Comments about ‘BYU football: Lark's performance sparks what-ifs for Cougars’

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Published: Sunday, Nov. 25 2012 5:45 p.m. MST

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Salt Lake City, UT

I guess we will never know what would have happened if James Lark had played more for the Cougars. However, one can surely surmise that when Riley Nelson was playing hurt and less than 100% effective that it would have been a smart coaching decision to put James in. Not having all the information that Coach Mendenhal has when making the decisions puts me at a disadvantage in doing any second guessing I suppose. That said, if winning football games is a high priority for BYU then it appears that the Coach needs to make better decisions. Lets hope some lessons have been learned. Importantly, I hope we can keep all this in the perspecive for what is supposedly is - a game!

St. George, Utah

no controversy at all. Fire Bronco and Doman for coaching incompotency.

why play

I've watched Lark play for many years as he was on a rival team in SG. I remember distinctly one night watching him in a high school game and saying to my friend, "He looks way too comfortable out on the football field!" His presence as a high school QB was unlike any I have been around. He has always had a natural feel at the QB position. I was excited for him when he selected BYU, the QB factory.

I've read the posts and all the comparing of Nelson to Lark. What bothers me is that Lark is being compared to Nelson as they both are now. I wonder what James would look like had he started every game this year and many games last year and had all the practice and attention that Nelson has had? He had a GREAT foundation for building a traditional BYU QB upon, which is why they originally recruited him. Bronco always talks about Tradition, why did the coaching staff get away from the effective coaching traditions of the past? The factory should have went Beck, Hall, Lark, Heaps, Hill. Stop throwing grit in the machine!

Riley Mendenhall
Provo, UT

No way we would have won 5 games with Lark at QB.

Everett, WA

Bronco needs to go. He has no commitment whatsoever to BYU as a passing team. Bronco says,

"I believe Riley Nelson earned the chance to be our starting quarterback. And then again, when Riley started to get banged up, I believed we would have more continuity by having the same style of system and similar plays that Taysom [Hill] and Riley could RUN."

Note the emphasis on "RUN." Where is the commitment to BYU tradition & legacy of the aerial attack system, and exciting style of a passing game that has characterized BYU at its finest? Why not find the best QB for the passing system (which appears to have been Lark) instead of turning the entire system upside down for a single player? That is what you call letting the tail wag the dog. His own words state that is why he chose Taysom ... to find the most gritty athletes and build the team around them. That is flawed thinking and will carry over to next year. GET RID of BRONCO and BRANDON!

Danbury, CT


I'm as disappointed as the next Y fan but who will we get to coach the team if Bronco leaves? Why are we ignoring the horrific job the line has done protecting the QB and opening up the run? Reynolds has been at BYU since the Edwards era. Games are won and lost on the line. We have no schemes to bust open plays.

Why isn't anyone talking about Ty Detmer as OC? The guy lost his fortune to a swindler and now coaches HS football in Texas. He needs a real job and is one of the best offensive minds to ever suit up at BYU.

South Jordan, UT

BYU will keep Bronco and Doman. Everyone should stop trying to throw them under the bus. They have done a great job and had a winning record. We are going to a bowl game while the Utes sit home!

We are grateful that James Lark had "his" game at BYU. He was composed at the end of the game and not throwing darts as many on this blog are doing. What is done is done. Why rehash it? It won't change anything. I think Lark has as good a chance to start in the bowl game as Nelson. Let the coaches decide. And, enjoy the game!

BYU also has a great basketball program. It's great to gravitate from football to basketball. Coach Rose is also an outstanding coach. And, the BYU fan base is all over the place, wherever they go. Even in New Mexico the announcers said that half of the 14,000 in attendance at the football game Saturday were loyal BYU fans. Plus these games on BYUtv are broadcast all over the world. How sweet it is. Enjoy!

Proud to be a BYU alum. Go Cougars!

Provo, UT

Let me come clear on this one.

Bronco Mendenhall will not be fired nor should he be.

The mission of BYU football is different and I think that is a good thing. It is not about winning games, though Bronco has one of the highest winning percentages of any active coach, it doesn't seem to matter much to many BYU football fans.

Notwithstanding the incident at the Mexican restaurant, BYU's players under Mendenhall have been stellar citizens representing the program and the school and the church well. This is viewed as much more important by the BYU leadership and church leadership than whether BYU beats Notre Dame or San Jose State. This might be hard for some BYU fans to handle but this is the case.

Now if BYU players were continually getting in trouble, graduating in lower and lower percentages, and the coaches were breaking NCAA rules, then this would cause a coaching change.

It's not that continually less than stellar performance will not cause a BYU coach to be let go as volleyball in baseball in recent years have shown. But again Mendenhall wins games and his team is generally good citizens.

Spanish Fork, UT

Hire Gary Andersen as head coach.

Bountiful, UT

Really...hey, here's a message from earth...Lark is a tremendous quarterback, but he played against New Mexico State. Not exactly Notre Dame, folks. I am amazed at some of the people who post here calling for Bronco's job. He was the coach during the Beck and Hall years, guy. I hope he doesn't get tired of fair-weather fans and leave on his own. Seriously, get a grip.

Y Grad / Y Dad
Richland, WA


He's already tired of fair weather fans, and his attitude towards them ticks them off even further.

But hey, remember the war cry, "Anyone but Anae!" Now, it's Anae's replacement AND the head coach. Many of these fans DESERVE several 5-7 seasons to help them regain their perspective.

Woods Cross, UT

The problem is that the coaching staff played an injured QB when they had talented backups. One talented QB injured with a miscommunicated play. The players are inexperienced young men working hard to represent BYU. The coaches are highly paid professionals who will be held accountable for their decisions. Wait for Holmoe to make adjustments (private and/or public) after the bowl game.

Rexburg, ID

There can only be one criterion for who to play at QB: Who performs best in games?

Forget practice. Forget anything else. PERFORMANCE.

For the past couple of years, the BYU coaches have been BLIND.

Spanish Fork, Ut

I have no doubt Lark is a great player but let's see how he does against someone other than the Nazarene Sisters of the Poor before we heap on the platitudes. And "yes", Bronco needs to go. Why? 1- He continues to make repeated bad coaching decisions... some of them so boneheaded it defies logic, 2- He'll never admit when he is wrong, 3- He's boring as boring gets. I'd rather listen to an old guy whistle through his nose set to background noise of a dentist drill than listen to Bronco's pre or post game comments. Unlistenable.

Everett, WA

WANTED: One Head Football Coach
No experience required. Must be LDS. Critical: Must be willing to fire current OC and hire new OC with true passing game credentials, who will ensure exciting & high flying air attack. Will treat fans, supporters, and alumni with utmost respect. Football success must be top priority. Benefits include good pay, national TV exposure, greatest fan support in the nation, and divine assistance if you do not behave piously. Please apply as soon as possible!

Idaho Falls, ID

NMSU isn't exactly Alabama, but you can't help but wonder "what if."

Provo, UT

Absolutely in agreement with Oatmeal and Meckofahess here- playing Riley so much when he was injured was a mistake, and giving Riley more recovery time and Lark more minutes and experience would have benefited both of them as well as the team's overall performance.

Riley is quite a player, and I'm not joining those who criticize the coaches for having him as the starter when he was healthy. But he's not some kind of superhuman who's better than everyone else even when he's badly injured, and he doesn't have any super mutant healing powers either.

Sandy, UT

I remember the day when playing hard each week against whatever opponent is on the schedule was commendable. Could you imagine being a fan of New Mexico State or Idaho, where 10,000 is a good crowd? I, as a long-time Cougar fan, and 30 year season ticket holder, love the opportunity to see BYU play teams like Notre Dame, Texas, Wisconsin, etc. They compete well against all of them, with few exceptions. I am saddened that Utah feels the need to schedule a patsy, instead of a tough traditional rival. We should enjoy the opportunity to watch a class program compete every Saturday each fall. A bowl game is a reward for the team and the fans for a successful season, which isn't measured by just wins and losses. The work and commitment of the players and coaches should be appreciated and not constantly second-guessed and criticized. Do you think there are any of them who isn't doing the best they can? Finally, for all of those calling for Bronco's removal...... Be careful what you wish for.

Blue Rampage
Salt Lake City, UT

During the "slow start," Lark was 100% in completions. The slow start was play calling, lack of a running game, a missed field goal and under performing defense.

My next note is the observation that about 20% of Hoffman's 1,000 yards came from completions by James Lark.

We can spend the rest of our lives wondering what the year would have been without Bronco's man crush on Riley Nelson.

P.S. Nelson is not to blame. He's a stud and did everything he was asked to do to the best of his ability and beyond. Which leaves us with the question, "What if," and "What now?" I just hope we do not preordain another QB, i.e. Taysom Hill. Not that he may not be the guy, but be careful because Ammon Olsen throws the ball like Lark.

St. George, UT

Speaking of "what if's." There is one more QB that BYU kicked down the road to SUU, Brad Sorenson. talk about old school, 6'5, 240 lbs, rocket for an arm, BYU prototype. Look at the records he broke and awards Brad has won at the FCS level with an average o-line and average receivers. I have watched this kid play, there is a reason he is the 10th ranked QB in this years draft. It certainly seems that the BYU coaching staff cannot see a good thing when it is right under their nose...both Lark and Sorenson would have won many more games. As a side note, BYU also lost the top deep snapper in the country to S. Utah and also from Pine View. Doesn't seem that important, however, when you break down Special Teams this year, SUU was a leader the Big Sky in Punting and Field Goals which Coach Ed Lamb attributes to this true Freshman long snapper and the fact that he didn't miss a single snap or have a blocked punt or kick all season. Both the QB and spec. Teams situation need a real hard look!

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