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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
@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.
He hasn't learned how to slide, why should you expect him to throw the ball
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
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.
@ 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.
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
"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." -- DHNo 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) +1n. Tulsa 24-21 (8-5 2011) +0Utah State 27-24 (5-2 2012) +1Washington 23-17 (7-6 2011) +0Utah
State 6-3 (5-6 2012) +1So 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
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?
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Nelson made some great plays last week. High risk or not, they were great plays.
He moved the offense pretty well. But he's the little girl with a curl,
when he's bad he's horrid. We might not have beaten OSU with anybody.
And some defensive stops would have helped. But Nelson's high risk offense
and consistent 3-4 turnovers would get him benched on any team that has an
alternative.But can't we just give Lark a try? Let Nelson come
in as a wildcat.
BYU's problems this year are the same they have had for a couple of
decades. In short, their problem is mental - they possess an inability to focus
for extended periods of the game. It's not just the players either. Coaches
also have this problem. This is evidenced by the multiple penalties, turnovers,
wasted timeouts, late getting plays in, etc., that we've seen game after
game.Some of the best teams BYU has had were ones that had focus,
and this focus came from the players. For some reason, the coaches struggle to
teach their guys to focus for 60 minutes. Or they don't know how to teach
it. Examples of teams with focus: the 84 championship team, the 1996 Cotton Bowl
team, and to a lesser extent, the 2006 team.I wish I knew the answer
to fix the problem. Meanwhile, I keep supporting them and keep hoping for
another team that can self-correct. Next year's schedule looks great. It
could be a fun year, if they can focus...
Ty is coaching HS football. He would LOVE a chance to coach our QB's. Groom
him for OC. DO IT!!!!
Nope don't buy it, even with the mistakes BYU could be 7-0. Utes victory
had Bronco prepared the team for the noise at Rice-Eccles. Boise State victory
had Bronco not gone for two. Last week had Bronco or Doman called a timeout to
avoid the inexcusable injury to Hill the result probaly would have been
different. Not Nelson's fault that the defense tipped the ball up instead
of batting it down resulting in one TD, not Nelson's fault that the
receiver had the ball pop out for the final killing TD. Not Neslon fault that
Jordan Johnson #6 can't cover properly. It is Nelson fault that he is so
determined to not be a team player and say coach I'm hurt, that also may
have led to wins against both Utah and Boise. In summary the main mistake is
Bronco he needs to be relegated to defensive coach how bout it Holmoe start the
search for a new head coach ASAP!
Sorry to kick a (fanbase) when they are down, but BYU (nor Utah for that matter)
just does not have the personnel to compete on an elite level this year. And in
"personnel", I include the coaches.If y'all
couldn't hang with OSU, theyn't no way you can hang with ND. 52-10.
@montanacutter - "BYU is now in limp mode for the rest of the year. They
will be lucky to make a bowl game now."Come on! Do you really
think BYU could lose to Idaho or NMSU? Sure, Notre Dame will be tough, and San
Jose and Georgia Tech are not gimmes. But our scout team could beat Idaho and
NMSU, and it only takes two wins to be San Diego bound.If Nelson
tries to run the ball like he did against Oregon State, he will not survive the
ND defense. He'll be injured again, and for those who are looking to see
Lark or Munns - you will get your wish.
Parkite1: "could be 7-0...noise at Rice-Eccles...not Nelson's fault
that the receiver had the ball pop out for the final killing TD."Woulda, shoulda, coulda, if....That horrible pass was thrown at
the ground. The receiver was lucky to get a hand on it, and unlucky that it
bounced into OSU's waiting hands. But that pass was all Nelson. And how
about Nelson's inability to deliver the swing pass? And what about
Nelson's inability to throw the ball away instead of trying to force a bad
throw into coverage? That's all Nelson. What about his insisting on running
up the middle instead of making the hand-off or pitch off the read? All
Nelson.And blaming the NOISE at R-E for causing BYU to lose?
Please.But you are right about one thing. The responsibility for
this shoddy season lies squarely at the feet of the coaches.
My neighbor in Frisco is right - All is not lost. (Snig)Go Ducks!
Great article.BYU's offensive woes don't end with Riley,
however. Much of the blame has to be on the offensive line. Watch the replays
and compare the amount of time and space Riley had to throw the ball with the
OSU QB. Vaz won a Pac 12 award for his game, and while Riley may not have won
any awards the chances of victory would have been better had the O line done
it's job.For those of you who continually call for Bronco or
Doman's heads. Forgetaboutit! If you want to vent your spleen about the
team's difficulties, suggest three people who could take their places
instead of the cheap criticisms.
Would just like to comment on how much I appreciate seeing BYU continue to run
the option. I especially like to see it run to the short side of the field
where we can pick up 1-2 yards anytime, except for when sometimes our gritty,
tough, indestructible QB drops the ball just so he can show how tough he is. I
hope BYU runs the option every time, every play against Notre Dame, I'm
sure they've never seen it. It's not like the option has been around
for the past 100 years and just because most teams don't even think about
running the stupid play, doesn't mean BYU has to give up on it. It's
awesome. It worked for Doman and Staley and therefore I'm sure it will
work against today's modern day defenses. Stick with it Doman, don't
let anybody tell you that you need another play. Now, back to my baked
beans and my Skyline high school highlights...
No word from Dick H. on Bronco's defense game prep that made an instant
"Heisman" Candidate out of a QB who had no game snaps in three years .
His conservative soft lay back strategy gave the QB 4-5-6 SECS. to find open
receivers all afternoon.
Riley has now started 15 games as a BYU Cougar through three seasons
(2010-2012). Against teams that have a winning record (7 of those starts) he has
completed less than 50% of his passes (49.7%) for a mere 142 ypg. On top of
that, he has 7 TDs (1 per) and 15 turnovers. BYU's record in those 7 games?
2-5.So, when your QB has a 1:2.1 TD to turnover ratio and a .286
winning percentage against decent opposition and your toughest opponent is next
up, it makes sense to possibly try a different QB or, at least, put your current
one on a short leash, right?From Bronco Mendenhall, "I really
don’t [envision a scenario where Nelson would be pulled]." Not a good
If Riley did not take chances, BYU may not pass 100 yards passing per game.
Riley, most often, wings the ball all over the field. When it works out, fans
give him a pass. When it doesn't they complain. Still, most of the passes
are chance throws with a high degree of danger, and do not look pretty.
Yes turnovers and a couple of poor decisions made a difference, but so did
dropped passes and so did mistakes on defense. I've been following BYU
football since the mid 70s. We've always had a tough time with top 10
teams and I thought we held our own pretty well, at least until the
disheartening pass interference call near the end.
only a few more games left this season. Then we will have a new QB who may or
may not be prone to have the turnovers that our current qb seems to have. maybe
no more man crushes on grit.
WerAndy ReidBen CahoonHappy now? Heck I'd
take Brian Johnson at this point.
BTWThese are not cheap criticisms. The facts speak for themselves.
AmenAmenAmenAmenAmen. Couldn't have said it better myself. In fact, I
didn't! Riley is in the second half of his senior year. He keeps
"learning his lesson" and then giving us more of the same. I like the
guy, but I've had it with him. Bronco has apparently abandoned his stated
policy of "playing the best players". This does not bode well for future
teams or recruiting.
I can hardly wait for the marriage of Riley Nelson and Bronco Mendenhall to be
over! After last Saturday, I finally came to accept that the only thing
consistent about Riley Nelson is inconsistency. Anyone who threw 15
interceptions and made 11 fumbles in the 5 games he's played in would be
riding the pine, Done! Not Riley. Either we don't have any really good
quarterbacks or the coaching staff is not capable of coaching anyone to a higher
level. Given what we have seen the last 2 years, it is probably both. I hope
that some kind of change is coming!!
Well, I love my Cougs, but the automatic 3+ turnovers will spell their doom in
this game unfortunately. Good luck guys, you're going to need it.