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Comments about ‘Dick Harmon: Unforced errors killing BYU's offense’

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Published: Monday, Oct. 15 2012 3:04 p.m. MDT

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atlcoug
Atlanta, GA

Nelson says he has learned his lesson, but I don't believe it. There is no reason to believe he will do anything differently. When asked about Nelson in a TV interview, Detmer said that players who try to make something happen on every play are sometimes loved by their coaches, and sometimes hated. He said sometimes gaining zero yards on a play is the best result. Nelson can't get that through his head, for some reason. I saw Doman talking sternly to Nelson on the sideline. I have never seen him do that before. If it it just happening now, it is about a year too late. To this point, from what I have read of their statements, the coaches seem to have accepted his poor choices as just part of the package you get with Nelson. It shouldn't be acceptable.

dalefarr
South Jordan, Utah

Riley is Riley and he is not going to change. It's as difficult to criticize him as it is to criticize a lame man for limping. What is difficult to abide is the BYU's coaching staff's investment in him. It should have been apparent from day one that Riley does not have the skills to be a BYU quarterback. Every fan knows it, every opponent knows it. The BYU coaches must know it. So why do we keep playing him and loosing? Three years of BYU football have not been what they should have been because Bronco keeps playing Riley.

Bear
Somewhere, UT

Riley is a senior and should be past the freshman mistakes. He has watched to much sportscenter and wants to make the highlight real with every play. The problem is that with Hill done for the year and Doman not willing to adjust the offense for a dropback passer like Lark or Munns we are stuck with Riley's turnovers and more losses.

Whoa Nellie
American Fork, UT

If half-way through his senior season, Nelson has "learned his lesson" then he is a slow learner. However, the OSU game was not lost by the offense as much as it was by a player named Bills. When is he going to ever learn his lesson about looking for the ball and not just running out of control into receivers? Game killer penalty when BYU was only down by four.

Nelson's play is enabled by two coaches whose initials begin with Bronco and Brandon. Therein lies the problem.

Broom Hockey Champ
Scottsdale, AZ

I, unlike some of the other fans on here, do not care whether Doman likes to shave his head, eat bowlful after bowlful of baked beans, snuggle with a football he bought in HS, or wear sweat pants when he goes on dates with his wife. What I care about is that he is our OC. He is young and learning his trade on the job. Cut him some slack. Bronco chose him because he saw something in him that the average fan might not see.

This offense is on the brink of something special and only a few plays away from being undefeated and headed to a BCS game.

YGradFan
CENTERVILLE, UT

With Hill being out for the season and Lark being a senior (even though I'd love to see what he could do the remainder of the season), we should get someone else in, like Munns, to get them the experience for next year. I certainly don't think they could do any worse than Nelson right now, with the mistakes he is making. Kiss this year good-bye already and get someone else the experience for coming years. Hopefully we'll be that much further ahead for our killer-of-a-schedule next year.

montanacutter
Kalispell, MT

Nelson is a nice guy but nice guys finish last. Bronco has this obsession with Nelson for being recless and not thinking before he throws. BYU is now in limp mode for the rest of the year. They will be lucky to make a bowl game now. Everyone remembers the first game this year for BYU. Big expectations and seeing Nelson as a true BYU quarterback. The truth is now out he is not a real BYU quarterback and is hurting the team by his recless play- go figure. Bronco needs to give a shot to the other quarterbacks. They can't be any more recless than Nelson. The seat is getting warm for Dolman now and with BYU not showing well against ranked teams under Bronco his seat is warming as well. Maybe scheduling more WAC teams (if the WAC stays afloat) will make Bronco look better as a coach.

ND will take BYU to the wood shed with Nelson at QB, mark my words. ND 54 BYU 21

Ted H.
Midvale, UT

@BroomHockeyChamp,

Still upset about the UCLA game? ASU game? USC game? Utah State game? It's ok bud. Both our teams are pretty mediocre this season. And you did beat the team you care most about - byu.
Unfortuntunately OSU handled byu this last week. I hope they handle your utes this Saturday too. I'm sure they will.

ImaCaMan
Oceanside, CA

He hasn't learned how to slide, why should you expect him to throw the ball away?

So. Cal Reader
San Diego, CA

OK, Mr. Harmon. So my response is "what's the point"? Riley Nelson's been like his for the 2nd season. He's not going to change. Way to go after the low lying fruit. How a similarly critical article about Coach Bronco's overall coaching or Doman's OC play-calling? To think our Cougs had a chance to beat a Tope 10 team is simply not reasonable. I actually thought the team played very well. We've beat 2 Top 10 teams in almost 20 years. Riley performed a typical Riley game, including a 300+ yard passing game.

Pipes
Salt Lake City, UT

Dick hit the nail on the head as did most of the previous commenters. Unfortunately, Mendenhall is either to obstinate or obtuse to see reason and remove Nelson. Nelson's legacy is now cast in stone and he will be remembered for his many mistakes that cost his team an entire season.

So. Cal Reader
San Diego, CA

@ atlcoug: "To this point, from what I have read of their statements, the coaches seem to have accepted his poor choices as just part of the package you get with Nelson." I completely agree! Looks like an OC is feeling a little pressure. And what message does the head coach send out when he says, after his freshman QB just got a win, "I'm a big Riley fan." Maybe Coach Bronco needs to move Riley over to the defensive side since he seems to like his mental toughness so much. Memo to BYU Coaches: Riley will not change. Atlcoug is correct-- more than a year late in trying to change him. And "change" him for what? If we win-out or simply reach the 6-win minimum, we're headed to San Diego for the Poinsettia Bowl. Come on, Cougs fans, don't let these articles provide a false-sense of unrealistic expectations.

Madden
Herriman, UT

It is interesting that Bronco has always said most football games are not won or lost due to a talent disparity, but by 4-5 plays throughout the game. He's completely right, but that just makes it all the more baffling that BYU tends to lose on 80% of those critical plays. Throw the ball away. Don't toss the option pitch late. Don't try to out-jump a defender for a tipped pass, just knock him down. Switch your defensive scheme to double-cover a top WR threat on a big third-and-long. Make a sound block on your guy in a critical FG or 2-pt conversion attempt. Why BYU players today seem to consistently fail in the big moments?

Uteology
East Salt Lake City, Utah

"The difference between the Cougars being 7-0, 6-1 or 5-2 instead of 4-3 is a simple statistical category. It’s called turnovers." -- DH

No it's not, the difference between Cougars being 7-0 and 4-3 is the opponents. Considering BYU is now 5-13 in three seasons against good teams, the 5 wins:

SDSU 24-21 (9-4 2010) +1
n. Tulsa 24-21 (8-5 2011) +0
Utah State 27-24 (5-2 2012) +1
Washington 23-17 (7-6 2011) +0
Utah State 6-3 (5-6 2012) +1

So that's 4 wins at home and one at a neutral site by an average margin of 3.6 points with BYU winning the turnover margin (+3).

fan32
St. George, Utah

Nelson is a div 2 quarterback not div 1. Our problem is Bronco and Doman are also div 2 coaches. Holmoe must be a div 2 AD as well. Aren't we all sick of the mediocrity and no accountability?

toosmartforyou
Farmington, UT

It's pretty obvious Lark isn't going to play this year. Could we have used him against, say, Utah, Boise State or Oregon State? I appreciate that Nelson is gutsy, but what I don't appreciate is that when he was playing at 65% he wouldn't insist the coaches replace him with a healthy QB. That doesn't speak too well about the welfare of the team as much as one person wanting to play no matter what. And the coaches have bought into it, so now they are 4 - 3 with fans calling for their heads. Sorry, but they have no one but themselves to blame (or credit) for BYU football being where it is this season. I do feel badly for Lark (never playing) and for Hill, thanks to that wonderful finish to the USU game where a tackler led with his helmet right into Hill's knee (and no flag for spearing). Good luck at ND......we'll need it.

Frozen Chosen
Savage, MN

When a team consistently makes unforced errors it is the fault of the coaching staff. Either you are not coaching your players properly or you have the wrong personnel in the game, simple as that.

Riverton Cougar
Riverton, UT

If Nelson starts and plays against ND, then we lose. Simple as that. IF (a BIG if) we beat ND with Riley, then I might respect him again. I'd rather not take the risk.

It's obvious that Doman does not like Lark. Too bad, because he could be good. Better than Riley, the way things are going. If Doman doesn't give Lark a chance, then shame on him and BYU should seek a new OC.

Troy06
OREM, UT

In the OSU pre-game interview Bronco said he would replace Riley with Lark if Riley didn't perform well. Was that lip service?

I'd like Bronco to keep his word and play Lark after Riley's third turnover against ND.

Normally I hate Dick's columns, but not this time. I appreciate Dick devoting a lengthy write up to bluntly ID Riley's weaknesses and call out the coaches on it.

I've posted this now three times - Doman will be put to pasture in the back office after the season concludes. Bronco has no choice. If we perform like this next year Bronco will be out also.

I Bleed Blue
Las Vegas, NV

Riley is another Tim Tebow only he doesn't have the talent around him like Tebow had at Florida. He just cannot throw a decent ball to safe his life. A lot of heart but not the QB we need. I hope we give Lark a chance. I just want to see a decent pass for once this year.

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