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

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Published: Monday, Oct. 15 2012 3:00 p.m. MDT

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Mission Viejo, CA

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.

Orem, UT

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...

Danbury, CT

Ty is coaching HS football. He would LOVE a chance to coach our QB's. Groom him for OC. DO IT!!!!

Park City, UT

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!

Allen, TX

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.

Goodnight Irene.

Frisco, TX

@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.

Allen, TX

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.

Allen, TX

My neighbor in Frisco is right - All is not lost. (Snig)

Go Ducks! Go Beavers!

South Jordan, UT

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.

Chandler, AZ

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...

Blue Chelan 56
Chelan, WA

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 sign.

Sandy, UT

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.

Riverside, CA

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.

Rock Springs, WY

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.



Andy Reid
Ben Cahoon

Happy now? Heck I'd take Brian Johnson at this point.



These are not cheap criticisms. The facts speak for themselves.

Stockton, CA

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.

See It

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!!

Syracuse, ut

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.

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