BYU football: Bronco Mendenhall defends 2-quarterback system

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  • YtxPat
    Aug. 30, 2010 9:47 a.m.

    Most of you were probably still in diapers when Wilson and McMahon were both in the system. It was confusing at times, but we were and are a better team for having both of them on our team.

    I am looking forward to this weeks game.

    Has UofU ever been ranked #1 in Football for any week or by any recognized national poll?

  • optimist
    Aug. 29, 2010 9:31 p.m.

    September 4th with Washington @ BYU will be the game that tells us weather BYU is a re-building team or a re-loading team.

    This is a must win game, if we are to have hope for the rest of the season.

    This is a must win game, if the fans are to support the two QB committee system.

    This is a must win game if we have hopes of winning Air Force and Florida State.

    If we can win the games above, there is hope vs. TCU at TCU. If we can win that game, we can win our first BCS Game and Utah will be a no issue game, as it should be at this time in history.

    Blow the Washington game, and there is no validity in anything said above.

  • Jazzman72
    Aug. 29, 2010 1:01 a.m.

    Bronco is taking a page from Sloan on this one. Sloan started Mcleod and Palacio, who disappeared from the NBA a short time later, over D-Will to start D-Will's rookie year. Hopefully Heaps will quickly earn his rookie lumps and take the reigns of the team quickly, like D-Will did. Bronco and Sloan seem to share a rookie bias. They would rather start an average veteran over a talented rookie.

  • donburi
    Aug. 29, 2010 12:06 a.m.

    You seem to think you know what is best for BYU football. Anyone with so much knowledge should be a BYU coach, right? Just what is your profession?

    Have faith. Maybe Bronco knows what he is doing.

  • TDS Fan
    Aug. 28, 2010 10:59 p.m.

    Here's how I see it playing out this year:

    Nelson gets the start against WU. Following a first Half tds deficit, Heaps is thrown in the game. Heaps plays well but not well enough to dig Nelson and the tds out of a loss to Washington.

    Nelson once again gets the start in the AF game and plays better than he did in the WU game. Later, down to AF in the third quarter Heaps is granted another turn. This time, Heaps only throws 3 INT's and solidifies the tds loss to AF.

    In an attempt to pacify Heaps, Bronko is forced to play him. Heaps gets the starting nod against the Seminoles only once again to a losing effort. Nelson is thrown to the wolves, only to be humiliated.

    Given the season is lost, there's no reason to give Nelson the starting nod in future games. Nelson is frustrated and transfers, again.

    Heaps' continued lack of D1 experience leaves the remaining season in doubt. Continuing a losing effort, the tds' struggles to fill their big stadium just like in 2002 - 2004. The tds finishes the season 6-6.

  • panamadesnews
    Aug. 28, 2010 10:39 p.m.

    Live Hard:

    You mean loyalty like Utah, who bolted for the PAC ?? or BSU, Nevada Reno, and Fresno State, who bolted from the WAC for the MWC? They have actually done so, or will after this season, but BYU hasn't even made a statement. They are reviewing their options, while everyone else, reporters and BYU haters are doing all of the talking. It is almost as if you all were in the meetings and in on the telephone conversations, and know for a fact wherewith you speak. BYU will make a decision which will be best for them. They do not fit the derogatory names you are calling them any more so than other team that have made a change in conferences over the years, which are many. You do this because of your hatred for all things BYU. You show your intelligence and your un-grown-up attitude. I won't say what I think your age is. Hopefully your are young and inexperienced. If not, grow up. Have good one.

  • panamadesnews
    Aug. 28, 2010 10:26 p.m.

    wwookie: You and those who post doom and gloom for BYU are wishful thinkers. do you really think that because you says something is going to happen, that it will. I believe Bronco has proven himself since he has been at BYU. His record stands for itself. At year's end, when BYU has had an excellent season, will come on here and eat crow? Not likely. You will not be found, along with your other buddies that trash talk on these BYU articles. We will enjoy the season. If you were more positive about everything sports, you would too. Have a great day. If you are a fan of any team, hope your team does weldl, also.

  • thejdog123
    Aug. 28, 2010 7:38 p.m.

    Has anyone read Jake Heaps comments about the decision??? He is down with seeing if it works, the two qbs are all for the COACHES DECISION that is what makes a team good, when the players are willing to sacrifice for the good of the team and not get jealous because they dont start or dont get thrown to every play... If the two quarterback system doesnt work the COACHES will make another decision for the good of the team. Bronco and his coaching staff know how important it is to win and trust me they will make the changes (if necessary) so that the team will win.... Let the coaches coach and the players play and on september 4th at like 8 pm we can talk if it was a good move or a bad move having a two quarterback system... Go Cougs!

  • Mortoon
    Aug. 28, 2010 6:54 p.m.

    Sadly it looks like Bronco punted on one of his first really big decisions! This will lead to all kinds of mischief.

  • hedgelog
    Aug. 28, 2010 6:52 p.m.

    Itz won't work, never has. Get ready for the boo birds!

  • Howard S.
    Aug. 28, 2010 6:01 p.m.

    Re: Buster | 5:16 p.m. Aug. 28, 2010

    Not relevant Buster?

    I'd rather be relevant in 2010 than not relevant since 1984.

    And so would you...

  • ditch
    Aug. 28, 2010 5:55 p.m.

    Wow. People, seriously. Not a big deal. I seem to remember Washington using the 2 quarterback system in either '90 or '91 (Mark Brunell and Billy Joe Hobert). They were 10-2, won the Rose Bowl in '90 and were undefeated National Champions in '91.

    Unless you've seen what Coach Mendenhall has seen, you don't know what you're talking about.

  • Big Hapa
    Aug. 28, 2010 5:48 p.m.

    Re: SCF

    Your analysis of Riley is based on what? You have been involved in every scrimage, chalk talk, wieght workout, 7 on 7 etc, for the past year and half with the Cougars ?

    OK I guess we all need to listen to your deep wealth of grid iron knowledge and allow you to coach the team.

    You remind me of the "RUNNOFT" line from O Brother Where art Thou, just missing reality by this much.

    "POLY" Cougar Nation RISE & SHOUT.

  • Buster
    Aug. 28, 2010 5:16 p.m.

    Howard S. | 4:26 p.m. Aug. 28, 2010

    Re: idablu | 2:46 p.m. Aug. 28, 2010

    "This is old. Really old. Man, you really should work on getting new material..."

    Getting old? Cougar Nation perennially claiming the August National Championship and the August Heisman Trophy is old too.

    But it doesn't stop the Cougars, so why should I stop?

    Besides, the old stuff is always the best stuff.


    When your program is more than six years old, everything else is "old"...

    Keep going Howard. It reminds us that before 2006, the Utes were not relevant to anyone...

    You old stuff is the best stuff, bring it up again....

  • Howard S.
    Aug. 28, 2010 4:26 p.m.

    Re: idablu | 2:46 p.m. Aug. 28, 2010

    "This is old. Really old. Man, you really should work on getting new material..."

    Getting old? Cougar Nation perennially claiming the August National Championship and the August Heisman Trophy is old too.

    But it doesn't stop the Cougars, so why should I stop?

    Besides, the old stuff is always the best stuff.

  • dhsalum
    Aug. 28, 2010 4:24 p.m.

    I'm excited for everybody to see the two in a real game before a final decision is made. Its probably not the right decision, but Im excited to see both play

  • silentobserver
    Aug. 28, 2010 4:15 p.m.

    @galloway; The 2QB system did not work last night for LHS that well. It wasn't until the coaches simply left in the older player that they were able to actually get control of the game. It might get better though. The first half for Logan was a nightmare offensively. High school is NOT College, 2 QB system is no comparison. Bronco mat have something. Due to the "Lifes experience" scenario, I would really like to see Lark and Munns have a decent shot at some playing time.

  • idablu
    Aug. 28, 2010 3:02 p.m.

    I tend to agree with Southern Cougar Fan.

    I like Bronco, but this "being true to the culture" and "maturity of life experiences" nonsense is just plain silly. You play the one with the best skills--the guy who is going to give you the wins.

    I think this is what ConferenceofChumpions was referring to with his haka comment--good one; made me laugh. Keep em coming Conf. At least compared to the other trolls you have some wit.

    When one QB emerges clearly better than the other in real game situations, I hope Bronco has the sense to give him the full time job.

  • idablu
    Aug. 28, 2010 2:46 p.m.

    @Howard S:
    "Will the Downtown Athletic Club award two Heisman Trophies this year, or will Heaps and Nelson share a single Trophy?"

    This is old. Really old. Man, you really should work on getting new material instead of reworking the same old lines. Don't they teach you how to use your imagination at U of U?

  • duckhouse
    Aug. 28, 2010 2:41 p.m.

    I hopw my comments are published. Quite often they are not, which is a bummer. I see too QB an outstanding move on the Coach's part. They will both get better, BYU will win. Bronco will be praised. I think only BYU could do this with any success, it would not work in Utah because of lack of fan support by the Ute fans. That is why both will be the greatest, Nelson and Heaps--what a two-some to prepare for---It will thow Washington, AF, and FSU off guard, they won't have the time to prepare for BYU's offense. Great going Cougs----beat Washington.

  • sbnjac80
    Aug. 28, 2010 2:37 p.m.

    I trust Bronco 100%, he knows what he's doing. He is a great coach and Heaps and Nelson are both great QB's. If anyone can pull off the 2-QB system it's BYU. This is going to work out well. 9-3 is my prediction for the season.

  • idaho cougar fan
    Aug. 28, 2010 2:27 p.m.

    Mountainman56 is spot on! I predicted this 2 weeks ago. This will work because the 2 QB's have different skill sets. When Crowton did it, his QB's had the same skill set. Both Bronco and Heaps are playing this well. Bronco is giving Heaps a chance to gain experience w/out putting all the pressure on him, while Heaps is agreeing that even though he has the hype and big name recruit, he still has to shed more blood, sweat and tears to gain the keys to the car. I think Riley knows that by next year, this is Heaps' team. Bronco is making the right decision and we should trust a coach who has one of the best records over last 5 years. Ute trollers need to go away too!

  • IDC
    Aug. 28, 2010 2:21 p.m.

    This could get ugly. This could also turn out great. I don't think BYU is going undefeated this year but I will still be watching every minute of every game win or lose. I can't wait to see how they use 2 quarterbacks. I'm most excited for Heaps career but Nelson is a gamer and plays with a lot of fire.

    I think Mendenhall is a better coach than me. My 13-yr -old girls soccer team rocked in their home opener today though.

    Go Cougs.

  • Brave Sir Robin
    Aug. 28, 2010 1:08 p.m.

    "If you have two quarterbacks, it's because you really have no quarterbacks." - Lavell Edwards

  • Bugoff
    Aug. 28, 2010 12:53 p.m.

    Keep in mind that you manage large corporations and football teams by managing the culture.

    Bronco has to have a bit of a Vet Bias as he has several walk ons and older players who made it mostly on years of hard work.

    On the other hand a very high percentage of his travel squad are red shirt freshman and freshman.

    Playing both Nelson and Heaps helps with both the new very talented recruits (you are good enough to play) and the older players (you paid your dues).

    BYU has depth at most positions for the first time in years. That is a problem most coaches love to manage.

  • Howard S.
    Aug. 28, 2010 12:44 p.m.

    Will the Downtown Athletic Club award two Heisman Trophies this year, or will Heaps and Nelson share a single Trophy?

  • mr. ideas
    Aug. 28, 2010 12:23 p.m.

    I have some 2004 Utah game film if Nelson really needs to see how to run the spread correctly.

    Maybe some of the Utah minds that came up with spread and wildcat might be available for some pregame advice???

    Now is not the time to get embarrassed by U-Dub.

  • Cougar Claws
    Aug. 28, 2010 12:13 p.m.

    The Haka stopped because the players that headed it up graduated.

  • Mountainman56
    Aug. 28, 2010 12:12 p.m.

    Wow, what a great problem to have! BYU has two (actually four) great quarterbacks and the coach can't decide who's the best one. I'm sure there are lots of other teams who would love to have this problem. Normally I would prefer to see a one quarterback system (I remember the season that Wilson and McMahon shared time and it wasn't a great success). The difference now is that these two quarterbacks have very different skill sets. I'm sure that Bronco will make both of their roles clear to them and the team and it will make for an exciting and very productive offense.

    It all starts one week from today - can't wait!

  • catram
    Aug. 28, 2010 12:08 p.m.

    You know, this is almost crazy awesome that this Heaps kid is so good that he could go in and win part of the starting job as a true freshman. I mean beating out Lark and Munns was no small task. Bronco, I know you do not read this stuff, but I personally appreciate all that you have done to restore honor to my alma matter. Now go eat up some huskies.

  • Galloway
    Aug. 28, 2010 11:57 a.m.

    I went to the Logan High v Mountain View game last night, and they ran a two quarterback offense. It works very well for them. Interestingly enough, Riley's little brother DJ is one of the two taking snaps.

  • Ernesto de Bajo
    Aug. 28, 2010 11:53 a.m.

    Speaking of the Haka, does the team still do it?

    (I hope that is not an inappropriate question.)

  • donburi
    Aug. 28, 2010 11:30 a.m.

    You seem to think you know what is best for BYU football. Anyone with so much knowledge should be a BYU coach, right? Just what is your profession?

    Have faith. Maybe Bronco knows what he is doing.

  • Southern cougar fan
    Aug. 28, 2010 11:25 a.m.

    Wow. BYU must be the only college that picks the starting QB based upon "maturity of life experiences." Bronco has been hinting that it goes against the culture of his program to start a freshman because it enforces entitlement. But to decide a starter on who has the most life experiences? No wonder people find BYU odd. The only consolation I have is that I know that Riley Nelson will not win consistently for BYU and that sooner or later the best QB, whether he is a true freshman or not, will be starting.

  • scenic view
    Aug. 28, 2010 11:13 a.m.

    The two-quarterback system with Jake and Riley will be successful because these two outstanding young players and their teammates have bought into the system.

    Disadvantage: It'll be a little more complicated for the offense to adjust to their different styles.

    Advantage: It'll keep opposing defenses off-balance and put the best player for given a situation on the field.


    HIT [IGNORE BUTTON] - I now completely ignore the mindless nonsense of the Utah trolls and encourage other true BYU fans to do the same. Arguing with these trolls is like trying to talk sense to a screaming 2 year old. Rarily do they post anything that approaches an intelligent comment.

  • Aggie84
    Aug. 28, 2010 11:08 a.m.

    I can't wait for Nelson to be on the field. They Y is going to need a 2 quarterback system so that there will be one left after the Aggies play the Y. There is going to be a huge target on of those quarterbacks. I bet you can't guess which one I am referring to. Good luck Y.

  • Enough is enough!
    Aug. 28, 2010 11:01 a.m.

    Coach Mendenhall knows his team players better than all of us do, ya think? Maturity has everything to do with it if all else is equal.

    The Haka reference was just so inappropriate. And "rumour" is spelled rumor.

    Regarding booing...when I was in high school, the referees could give the crowd a technical if we were booing, especially during a foul shot! Quite the opposite of today's culture. Our cheerleaders were frantically encouraging the crowd to be good sports.

    Take a lesson from tennis matches...unsportsmanlike conduct, booing, etc. are pretty rare. Wouldn't that kind of approach be a welcome relief in all sports.

  • Captain L
    Aug. 28, 2010 10:45 a.m.

    Re LiveHard: You are a joke, you make an idiot of yourself everytime you post.

  • ConferenceofChampions
    Aug. 28, 2010 10:30 a.m.

    Rumour has it Nelson knew the Haka just a little better than Heaps. Thus he gets the nod.

    Aug. 28, 2010 9:59 a.m.

    My fear is that the "idiots" that call themselves fans start to boo one of these qb's if they make a mistake. Or that they start calling for the other qb that is on the sidelines at the time. I love the Cougars, but some of the "fans" are ignorant, and love to boo the players. I don't care if fans boo a questionable call by an official or a coach, but don't boo your own players. I'm not a big fan of a two qb system, but I will support who ever is playing at that time. GO COUGS!!!

  • Dr. K
    Aug. 28, 2010 9:45 a.m.

    Live Hard: Hurray up and tell the MWC you're bolting, so we can get on building the MWC with teams of loyalty!!!

    Who the heck are you? A BYU fan? Scratch that. Utah? Makes no sense. Utah State? Only if disloyal to the WAC. A generic MWC fan?! Does such a thing exist?

    Or maybe you're some out-of-state lurking Deseret News reader. I'm going to go with some brand of disgruntled TCU fan. Either that or maybe this is Elizabeth Lambert from the New Mexico women's soccer team.

    Just speculating of course.

  • TheSpiker
    Aug. 28, 2010 9:41 a.m.


    What?? You have now proved yourself to know absolutely nothing about football. Congratulations!

    Let's see. We just lost the most productive running back in school history. Why would any running back want to come to the Y? Obviously they would never get a chance to run the ball. Right? BYU just had the most wins in a 4 years period in the history of the school and has one of the best records over 4 years in the nation. Why would any athlete want to be part of that?

    You are right. Bronco has no idea what he is doing and is ruining the program. His failures should have been obvious to all of us but we were simply ignorant.

    You have saved BYU!

  • OlpuebloguyInWyo
    Aug. 28, 2010 9:01 a.m.

    Everyone needs to get off Broncos back. LaVell had bad years in the beginning and bad years at the end of a sucessful career. So if you don't like it, then sell your season tickets and do not go to the game. Nobody wants to sit next to nor listen to sour grapes, especially before the season even starts. There might be some merit to this. Oh, and keep in mind the mission of the football team....first a foremost is faith in God and in the mission of the Lord's Church. Football is somewhere down the line. Bronco understands that because tomorrow, it is not football that makes those who leave the program successful, it is their faith and family that makes them successful. And for us true blue fans on football, I think the key to the fun and excitement we will see next week, will be "what will the Wash defense do?" Coach Sark and Holt will certainly be busy and their hands full. They will change their defensive strategy numerous times to keep-up with the strategy of the cougar offense. The BYU defense will have their hands full too. Locker = pretty good.

  • Big Hapa
    Aug. 28, 2010 8:07 a.m.

    Rise and Shout ! Lets support the product that Coach is putting out and if it works he is a miracle worker, and if it does not he will simply change it.

    The Nelson & Heaps show should be exciting and unpreictable to say the least. Perhaps this dynamic duo is exactly what will move the team this season.

    This depth conundrum has become the brain trust idea of the century or a pariah that will morph out of control.

    We all will see it Saturday the 4th @ 5:pm

    "POLY" Cougar Nation

  • CWEB
    Aug. 28, 2010 7:53 a.m.

    I just want to win, don't care about who is throwing the ball.

    One concern...beating Washington. Losses are not acceptable.

    BYU controls it's own destiny...does not matter what anyone else does.

    Just win.



  • BleedCougarBlue
    Aug. 28, 2010 7:52 a.m.

    'Fuzz' is most likely a yewt troll just trying to stir up trouble.

    A 2 QB system can be successful if:

    - the 2 QBs truly care about one another (this eliminates any potential jealousy)

    - the team trusts and has confidence in both QBs to lead

    - the head coach will allow each QB to make mistakes without excessive negative ramifications

    If this is the case then it can truly be "I've got 2 weapons instead of one".

    I can already see confusing opponent's defenses by occasionally putting in Heaps and running a surprise QB sneak or Nelson being inserted and passing instead of the expected QB run.

    More weapons can be a good thing.

  • LeonardL
    Aug. 28, 2010 7:23 a.m.

    I think this system could give defenses big headaches, especially if Jake becomes a good runner.

  • DC
    Aug. 28, 2010 7:08 a.m.

    2 QB system = no consistency. I thought Bronco was big on consistency? Plus, it does not foster confidence, something an 18 year old QB needs to grow in college football and a Junior QB needs to be a leader.

    Plus, and I'm sorry, this is college football, not pee-wee league where it is all about having fun and teaching technique. It's great to be able to help these young men grow, but again, it's football - just win baby!

  • ed in atl
    Aug. 28, 2010 5:11 a.m.

    This is going to be awesome. There will be plays where they will both be in at the same time. Jake may hand off to Riley, he could throw or run or Jake could throw to somebody else. It will be exciting.

  • wwookie
    Aug. 28, 2010 4:27 a.m.

    Bronco needs to put the team first, and not whats best for two of the teams players.

    The last 2 years Bronco favored Max Hall over every other player on the team and basically forfeited a couple games as he demanded passing plays instead of using a much superior running game.

    After a couple more years of Bronco, the fans and the players are going to see that this mentality hurts the team and BYU will only get top quality recruits at the QB position, and maybe the receiver position. Any quality RB, LB, D-Lineman, etc. wouldnt even consider going to the cougars.

    The next decade is going to be tough for BYU football. Well just laugh if BYU goes independent, as that will only make people think that decision was what ruined BYU football - well know the real reason.

  • Jazzman72
    Aug. 28, 2010 3:31 a.m.

    I'm a little leery of this. Two quarterback systems don't seem to have a good success rate. They will both be looking over their shoulders every time they make a mistake, wondering if they'll get pulled from the game. That can't bode well for their confidence. I hope they prove me wrong.

  • nottyou
    Aug. 28, 2010 3:21 a.m.

    Fuzz: How can Heaps be punished for not going on a mission when he just graduated from high school and is too young to serve? You are brilliant!!!

  • BYU Student
    Aug. 28, 2010 2:33 a.m.

    That doesn't really make any sense, since he's 18. Kinda hard to go on a mission if you're 18. He may be 19, I don't know for sure, but he only got to BYU in January or something. Pretty young kid.

  • cougsrock
    Aug. 28, 2010 1:18 a.m.

    Crowton did what he did because he had little talent to work with, and injuries. Doesn't relate.

  • Fuzz
    Aug. 28, 2010 12:48 a.m.

    Wow! Is Heaps being punished for not going on a mission?

  • Bugoff
    Aug. 28, 2010 12:45 a.m.

    Bronco is going to get the Max out of this team. The very predictable offense just got a lot less predictable.

  • Gazpacho
    Aug. 28, 2010 12:09 a.m.

    I hope you're wrong Mr. Marksen. One thing that does give me some peace is the fact that Crowton had many failures, not just at QB. Those teams were train wrecks, both on and off of the field. The atmosphere at BYU is most certainly different now. Hopefully that translates to success with the new QB situation.

  • Cougar Claws
    Aug. 28, 2010 12:04 a.m.

    Re: Marksen

    You didn't read the article, did you?

    What's the difference between Coach Mendenhall and Coach Crowton? The answer is: Coach Mendenhall.

    I think Coach Mendenhall has earned the progams trust. If you don't trust him now you probably never will.

  • Andrew J. Marksen
    Aug. 27, 2010 11:44 p.m.

    As a season ticket holder this is a very bad idea. It was bad when Crowton did it and it is bad now. I for one do not look forward to seeing this pending train wreck.