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

Henry Drummond

With the stable of excellent quarterbacks BYU had availabe this season, there's no excuse for BYU starting a quarterback who couldn't throw a decent pass. Riley is a half-back or free safety playing quarterback. He would have been fine as a situational quarterback, coming in on 3rd and 3 as a triple option threat, but expecting Riley to execute a highly effecient passing attack was a big mistake.

Cottonwood Heights, UT


"Did the U play the current #1 team in the nation to a 3 pt loss? BYU also played BSU, OSU and USU who were all ranked when we played them, or are ranked at some point. I'm not a stat guru, but I think BYU has played more ranked teams that the U so your comment has no merit."

If you're going to tell someone their comment has no merit then you ought to know what you're talking about. Using your own logic ...

UTAH strength of schedule rank: 26
BYU strength of schedule rank: 57

Utah opponents ranked at some point during the season: 8
BYU opponents ranked at some point during the season: 4

Try again.


I have to say "eagle" is dead on with his assessment of the coaching situation at BYU. While I agree that Bronco hasn't always made the best coaching decisions, what he gives the players and program is more than winning and losing. He has set a tone of good at BYU, the kids love to play for him, respect him, and have learned more about life than just what playing the game to win at all costs would do.
I think Lark would've been a better choice for the team, but because I can't be at every practice I don't understand all of the reasons behind his decisions.
Besides, if Bronco was fired who would take his place? There really aren't many good men to fill his shoes and have the success he's had, and that's what BYU requires of their coaches.


Come one everyone. This was NMST not Boise, ND or Utah. While I do like Lark and think he should have been given a chance, he basically put those numbers up against a D2 school.

South Jordan, Utah

Bronco and Doman have devasted the quarterback position for three years. We had excellent quarterbacks Brad Sorenson and James Lark. They were never used. Bronco's and Doman's record of mistakes requires that they be replaced with those capable of making obvious, correct decisions. Bronco is a fine defensive co-ordinator. He does not have the good judgment required of a head coach. Doman does not have the skills required of a competent OC. Riley never had the skills necessary for a Division One quarterback. Each has character,but each has limited talent. Its time to make a change. Three years of underperformance is enough. We certainly do not need a fourth.

Roberts, ID

For you Riley backers, keep this in mind. On Riley's best days he is not capable of making most of the throws that are required by a Cougar QB. Riley is not accurate nor strong enough to hit the quick slant or quick out. He is also incapable of accurately throwing the deep ball. Granted New Mexico State is not Notre Dame but neither was SJSU, Idaho nor, for that matter, Boise State.
Bronco has more problems than not playing Lark. The kicking game has been a disaster for the most part. The Cougars give kickers full rides and don't get a consistent kicking performance, meanwhile Utah gets better kickers that are walkons. There is a disconnect, either their talent is overrated or the kickers are poorly coached. It's been several years since the Cougars have had a solid kicking game.

Alaskan Ute
Fairbanks, AK

Lark proved he deserved more of an opportunity than he was given. Nelson is a Tim Tebow type QB that can sometimes have success in college programs. But great QB's, and BYU has had their share, means being able to throw the football in a timely and accurate way. Nelson simply does not have the natural ability to throw the football, while Lark does.

And before the BYU/Utah trolls start ranting, I'm not a BYU hater, nor a blind Utah fan, the U has our own set of issues. My daughter currently attends BYU. I believe BYU has had tremendous recruiting success, and BYU coaching has not taken advantage of the talent. I wish Lark would have attended the U - he would have had a huge season this year. Lark's a good kid who has always been able to throw the ball, for years, and his ability will never be realized, even if he starts in the bowl game.

Sugar City, ID

What a quandary for Bronco! If he starts Lark against SDSU and he plays any where close to his only start, Bronco's effigy will be burned. If he doesn't start him, he will forever be questioned. Start Lark and let the chips fall where they may.

Phoenix, AZ

Ok, everyone, to be fair, since some people can't get past the numbers (you can see my earlier post), let's have a look at comparable numbers. Everyone is saying NMST was at most an FCS team, let's compare Nelson's numbers against Weber St. to Lark's numbers against NMST...

Nelson vs Weber
18 of 29 for 244 yards - 1 TD, 1 INT
QB rating - 137.2

Lark vs NMST.
34 of 50 for 384 yars - 6 TD, 0 INT
QB rating - 172.1

So...who's the better QB?


I just don't believe that a hurt Riley was still better than a healthy Lark. I like Riley and what he brings to the team, but no other Division 1 coach is going to play a QB with a broken back. Bronco and Doman made a mistake this year, but will not admit it. We have had three disappointing years of BYU football. They have next year to right the ship or we start calling for their jobs.

Ronald Uharriet
SWun City, Ca.

“which QB will be the starter when BYU (7-5) plays in the Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 20 in San Diego?

After the Cougars' 50-14 victory over New Mexico State last Saturday, coach Bronco Mendenhall wasn't ready to answer that.

"It hasn't been decided," he said. "In my opinion, Riley is still our starting quarterback at this point. “

Really Coach???? Are you still in denial??? Do you still have no remorse??? Is your head still
buried in the sand? What grade do you give yourself for decision making?

Did you do right running our 5 star QB out of BYU in favor of a no star Nelson Riley?
Did you do right sitting Lark on the bench for six seasons less mission time?
Did you do right not giving Muns a single play in all the years he has been with us?
Did you do right in calling for the game losing 2 point PAT over a sure thing over time kick ?

Is your thinking still correct in believing that Riley gives us the best chance of winning the next game vs. SDS?

How would you grade yourself as a decision maker?

Kearns, UT

LaVell was successful because he was a good manager of his team and his assistant coaches. Bronco apparantly doesn't have that trait. He needs to find a good defensive coordinator and stay out of his way. If he can't do that, then he needs to step down as head coach, stay as defensive coordinator and let Lance Reynolds take over. Bronco's focus needs to be the whole team. He's apparently not getting good input from Doman and his focus is too much on the defense. Bronco is a defensive wizard. That part of BYU's success he can attribute to himself. But he needs to see the bigger picture.

What would be cool is if Lark got a sniff from the pros and had a successful pro career. He was as cool as a cucumber on Saturday.

Plano, TX

Coulda, woulda, shoulda.... senseless conjecture.


"Utah opponents ranked at some point during the season: 8
BYU opponents ranked at some point during the season: 4

Try again."

How about we go by a more appropriate measure of strength such as ranked now which eliminates any preseason bias from the equation?

Utah - 3, didn't beat any
BYU - 5, beat one

Even better, is half the WAC teams Ute fans crucify BYU for playing are ranked - It's going to be a long offseason for you son!

Provo, UT

@ Pavalova

Don't forget I am a BYU fan. Just trying to be realistic about our season.

BYU's schedule:

Washington State
Weber State
Boise State
Utah State
Oregon State
Notre Dame
Georgia Tech
San Jose State
New Mexico State

Utah's schedule

N. Colorado
Utah State
Arizona State
Oregon State
Washington State

So I don't care how "close" they played Notre Dame, they lost. No consolation prizes for "coming close." Boise is not the Boise of the past, they sucked this year and you know it. We beat USU at home (I am also a USU fan) Utah lost on the road at USU. Every team BYU played should have been a convincing win except Notre Dame, Utah, USU and Oregon. I am hesitant to put USU on that list because BYU should beat USU at home.

Utah played N. Colorado, Colorado, California and Washington State that were cream puffs. If you compare the rest of the difficulty of schedule, yes, Utah had a Slightly tougher schedule. Come on Boise and San Jose are not very good, they are not in the company of USC, UCLA, ASU.

Eric P
Boise, ID

I agree with "eagle" (11/25, 7:56p.m.) that BYU's mission for the football program is different than at other universities BUT the football program is not subsidized by the Church. It is paid for through the football program itself (i.e, ticket sales, TV contracts and the like). If you take away a winning program the TV contracts and ticket sales evaporate in a hurry and so does the "exposure" that the University leadership sought so hard for in going Independent and getting the ESPN contract.

Winning games is the key to the sustainability of a program that can get the exposure that the university desires. With that said, I'm not ready to see Bronco fired or leave as some have suggested but the debate concerning the QB decision making (and other decisions) is necessary and will hopefully bring about some changes that will result in a more-winning program.

Truth Machine
Salt Lake City, UT


SOS doesn't tell the whole story since it doesn't indicate how good or how bad individual opponents were. LOL at you "ranked at some point" spin, but since end of season rankings are the only rankings that matter, here are some much more relevant rankings.

BYU opponents CURRENTLY ranked in the BCS Top 25:

#1 Notre Dame (lost by 3)
#15 Oregon State (lost by 18)
#20 Boise State (lost by 1)
#24 Utah State (beat by 3)
#25 San Jose State (lost by 6)

Also, Georgia Tech (beat by 24) is playing in the ACC championship game and, with a win, will be playing in a BCS bowl.

Utah opponents CURRENTLY ranked in the BCS Top 25:

#15 Oregon State (lost by 14)
#16 UCLA (lost by 7)
#24 Utah State (lost by 7)

BYU's worst loss was Utah's only decent win!

Your turn...

Springville, UT

Much ado about nothing.

I am glad that Lark finally got his moment in the spotlight, that he stuck it out, that he has a quality BYU education to boot. He will do well I am sure.

Second guessing what has happened over the BYU QB issues for these past few years is futile.

Whether it's Riley or Lark at the Poinsettia Bowl makes no difference to me, it's one more game of BYU football to watch and that has got to be infinitely better than blubbering about a lost season and not seeing a post season for your team... regardless of how insignificant the bowl game is.

There are far too many bowl games anyway. They are for the most part meaningless but nonetheless... we love our teams and our extended seasons.

Springville, UT


Your SOS means nothing. Your win/loss column does as does your 9th place in the PAC12.

BYU fans have no axe to grind about scheduling comparisons, Utes schedule was a weak one in comparison to the competition in the conference AND BYU's was something cobbled together at short notice.

BYU barely lost games to the Utes, BSU and ND. It happens. BYU beat USU, Utes didn't. Pretty miserable seasons for both teams if you ask me but in the end SOS means nothing. It's the scoreboard when you're talking about qualifying for these lesser / insignificant bowl games.

BYU goes and U don't. So please, no whining about 'tough' competition and SOS.

U guys lost to a 10 loss Colorado team last year and barely squeaked by this year. Last year the Utes could have been playing in a conference championship game. Utes blew it and are inconsistent.

Same goes for BYU.


who cares about 6 Touchdown passes and almost 400 yards passing... riley has great leadership skills..

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