing. USU and Utah coach let you know where you stand and 'the best guy plays.' BYU, the best guys play on first string, then it's political after that. At the other schools- Lark would have known up front that he was not going to play and even be given a chance. I don't know that I'd continue to point the finger at Nelson, Lark, or Hill- They're not responsible- Doman is for the offense. Heaps, Nelson... Strike TWO.

See It

Lose their jobs? Nelson should lose his. He pulled this two years in Fall Camp, playing when he was hurt and not telling anyone. Nelson gave Utah 14 points and Boise State the only 7 points they could score. Lose him! Doman's play calling is worst than Robert Anae's. Lose him. Weber's O line still can block anyone, so that blows up the running game. Lose him. Mendenhall is a great defensive coach. But if he can't make the decisons to help this team win, then lose him. Mendenhall gravitates to players and coaches who are gritty, but not necessarily the best individuals for the job. It's his weakness, and it has kept us from being 4-0. By the end of the season we will be lucky to be 7-5. Watch what happens with Utah State, Georgia Tech, and Notre Dame. Better coaching will win those games.

American Fork, UT

Such a waste to have receivers like Hoffman, Apo, and Falslev and you can't get them the ball? What ever happened to passing to the Tight Ends or the backs coming out of the back field?

Unless the O-Line is so bad that it can't stop D-Linemen, then BYU is wasting a lot of talent.

Cougar Passion
Salt Lake City, UT

I clearly am not seeing what Doman is seeing. From what I can tell, a quarterback that can pass would have won that game. Lark can pass. Taysom Hill will certainly be able to at some point, but why stick him in right now? Why is Lark not being given the chance? There is still plenty of time later in the season to let Hill get substantial playing time or even to start. Lark not only seriously deserves the chance to play, but may also be very effective in leading an offense that has so many weapons.

Saint George, Utah

So well said. I would add that James has been more than led to believe that he would be given the reigns. It is outright disingenuity, even dishonesty at it's worst regarding the coaches handling of Lark.
Regarding his ability to enter an NFL combine and perform, you are right on again, that is if the choices these inept coaches have made haven't sucked the life out of him, I hope he pulls it together, tries out and shine while showing them what he's made of.
As for those of you with disparraging remarks about Riley, it should be obvious to all that he is playing hurt, whether by his own choice or that of the coaches. Since early in the Weber State game he has not been himself, and it has hurt the team. My heart goes out to him, but it is James' time now.
They are making the same mistake with Hill that they made with Heaps, though he has the grit, edge and physicality that Heaps never did or likely ever will. Too much, too soon.

Orem, UT

Aloha Saint George

Isn't if fun to live in your own delusional BYU-hating fantasy?

To claim that BYU is the ONLY school in the country that signs players who never become starters is laughable. Name me the player who accepted a scholarship offer from Utah knowing that he would never have a chance to start.

American Fork, UT

I do not blame Nelson for wanting to be in the game. He is a tough competitor. Anyone who has played sports competitively understands that even when you're hurt, you still want to compete. It is the Coach's responsibility to make the decision whether someone should be playing, not the athlete. The coaches knew that Riley was injured. They made the decision.

I'm glad that Bronco has such high regards for Riley. But Bronco has a responsibility to his TEAM and to the people who show up to all the games and support the team (fans.)

The players gave their all last night. The coaches came up short. Kudos to the entire defense. That was a great performance. Kudos to the Freshman Hill for going out in very tough circumstances and putting together a 95yard drive. Kudos to Hoffman and Apo for not giving up on this team.

South Jordan, Utah

Bronco and Doman do not know how to handle and groom quarterback. They had the highest rated h.s. quarterback in the nation and blew it in favor of a player who should have been a safety. When the season begins,they favor Riley over Lark. Munns is ignored. When Riley fumbles and throws away two games, they go with a freshman who has yet to demonstrate he can throw the ball. Doman favors quarterbacks who remind him of himself but he forgets that when he was successful, the Cougars had the best runing back in the nation. What a mess.

Fairfield, CA

Why hasn't someone explained to Coach Mendenhall that timeouts are actually valuable in the second half of a close game, particularly one in which his team is losing? He squanders them regularly; Utah and BSU this year and others in the past. He seems to be a good recruiter and good defensive game planner, but when it comes to "in-game/gotta make a quick call and right now" strategic questions (like the ridiculous and indefensible decision to go for 2), he is simply in over his head. One other thing missed in the "why not go for 2" debate is this: if BYU converts and leads 8-7, then Boise will be in 4 down position. It is a lot harder to stop an opponent from moving down the field when the opponent knows it has 4 plays to use rather than the normal 3 downs and then punt. That is why so many last-second drives are successful. If BYU had gone
for the tie, Boise would almost certainly have played it safe and the game would had gone to OT. Gee, which team would have had the momentum?

So. Cal Reader
San Diego, CA

Re: BacanaUte. I definitely don't bleed red and am a Cougs fan, but I thought your comment was spot-on! Couldn't agree with you more. Indeed, it comes down to successful coaching ... or the lack thereof. Perhaps Bronco's "gig" has more than run thin, including his continuing support of an OC who's way in over his head.

Idaho Falls, ID

I don't quite understand all the criticism of Hill in essentially his first outing. He put BYU in a position to win, then the BYU coaches stole it away from. I was very disappointed in Bronco's post-game interview in which he didn't take any responsibility for the loss and threw Taysom under the bus. Instead of saying something like,"Yeah I took a gamble with the 2 point call and it didn't pan out," he said Hill had open receivers and couldn't get it to them. Bronco, certainly you have more class than that. Very poor form for a head coach.

Hill is NOT another Riley Nelson. He has a MUCH stronger arm, bigger, and faster. He just lacks experience. That is why I wish they would have put Lark in to replace Nelson. Not that I think Lark is any better of a passer than Nelson--and he isn't--but i just don't want to see the freshman thrown into the fire like that with everything stacked against you. To so many fickle fans, the best QB is the unproven one sitting on the bench.

Mount Olympus
Salt Lake, UT

Mr. Harmon you should read Gordon Monson's article. Riley Nelson is not a good qb. He can look good against inferior teams, but against decent teams he plays poorly.
Stop blaming it on an injury. Lots of players are hurt but we don't even know about their injuries, because they don't make a big deal out of their injuries. They play through injuries and play well.
Riley Nelson is a good guy, but not a good QB, hurt or not.

Idaho Falls, ID

There is no question that Riley needed to be replaced last night. In fact he shouldn't have started the 2nd half. But mark my words, he won't lose his starting position unless he is injured.

They really need to fix the O-line if any QB is going to be effective. New O-line coach?

I really like Doman, and i'm not ready to give up on him, but he needs to be put on notice. That pathetic offensive showing last night was one of the worst ever (combined with perhaps the best defensive effort ever). Our offense is very, very dysfunctional. Nelson, Doman, and the O-line equally share in that dysfunction.

The defense was stellar but the slowness of our defensive backs has been exposed for 3 games now. Have they adequately covered the deep ball even once? I think in all our games this year, every attempt by opposing teams in the deep ball has found wide open receivers. Lucky for us most of the time the passes have been off the mark.

Cedar Hills, UT

This isn't so much a QB decision at BYU as it is an offensive coordinator decision. Ever since Robert Anae left BYU has been HORRIBLE on offense. This nutty run and scramble scheme might work at Air Force but not at BYU and I wonder how much more pain the Cougar Club and others are going to endure before they demand Doman be let go. Brandon is a decent QB coach but his offense is not for BYU and it's a round peg in a square hole situation. This is UGLY and embarrassing football. My hope is that Bronco signed only a 3 year deal for a reason and after his third year he is gone. I would love to see some fresh faces at the Y and Robert Anae would a great pick for head coach with Steve Kufusi as D-coordinator. Great island connection!! Also - Ty Detmer as QB coach for a year or two wouldn't be bad either.

Dr Rush
Saint George, UT

I can't believe the BYU fans on here that are clueless on the QB situation. There is one QB on the team that can throw the ball, has excelled in spring ball and practices came off his mission and stayed loyal to BYU when Utah and Arizona St offered him the QB position and that's senior James Lark. He has never been given a chance, first it was Heaps, then Nelson and now they pass him over for a freshman even though Mendenhall and Doaman promised him a chance. BYU fans looks to your coaching staff as a prime example of what bad character and coaching do, it's crime what your coaching staff has done to your team. James Lark is a good QB and a good kid too bad he was treated with such disrespect.

Ogden, UT

Well Dick The problem is not riley,lark or who ever you could put Peyton from Denver Brandon Doman dont have it never did. Some people dont have it and he's one he waits on when he should pass until he has to how come no trick plays Why not let some else call the plays Bronco dont bring it like edwards did. Hold Bronco accountable you have to your indepent now espn has some regets im sure

South Ogden, 00

Wake up Doman! This team has some big, fast and talented WR's and TE's and only one QB that can throw down field. Come on Doman, the fans want to see some real BYU football. Play James Lark... he deserves it... your receiving corps deserves it... and most of all the fans deserve it!

Lindon, UT

If Coach Mendenhall had gone for the 1 point PAT and the kicker missed, you all would have wanted Bronco's head for not going for the 2 points. Easy to criticize after the fact. Great game guys, but offense needs some work.

heber, UT

Doman has been suspect since he took over last year. In the Utah game BYU had a 1st and 5 after a penalty in Utah territory and ended up punting. Not using Apo is perplexing. I've heard BYU say that Apo isn't practicing as much due to possible injury and for that reason may not be getting the ball as much. Who knows. All I know is the play calling is horrible and execution is an embarrassment. They had better figure it out before Georgia Tech and Notre Dame.

to comment

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