BYU football: Bronco, players weigh in on Cougars' QB quandary

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    Oct. 6, 2011 8:31 a.m.

    While I think Nelson deserves to start Saturday, it's probably time to start reevaluating the status of Mendenhall. The firings at the end of last season of the offensive staff were an extreme overreaction to a poor start.

    Guarantee that now that BYU is independent the leash on Mendenhall is much shorter. If this garbage is going to continue he had best hope BYU is invited and accepts a Big 12 invitation. A loss to one of these WAC teams alone could lead to his removal.

  • North Summit 05 Coalville, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 6:18 a.m.

    Have some of us forgotten that Riley can pass too remember he broke several state records here when he guided Logan to the 3A state title and if any of you remember that game was against fellow QB James Lark and they both played very well Heaps has had plenty of time to get better if you watch he only passes to 1. Ross Apo 2. Cody Hoffman 3. The RB's. Back in Riley's Senior season I believe Hunter tried focusing in on the Scrambler style and Riley torched them for 300+. I had high hopes for Heaps this year and but if you dont do your job someone will replace you they do the same for any other player Heaps needs to mature alot more and learn how to be a TEAM PLAYER

  • dustman Nampa, ID
    Oct. 4, 2011 4:19 p.m.

    Truth is, without a running game, neither of these QB's will be able to throw the ball with any success. And you shouldn't rely on your QB to do your running.

    Doman is responsible for both the poor running game and passing game.

    Doman may not be throwing the ball, but he is designing the plays and the routes. Because of Doman both the passing game and the running game are suffering. You put all the blame on Heaps, but he only passes the ball. And there are four running backs not accomplishing anything. The one thing in common between the two is Doman.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    Oct. 4, 2011 10:45 a.m.

    Pretty close to what Jimmer tossed in up at the Huntsman Center.(plus the 54 footer.) So for now why don't we just call it even and each zippit and move on to more important concerns. Deal???

  • srh83 Hillsboro, OR
    Oct. 4, 2011 10:38 a.m.

    Sorry, I meant "Guts, heart, and energy" when talking about Nelson.

  • So. Cal Reader Escondido, CA
    Oct. 4, 2011 10:37 a.m.

    If you listen & watch all of Bronco's press-conference, I believe his support of Jake (he actually said "both quarterbacks were effective"?) means Jake will get at least one more start. Let's face it, as much as we're "complaining" of Jake's performance, a 3-2 record going into the middle-portion of the schdule is not as bad as it could be (thanks for the defense and special teams play). So, why not stay with Heaps, with Riley coming in as the "Trevor Hoffman" of the team! Plus, I agree with other comments I've read where perhaps more indepth reporting on Doman is in keeping. Indeed, it seems odd that all returning offensive starters except 1, the offense is struggling as much as it has. Is Doman in over his head? Go, Cougs!

  • Elcapitan Ivins, UT
    Oct. 4, 2011 10:13 a.m.

    I never played football nor did I study the game much, however, I know a fighting, agressive quarterback when I see one. So does nearly everyone else. I would rather watch a player with heart and gut, than a technician who can overthrow passes one after the other and who fears the opposition.

    I want to see more of Riley Nelson, less of what I saw in the BYU/Utah blowout.
    that was a disgusting game for BYU and the fans alike. Most of us have seen enough of Heaps in spite of his/and his fathers desire to see him play.

  • Colorado Reader Littleton, CO
    Oct. 4, 2011 8:47 a.m.

    "Jake is respected just as much as Riley. They're both great competitors and they're both great quarterbacks, though they have different styles," he said. "I don't think one is liked more than the other. We all treat each other as teammates and we treat each other as brothers."

    Great quote for the newspaper, but not what is being said off the record.

  • 1Infidel APO, AE
    Oct. 4, 2011 8:35 a.m.

    Arm strength is great, if you are willing to stand in the pocket long enough to find the right receiver. Arm strength means nothing if one is going to throw into coverage, throw late, throw high, behind, or into the grass...

    Take the green jersey off, get used to getting hit, and then start over. If it takes time, starting over, start Riley, and fall back to Lark or Munns until he is ready. The hype and clamoring for, and prematurely annointing Jake is partially to blame, but it seems with taller, faster receivers, Heaps has digressed. Go with whomever else is ready, can take the heat, and can still deliver.

  • sixpacktr Lancaster, NY
    Oct. 4, 2011 6:57 a.m.

    Nelson, Nelson, Nelson. Give the ball to the guy not stinking up the field. Jake needs some more seasoning and perhaps a little humble pie to really start learning. He doesn't have the fire that I saw Riley exhibit in 20 mins on Friday night. Riley wants to win--Jake just seems in a daze out there. Overthrows, or throws too hard, or doesn't even get it near the receiver.

    Give it to Riley. He wants to win and will help us win.

    Go Cougs!

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Oct. 3, 2011 10:29 p.m.

    @ Veracity-
    "The only plays which Riley ran well were scripted...they were the quarter back sneaks...the rest were broken plays . . ."

    ". . . Stick with Heaps, if he is ineffective, pull him and put Riley in...but he is your future, he must learn some time...he has to control his emotion and learn to be patient and look for the 3rd and fourth options."

    First of all, those aren't "quarter back sneaks." Those are quarterback draws. Big difference. Secondly there were a lot more to those drives than QB draws. There was a nice mix of runs and passes. very few broken plays.
    And thirdly, how many games does it take to make you realize Heaps is ineffective. He has been ineffective all season! It is time to, as you stated, "pull him and put Riley in."

    I also don't remotely buy the argument that it is easier to prepare a defense against a mobile QB like Nelson. That is hogwash! It is FAR easier to prepare against an immobile dropback passer, who is afraid of getting hit, folds under pressure, and zeros in on his receivers. Piece of cake.

  • Veritas Aequitas Fruit Heights, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 9:32 p.m.

    54-10 | 8:35 p.m. Oct. 3, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT

    WAC play starts this week, have fun kitties.


    Come on Ute fan. Can't we just have one more shot at Utah playing against the WAC? Wait, that was last year's Vegas Bowl?

    How did that turn out for this year's team winless against BCS talented teams?

    Go a beat a BCS team then talk smack.

  • 54-10 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 8:35 p.m.

    WAC play starts this week, have fun kitties.

  • Veracity Morgan, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 8:33 p.m.

    Heaps is the future...listen folks, Utah State prepared for Heaps not Riley...they were prepared for a drop back passer who does not scramble like Riley...when Riley was put in, Utah State was more surprised than the fans...they were not prepared to defend his type of play.

    Why do you think Bronco is keeping his lips tight as to who would start Saturday...This makes San Jose have to prepare for two different styles not one.

    The only plays which Riley ran well were scripted...they were the quarter back sneaks...the rest were broken plays and BYU can not expect to keep winning on 80% broken plays and miracle catches. Teams will be prepared for Riley and he will struggle.

    Bronco learned last year, two quarterbacks do not work.

    Stick with Heaps, if he is ineffective, pull him and put Riley in...but he is your future, he must learn some time...he has to control his emotion and learn to be patient and look for the 3rd and fourth options.

    BYU needs stability and a rollercoaster of quarterback cycles will just not work.

    Heaps will grow and mature...give him a chance.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 7:34 p.m.

    Riley Nelson was the starting QB last year before he got hurt, even though it was in an ill-fated 2 QB system. Unless a backup is doing exceptionally well, a starter usually gets his job back after recovering from an injury. Granted, Jake had some good games during the latter, soft portion of the schedule last year. But now that he's up against better teams this year, the results have NOT been impressive, to say the least. Each week, he says he will learn from his previous subpar performance and do better the next week. After 5 straight weeks of the same disappointing performances (1 short of half a season), that is obviously not the case... just not happening. He simply leaves no room for optimisim.
    After Riley's exceptionally gutty performance that ignited both his team and the fans last game, and he pulled out the exciting come-from-behind win, there should be no question in anyone's mind, including Jake's or Bronco's, that Riley has earned the opportunity to start next game and see if he can keep it going. After all, he did give up a for-sure starting position at USU to get that opportunity.

  • U4Me Sandy, Utah
    Oct. 3, 2011 7:21 p.m.

    As a Ute fan, I find the Jake Hypes, Reilly Nelson controversy hilarious, I for one vote for Hypes, he is the right choice. Cougs, stand by the man like most your postings. Oh and keep your coaching staff, especially Brandon Doman, he is the best OC in collage football, give him another 4 years to polish his play calling and stick to your beliefs, Im sure things will start working out. Trust Me.

  • DodgerDoug Salem, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 5:45 p.m.

    I loved the reply about QBs Uale!!!! "The only QB who should be worried is the SJSU QB! Love it!!! Hit him hard on Saturday!

  • cougarNV Las Vegas, NV
    Oct. 3, 2011 4:57 p.m.

    If the Cougar players are as unified and together as this report indicates, then I am impressed. The attitudes expressed here are right on.

    However, I bought into the Reports that "we had the best defensive backs in years", and that our "offense is going to put up 40 points per game" this year.
    So excuse me if I have some doubts that this report truly represent the whole teams attitude.

    I hope it does! But we will see on Saturday I guess.

    Go Cougars!!!!

  • sports-junkie West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 4:01 p.m.


    Jake is married. No mission. Please people, let the mission thing die. Going on a mission is not for Jake, it wasnt for me either but I still went. Wish I would have just gone to school. Hmmm...

    And 54-10, (love the handle btw) The 2011 season for the Utes looks like it will have only one bright spot....54-10. Sorry, but they dont hand out bowl games to teams that cant win 6 games. JW out 2-3 weeks? Well theres 2-3 more losses right there.

  • Wookie Omaha, NE
    Oct. 3, 2011 3:50 p.m.

    This is a done deal. "He's got more heart"... I am eating a HUGE piece of humble pie, but I have a good excuse to rely upon. I said Nelson would never see the field again as a starter. Well, that will prove me wrong come San Jose St. My excuse: never thought Heaps would stink it up like he has. Anyway, great story and wish Nelson all the luck except against Utah. Heaps, go on a mission, think about what it is you want in life. You are NOT ready for the big stage after college, not even close.

  • 54-10 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 3:38 p.m.

    Play the guy who didn't lead his team to a 54-10 pasting.

  • drivebyute SLC, UT
    Oct. 3, 2011 3:32 p.m.

    I have not watched Reilly play too much other than against USU on Fri night. To be fair to heaps, Reilly did not win the game.

    What I mean by that is- he did come back and get them in a position to win, but on the last play of the game he failed to make the pass; it was a little luck and a lot of focus and awareness on the part of the BYU receiver who caught the game winning deflection. If that play happens any other time, he gets that pass deflected, and no one is there to catch the deflection for a game winning TD.

    But because of the two 4th quarter drives, and the game resulting in a win, you HAVE to start Reilly. Its a no brainer.

    Heaps lost the game at Ole Miss, and Van Noy single handedly won that game. Heaps lost the game at Texas. Heaps got destroyed by Utah, and thoroughly outperformed by UCF. Then heaps almost buried BYU against Utah St. and once again Van Noy comes up big.

    There is statisticaly no way Reilly can be worse than Heaps. Reilly all the way.

  • IDC Boise, ID
    Oct. 3, 2011 3:30 p.m.

    Love the solidarity. Go Cougars!