BYU football notebook: Riley Nelson's back in QB battle, but this time, with James Lark

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  • truecoug1 Provo, UT
    Aug. 10, 2011 9:23 p.m.

    @Broom Hockey Champ

    I'm not quite sure what to make of your comments, not only on this board, but on others.

    You seem to try to make it sound like you're a BYU fan, but you always throw in comments that are meant to sow seeds of doubt into BYU fans...either you're a Ute troll/BYU hater trying to disguise it...

    Or you're an extremely pessimistic fan :)

    Either way, I'm confident in the Cougs, in Heaps' development as the full fledged leader of the team, in our recruiting, and in our coaching.

    I feel that this will be a breakout year for the Cougs and I, for one, am looking forward to it.

    Go Cougars!

  • Veritas Aequitas Fruit Heights, UT
    Aug. 10, 2011 12:34 p.m.

    Broom Hockey Champ | 10:52 a.m. Aug. 10, 2011
    Alpine, UT

    "What's Doman going to say? He's certainly not going to say that there is dissension in the ranks."

    For Riley?

    Give me a break.

  • Broom Hockey Champ Alpine, UT
    Aug. 10, 2011 10:52 a.m.

    What's Doman going to say? He's certainly not going to say that there is dissension in the ranks.

    I stand by my friend's comments over Doman's because he is speaking off the record. Not everyone on offense has bought into Heaps as the QB due to immaturity. These are players words, not mine.

    I hope being a married man increases Heaps' maturity level because it will make him unstoppable.

  • factcheck Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 10, 2011 10:50 a.m.

    Hey Hedgehog.

    "Jack" Murphy doing?

    Are they going to use him as a FB or TE?

  • truecoug1 Provo, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 10:51 p.m.


    This is a quote by Brandon Doman from an article written a couple days ago entitled "No QB Controversy this Time":

    "[Jake Heaps} is good. He's a leader. He's got a ton of 'want-to.' He can throw it around," Doman told reporters a couple of weeks ago.

    "The players look up to him and respect him now. It's taken some time, but they know who to lean on and who to look to. He's stepped forward to be the leader. Completion percentage-wise, he's as good as any quarterback we've had in spring practice."

    Not trying to dispute what you're saying about your friend, but everything that I've been hearing out of camp, including this article, says that the team is fully behind Heaps and support him 100% of the way.

    But who knows? Maybe there are still a small contingency of players on the team that would prefer Nelson to Heaps.

    I find it doubtful, but you never know.

    Go Cougars!

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, Utah
    Aug. 9, 2011 10:26 p.m.


    So you're saying that championships today are more legit because there are more cameras and no beaches? What a joke! The national championship is awarded to the best team in the nation. In 1984 that was BYU. If you can find indisputable evidence that BYU was NOT the best team that year, then go ahead and present your case.

    I used an incorrect choice of words. I know the games themselves are different, but my meaning should have been clear; whether or not the Holiday Bowl was an actual "National Championship game" is not important. If anything, BYU's championship is even more impressive because they were chosen among many considerations, while with today's BCS NC game, only the winner of the game is considered.

    The AQ conference idea is pathetic. If trying to judge what the best laptop is, do you just look at Dell laptops because they have a good reputation, or do you consider other options?

  • Veritas Aequitas Fruit Heights, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 6:51 p.m.

    Broom Hockey Champ | 4:25 p.m. Aug. 9, 2011
    Alpine, UT


    "Have a nice day..."

    Sorry bro.

    Not a rant. Just a quote from today's newspaper (hence the quotation marks).

    No hard feelings?

    @Bigred1 | 5:47 p.m. Aug. 9, 2011


  • PAC12Fan South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 6:42 p.m.

    Jake can do no wrong. He will lead the cougars into the promised land of multiple national championships all by himself. What if it were Jake verses all the Utes? Who would win? Jake of course. What if Jake was mini like a smurf against the entire PAC 12? Who would win? Since the PAC 12 is inferior to Jake, we'll have to give the nod to Jake in obertime. Da Jake. He is our gift and deserves our adoration. I can already see Jake being fitted for the gold jacket Hall of Fame in 22 years. Since the press conference, many of simply can't wait to shake his hand and give him an atta boy. It's going to great! Can't wait.

  • FBF Saint George, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 6:40 p.m.

    Veritas Aquitas,

    You need to remember that James was throwing to 3rd string recievers at the first practise. He also got 2 balls in the trash can!!! How many did Heaps and Nelson get? ZERO. He has an amazing touch on the ball and an amazing ability to read defenses, not to mention he is mature, a great leader, and works hard. He was one of only 3 players that was able to complete the new BYU challenge in under 2 min. and 40 sec. Not Heaps or Nelson. I am thinking Heaps better keep looking over his shoulder!!!!!!

  • Broom Hockey Champ Alpine, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 5:57 p.m.

    Maybe I need to clarify my comment. The players think Nelson is better right now because he has the physical tools AND the intangibles such as leadership and maturity. Their words, not mine.

    There's no question that Heaps has loads of physical potential. Marriage will expedite Heaps' growth process and then he'll have it all.

  • Bigred1 SAN DIEGO, CA
    Aug. 9, 2011 5:47 p.m.

    "I have a friend on the team and he said that there is a contigency of players that want Nelson to be the starting QB. Not only do they think he is a better player NOW, but they think he is a better leader and more"

    nonsense. Its the Jake show now. There's no going back to 2010. Nelson may not even be the no. 2 quarterback by the time the season officially starts. On another note, I highly doubt there is a "contingency" of players that feel Nelson is BETTER than Heaps. If so, that contingency is going to get smaller and smaller. Heaps appears to be all business to me.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 5:43 p.m.

    Riverton Cougar
    In 1984, the Cougars faced a 6-5 Michigan team. Back then, bowl games were fun. They were unofficial vacations for the players. Especially in San Diego. Michigan players didn't sweat the loss, they just headed to the beach to relax.

    Today, we know which two teams will be playing for the National Championship for over a month. That month is filled with speculation as to how this team or that team might win. Analysis is down to individual players. Game day is set after all the other bowl games have been played. There is no "switch to another game"; all eyes are on these two teams. It's played in a sold out stadium in front of 100,000 fans. It's on national TV with more camera angles than any game except the Super Bowl. A win means huge money for the school and coaching staff. SI will devote an entire issue to the game. Every play and mistake is scrutinized and replayed a dozen times.

    BCS NC? Huge pressure.
    1984 Holiday Bowl? Beach Party.

    I'd say there is a difference.

  • Boo Ya!!! SLC, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 5:01 p.m.

    One should never back out on their commitments. My Mom called it "What goes around, comes around"

    Should have stayed in Logan!!!

  • Broom Hockey Champ Alpine, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 4:25 p.m.


    "Have a nice day..."

    I don't understand what your rant was about. I brought up that a friend of mine on the team told me that there are players that want Nelson to be the QB because he is more mature and a better leader. I thought other fans would want to know what I've heard from an inside source. Teammates hope Heaps will grow up now that's he's married. If he does, he'll have the team. If not, we've got 2 capable QBs ready to step in, unlike the Utes.

  • JonnyDanger HOUSTON, TX
    Aug. 9, 2011 3:56 p.m.

    Best of luck to all involved. Having (but not needing) a good backup is a wonderful thing.

    I agree that we should use Riley in situational calls. Put him in next to Heaps in short yardage, then depending on how the defense lines up you audible the play as a snap to Jake or to Riley to take advantage of the opposing lineup.

  • 1984 for life Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 3:55 p.m.

    @ Veritas Aequitas | 3:42 p.m. Aug. 9, 2011
    Fruit Heights, UT

    Now Cougar fans are turning on each other. Ouch.

  • CT98 Saint George, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 3:54 p.m.

    With ESPN 3D we'll all feel like we are actually AT the football game! We'll all be ducking for cover in our living rooms each time Juice Quezada rushes downfield for a first down!

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, Utah
    Aug. 9, 2011 3:48 p.m.

    Riley was 0-2 today, including another interception. If this keeps up he will not be used as QB. If he had a good arm, throwing him in on a couple of plays would make the defense be prepared for a double-threat. The way it stands, though, if Riley were put on then the defense would know for sure either a running play or an interception was coming.

    @ Moderate,

    Do you really think the BCS National Championship game is any different? The difference between 1984 and today is that the champion today is one of the ones hand-picked to play in that championship game and most voters are obligated to vote for the winner of that game. In 1984, the voters could have picked ANYONE to win the national championship and ALL of the important ones picked BYU. If anything, BYU's championship is more legitimate because there was no elitist organization established to prevent teams from winning it all.

  • Veritas Aequitas Fruit Heights, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 3:42 p.m.

    Broom Hockey Champ | 2:00 p.m. Aug. 9, 2011
    Alpine, UT

    "I have a friend on the team and he said that there is a contigency of players that want Nelson to be the starting QB."

    "Heaps finished live drills going 4-for-5 for 98 yards, which included a 70-yard bomb to Ross Apo that went for a touchdown ... Riley Nelson was 0-for-2, which included a pass that was intercepted by defensive lineman Hebron Fangupo. ... James Lark finished going 2-for-3 for 27 yards, which included a nice 20-yard leaping catch by Dalin Cutler ..."

    Have a nice day...

  • Mildred in Fillmore Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 2:53 p.m.

    No one is better than Jake, college or pro.

  • UC Baller Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 2:48 p.m.

    what ever happened to Munns?

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 2:42 p.m.

    Ted H.
    The Cougars had a national championship awarded to them, but the Cougars and Utes share the same statistic:
    "Number of national championship games played: zero".

  • 1984 for life Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 2:17 p.m.

    @ Broom Hockey Champ | 2:00 p.m. Aug. 9, 2011
    Alpine, UT

    How dare anyone like a quarterback more than Jake. Jake's better than Andrew Luck and if eligible, would be drafted in the NFL before Luck.

  • Broom Hockey Champ Alpine, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 2:00 p.m.

    I have a friend on the team and he said that there is a contigency of players that want Nelson to be the starting QB. Not only do they think he is a better player NOW, but they think he is a better leader and more mature.

    Of course, Heaps has better long term potential and will likely grow up quite a bit as a married man.

  • cougar bub WASHINGTON, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 1:05 p.m.

    Riley has two years remaining and lark looks like a good back up, is it time to make Riley an H-back and give him the ball sometimes. He may be the best athlete on the team and could throw a fantastic half back pass.

  • Billy Budd Saint George, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 12:56 p.m.

    No one at Oklahoma thought Sam Bradford would sustain a serious year ending injury.

    It is interesting to find out who the would-be replacement might be should Heaps suffer the same fate as Bradford.

    The Cougars are only one blitzing Linebacker away from suffering the same fate as Sam Bradford and Oklahoma.

    Good luck to all those competing to be the back-up QB.

    Go Cougars.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 12:42 p.m.

    Some of us remember in 1984 in the very first play in the very first game of the year, BYU snuck in speedy back-up QB Blaine Fowler as a running back. The Cougs executed a long flea flicker pass thrown by Fowler which led to a upset of then #3 ranked Pitt and catapulted BYU to an undefeated season and national championship. Maybe we can have deja vu all over again against Ole Miss or Texas.

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 12:17 p.m.

    I wonder if Nelson stays awake at night thinking about how he should have stayed at USU? Now he's going to be the 3rd string QB. Seems like Karma came back to bite him.

  • Ted H. Midvale, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 11:09 a.m.


    Remind me when was the last time U guys were in the national championship game?

    I'm happy all things byu put you in a tizzy. I like it. Thanks.

  • fresnogirl Fresno, CA
    Aug. 9, 2011 11:04 a.m.

    Mildred in Fillmore

    You stopped being clever after the first three posts I read of yours. Get a new schtick already.

  • Just the FAX Olympus Cove, Utah
    Aug. 9, 2011 10:52 a.m.

    Where's Stockton ???

    It's called sarcasm (Mildred) and being facetious (FAX) Stockton.

    You need to know the players, to understand the subtle repartee.

  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    Aug. 9, 2011 10:30 a.m.

    Come on Fax and Mildred...let's not get ahead of ourselves... it's early yet

  • Just the FAX Olympus Cove, Utah
    Aug. 9, 2011 9:55 a.m.

    Mildred in Fillmore

    Join the Cougar Club as a Platinum Member and you'll get priority ticket request status for BYU's next NC game.

  • IDC Boise, ID
    Aug. 9, 2011 9:53 a.m.

    I agree with Wookie. If you don't think you are one of the best quarterbacks, give up and go to a lesser school than BYU. If you think you are the best, don't be scared of BYU.

  • ouisc Farmington, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 9:44 a.m.

    I would have liked to see Riley Nelsen stay at USU. They were developing their offensive scheme around Riley, and he would have started for 3 full seasons there. He was fun to watch at Logan High, and would have been fun at USU.

    Truth is, though, Riley is not a great quarterback. Have you seen him throw? There's a reason he has so many rushing TDs at Logan and USU. Riley is a great 3rd string QB, while playing occassional downs, and being a placeholder. I don't see him being a starter again at the Y--the Y is moving beyond his limited game.

  • Mildred in Fillmore Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 9:21 a.m.

    Does anyone know where I can get tickets for the National Championship game in January? Cougars will be there and I will be too.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Aug. 9, 2011 9:04 a.m.

    I agree skywalker. With Lark as the back-up, the offensive scheme is pretty much the same as when Heaps is in. With Nelson at QB, the Cougs have to switch gears to a different offensive scheme, that can be disruptive to the team.

    But I do agree there's a role for Nelson also. I like the idea of using him as the placeholder for FG's and Extra Points. I also like the idea of using him a few plays each game in the wildcat formation or even bringing him as a RB on occasion.

  • Just the FAX Olympus Cove, Utah
    Aug. 9, 2011 9:02 a.m.


    Steve Young was once 8th on BYU's QB depth chart.

  • Just the FAX Olympus Cove, Utah
    Aug. 9, 2011 9:00 a.m.


    "Let this be a lesson for all you QBs thinking about attending the Y..."

    The lesson is that programs that are known for having great QBs will always have great QBs lining up for their chance to prove that they're good enough to compete for the top spot.

    Nielson --> Wilson --> McMahon --> Young --> Bosco

    All great college QBs who had to wait their turn.

  • Striker Omaha, NE
    Aug. 9, 2011 8:56 a.m.

    Nah, Riley was smart to go to BYU. He'll get an excellent education and will actually have a winning season every year, unlike have a losing season every year. It was a no-brainer to transfer. BYU's defense is going to smother USU's offense, especially with a QB with no big time experience.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    Aug. 9, 2011 8:53 a.m.

    I'd be interested to know how the 7 QB's rank on the depth chart.

  • Wookie Omaha, NE
    Aug. 9, 2011 8:37 a.m.

    Let this be a lesson for all you QBs thinking about attending the Y, Heaps was pegged to start the moment he signed his letter of intent. Any other QB who thinks they have a shot to start over that kid from Idaho, well...ask Nelson how that worked out...

  • skywalker Palo Alto, CA
    Aug. 9, 2011 8:28 a.m.

    Riley will ultimately be the holder on FGs keeping the threat of a fake FG try available on every try. He could also be used on direct snap, short yardage situations. Lark, however, will probably be BYU's backup QB.

  • WhatsInItForMe Orem, Utah
    Aug. 9, 2011 7:48 a.m.

    Doman will find a place for Riley to shine this year, and not as QB mop-up when Jake is done for the day. That'll be Lark's job. I think Lark will end up as 2nd string by end of Fall camp.

    I bet Doman uses Riley in a number of different plays that'll catch opponents off guard, even all year. He'll have enough different ways to use him that even later in the year teams won't see it coming.

    I'm soooooo excited about BYU's offense under Doman this year. AND the defense under Bronco again.

    Just don't forget the pickle juice at Ole Miss!

  • WhatsInItForMe Orem, Utah
    Aug. 9, 2011 7:44 a.m.

    Wow! Even 3-D TV for BYU.

    What next? The smell of sweat in our TV rooms?

    Bet THIS makes the Utes jealous!

  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    Aug. 9, 2011 6:40 a.m.

    Just gotta love having so much great position depth...
    Gonna be a great year to be a cougar fan!!!

  • Doctor J Manti, UT
    Aug. 8, 2011 11:49 p.m.

    All teams need a good back-up...It's football...players get hurt.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 8, 2011 11:12 p.m.

    Riley should have stayed at USU. They need a quarterback this year.

  • Flame of the West Southern, Cali
    Aug. 8, 2011 10:57 p.m.

    Get well soon will be great.