Brad Rock: BYU's QB battle was decided last season

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  • SoUtHapa Saint George, Utah
    Oct. 7, 2011 7:41 a.m.

    Where do I start?

    A. Isn't the supposed entire struggling offense the same one Riley worked with to come back and win the game, or did we all miss something?

    2. One must first, be "A Man" before one can be "The Man".

    III. There are still many potentially embarrassing losses if the team deems the season over, so I hope your sentiment in that regard is not contagious.

    Other than that, you're spot on! ;)

  • fender Washington, UT
    Oct. 6, 2011 3:17 p.m.

    I am hearing Nelson will be the starter and Heaps will back up. Lark, who as I understand it has already asked to be released, will transfer regardless, and I for one won't blame him. He's the most gifted physically of the quarterbacks and he clearly outplayed Nelson in fall camp. I think BYU has really miscalculated by refusing to give him a shot and I wish him well wherever he ends up.

  • Madden Herriman, UT
    Oct. 6, 2011 11:58 a.m.

    Guess folks have never heard of a sophomore slump? Give Heaps a break. Yes, he's missed plenty of receivers, but he also has had many balls dropped - the entire offense is struggling, not just Heaps. Please commit to a guy in the next 2-3 games.

    This is no time for musical quarterbacks - we need to know who "the man" is by TCU, as that is our final test to see if any progress was made over last year.

    This season is basically over - sure BYU might finish 11-2 instead of 7-6, but does that really matter? We lost to Texas and Utah, those were the games this year that would make the season special and we found out this team is not. If you want to compete for national rankings and have BCS dreams for the next few years, you have to figure this out quickly. Best of luck to whoever is chosen.

  • goinfishn Orem, Utah
    Oct. 6, 2011 11:01 a.m.

    What is best for the rest of the year Heaps or Nelson? Well Nelson was best when he had not been scouted. Not sure he is the best QB. He certainly was a team leader last Friday and that is something we have not seen from Heaps this year. He throws to hard and gets to excited. Nelson was much better last week not sure he can continue to be the best. Go Cougars.

  • wly123 Keller, TX
    Oct. 6, 2011 10:51 a.m.

    No doubt Heaps is a person of character or he would not be at BYU. But the issue is leadership which is different than character. There are certain elements of leadership you cannot teach. These things can only be learned in a refiners fire ask anyone who has ever come out of Marine Corps Boot Camp. The problem is you wont find that fire in a game day situation. Game day is a time to execute not develop. The refiners fire is found on the practice field away from the eyes of the world where you either learn to lead or you dont. Because Heaps has not learned how to lead yet, he will never be successful on game day, against a tough determined opponent. Oh yeah, as I look at the records involved, Heaps has never lead a BYU team to a victory against a tough determined opponent. Beating up on cupcakes does not earn you points. Look at what we now know was nothing more than a false sense of bravado coming off the cupcake wins of last year. Nelson may not be the future, but Heaps is certainly not

  • SoUtHapa Saint George, Utah
    Oct. 6, 2011 9:15 a.m.

    Thanks for the insight regarding Bosco. Yes, a shoulder injury. Never said he didn't have the talent. Just inferred he wasn't a glory monger, just worked his butt off and left it all on the field. Two years with the Packers was a nice bonus.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Oct. 6, 2011 8:19 a.m.

    Other than the game with TCU and maybe Hawaii the rest of the schedule is a cupcake. I bet Bronco has Nelson play quarters 1 and 3 and Jake plays 2 and 4. Then Jake will be playing the entire game again once he moved the ball on inferior competition. They just can't afford to have him sit on the bench.

  • Square Kokonut Orem, Utah
    Oct. 5, 2011 11:44 p.m.

    I agree, in principle, with you Brad. I feel, however, that too much emphasis is centered around the supposed quarterback controversy while ignoring what the team as a whole needs right now...and that's a leader with the chemistry to ignite a team like I've never seen this season with Heaps under center until Nelson's heroics last friday. From the mouths of several members of the team themselves after the game, whether it was blocking, tackling or catching a pass, Nelson's play inspired everyone on the team to play that much harder, actually believing they could win! The second half of the Utah game is the first time I've ever seen a BYU team play so well one half and do a 180 'collectively' in the second half. It was like they just gave up! If a quarterback, the anointed leader of any football team, can't fire up the troops when they need it the body can!

  • Y Ask Y Provo, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 10:27 p.m.

    Just watched the Utah State vs BYU game again on BYUTV, and I have drawn the following conclusions:

    1. BYUTV makes the MTN look like the best professional sportscast around. What amateurs!
    2. If Nelson does not get the start this week, the entire team and fan base should walk out in protest.
    3. Nelson's hair was great! Did some Honor Code Nazis tattle?
    4. Everybody on the team was excitedly congratulating Nelson on the win... except Heaps. He doesn't care about the team. All he cares about is himself. His arrogance is underestimated and his talent is overrated.
    5. Domans play-calling was better for this game. Still not where it needs to be, but he out shown the OC from Utah State.

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 10:06 p.m.

    BYU needs to:

    1. Hire Detmer as QB coach (sooner rather later), so as to relieve Doman of that responsibility. He can then concentrate on the offense.

    2. Offense line coach needs to work with Brown, the offense center, to help him work out the kinks in his erratic hiking of the FB.

    3. Play Heaps for the next few games and let him get some confidence. BYU, if they play up to their abilities, should be comfortably ahead in the 3rd and 4th quarters - put in Lark &/or Munns and give them some time to develop. It may just pay dividends if Heaps starts to struggle in the TCU game - then they can put in the best backup, whether it be Riley, Lark, or Munns. BYU might end up with a different QB to end the season. But they need to play them to determine that & give them some game time.

    4. Work on some creative plays to use in certain situations, such as 4th down and short - Riley takes the snap, ladrals to Heaps who throws a short sideline pass for the 1st down, or Heaps takes the snap, hands off to Riley for a delayed center run.

  • MiP Iowa City, IA
    Oct. 5, 2011 9:44 p.m.

    Heaps is the future. Nelson is the trend.

    Bronco's call.

    Either way, SJSU is not a "toss-up." That is a team that will win 3 or 4 games this year, playing in the worst FBS league aside from the SunBelt. And one of those wins will not be BYU.

  • justhinkaboutit Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 9:28 p.m.

    Utah didn't win the nobel prize, Mario did. And I highly doubt he would give it up for anything.

  • azjim GILBERT, AZ
    Oct. 5, 2011 8:56 p.m.

    Yes it should be works. Darn self complete on smart phone ... Jake needs Robbie Bosco now. Go cougars!!!

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 8:55 p.m.

    Here is BYU's schedule, an earlier prognostication was made that 5 of these wins were easy wins and two were toss-ups and if BYU could win those two they would go 10-2. That sounds great on the expectations going into the season. The reality of how BYU plays leads me to a different conclusion.

    Here is the schedule and what I see:

    San Jose State--BYU should win but calling this a toss-up--SJSU is better than people think, BYU struggling
    @Oregon State--Oregon State is 0-4 but playing at home. I would have to say this is a toss-up, not a sure thing.
    Idaho State--Okay, BYU wins this big
    @TCU (Cowboy Stadium)--TCU is not the TCU of the past two years/TCU in a close one.
    Idaho--Idaho is better than people think, lost to UVA by one at UVA last week. BYU should win a close one.
    New Mexico State--BYU wins easy.
    @Hawaii--Hawaii barely lost to UW at UW. UW ran over the Utes and we all saw what Utah did to the Utes. On the island Hawaii wins

    I see BYU going 7-5/8-4.

  • azjim GILBERT, AZ
    Oct. 5, 2011 8:50 p.m.

    Ty is coaching @a high school in Texas. Robbie Bosco still workshops @BYU and could be qb coach tomorrow. I did some research into past comments and it appears that many self proclaimed cougar fans encouraging Jake to transfer are the same Ute and Aggie fans that hate BYU. Nice try you're not fooling anyone.

  • ParkCoug PARKER, CO
    Oct. 5, 2011 8:38 p.m.

    Thanks to all the posters who have pleaded for a new QB coach. Doman is doing a poor job at both the OC and QB coach jobs. Maybe one job is more manageable for a coach still using training wheels. Maybe a new OC would be a good idea too. I can't believe Jake is unteachable. But poor coaching seems to have him confused more than last year.

  • grj Bountiful, ut
    Oct. 5, 2011 8:37 p.m.


    You say "If the Cougars go with Nelson, they'll only be delaying or even hindering the growth of an NFL quarterback."

    What in heaven's name has you thinking Jake Heaps is an NFL quarterback. He's a young,middle-of-the-road-type-talent who shows an occasional burst of potential. That's an awfully big leap of faith you're taking there, especially considering the small percentage of college quarterbacks who actually make it to the pro's.

  • Eddie Would Go FPO, AE
    Oct. 5, 2011 8:13 p.m.

    Funniest line in the comments thus far goes to you, Parkite1, for saying, " As usual Rock you are wrong. If the Cougars win the rest of their games and go 10-2 I bet they get a BCS invite, especially if they beat TCU and Hawaii handily rather than escape with victories."

    Gotta love pointing out that someone else is wrong, and then saying something that is infinitely more wrong.

    Boise State and TCU have each been left out of BCS games recently because they lost ONE game. What makes you think that BYU would get an invite after TWO losses?

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Oct. 5, 2011 8:11 p.m.

    I realize there are more problems on the BYU football team than just the QB position. There are definitely coaching issues, the O-line underachieves, the RB's are very mediocre, and the Defense has mental lapses. But it all begins at the QB position. That is because it truly is a leadership position. Nowhere is that better exemplified than in the last game. The whole team rallied with a change in one position.

    I hear a lot of "we need to be patient and let Jake develop into a great QB." Why wouldn't that same consideration be afforded Nelson?

    There is no doubt that with the unique character traits of leadership, determination, and toughness, Nelson stands a much better chance of improving himself with more playing time than Jake Heaps, who lacks those traits. With more real game reps, I see much more potential in Nelson, than I do in Heaps.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 8:06 p.m.

    @ socalchris:

    "Start Nelson. If a pole were taken with only BYU fans, I'm pretty sure he'd win."

    Maybe we could do Facebook pole (sp) between plays and help Doman with his play calling. I like it!

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 8:02 p.m.

    @ patriot:

    "If Bronco benches Heaps I am done with BYU football this year."

    I wonder if Bronco knows about this. I think you should give him a call. By the way, I could use another ticket if you decide not to use yours. Let me know!

    This evening of reading these comments has been really fun!

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 7:58 p.m.

    @ parkite:

    I'm pretty sure you're a Ute fan posing (trolling) as a Coug just to make us sound silly (as if we need your help!). I love my Cougs, but BYU and BCS invite don't belong in the same paragraph. But it was good for a belly laugh! :)

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 7:53 p.m.


    "as long as you can...take a hit(nelson)" A hit he took last year ended his season. QB's are taught to slide to avoid such hits. Not much use to have a good QB on the bench, injured and not able to go.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Oct. 5, 2011 7:51 p.m.

    I just really don't understand the mentality of this article and many of the commenters here.

    With the mission of independence, the fat ESPN contract, and exposure on the national stage, just exactly what should be the goal of BYU football? This journey of independence works only if BYU wins. Period. So should the primary objective be to win football games or to "develop" Jake Heaps until he "figures things out" so he can hopefully have an NFL career?
    Does anyone really doubt that we would have lost to USU if the coaches hadn't made a change at QB late in the 3rd qtr?

    Many say,"Start Heaps and if he doesn't perform, put Nelson or Lark in." What? He hasn't performed yet this season!
    The coaches need to stick with the decision they made last game. It won them a game, and probably would have won the Texas game if they would have replaced Heaps then.

    Please explain how it would be easier to prepare a defense against a mobile QB (Nelson) who can create, over an immobile QB who can't create. And don't tell me that Heaps is a more accurate passer. That just ain't true.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 7:47 p.m.

    If my memory serves me, Bosco's demise in the NFL was caused by injury, not lack of talent.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 7:35 p.m.


    "I know I am right because I watch football games on TV every chance I get."

    Best comment yet! LOL You and about 2 million others...including moi!

  • Cougar Passion Riverton, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 7:35 p.m.

    OHBU asked if BYU should aspire to be Boise State. Didn't Brandon Doman already say their goal was to make their offense more like that of Boise State?

    My understanding--somebody correct me if I am wrong--is that Boise State actually modeled themselves after what BYU used to be, because they were in the same boat as far as being unable to recruit the very best athletes. If another team now does that better than BYU does, the coaching staff could do far worse than humbly accepting that fact and doing all in their power to right the situation.

    Finally, I have noted that players that think about how quickly BYU can get them to the NFL don't really fit the BYU team culture. Since BYU is not a team like USC that wins on raw cumulative talent, they should pass on any player that feels a sense of entitlement based on his recruiting ranking. Those players either transfer when things don't go their way, or cause divisions in the team that are counterproductive to BYU's goals.

  • stanfunky Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 7:32 p.m.

    "As for Jake, I say we bench him and if he transfers all the better. He is a glorified version of Ben Olson or Matt Berry. give Riley and Lark their run. we have a 3 star and 2 4 star QBs no one has ever heard of because they are all to focused on "how great" jake is. truth is he is nothing. let the real QB's go out and prove themselves."

    Agreed. Heaps can sit and watch while Nelson takes a shot at things. Holding a clipboard and seeing how things work from that end will teach him quicker than continuing to overthrow receivers ever will.

    And for those that discount Nelson's arm strength, you've never seen him throw. He can throw 40-50 yards in a walk, and longer if needed, and more accurate than Heaps. He has leadership and poise in buckets. If he's an absolute disaster against San Jose State and Oregon State, then you can cry for Heaps to get another chance. Or better yet, James Lark! He might be the best of the bunch - he's sat and watched forever - maybe he's learned something.

  • phatness SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 7:26 p.m.

    Benching Heaps is the right thing to do for BYU football, but it is also the right thing to do for the development of Heaps.

    Pulling Heaps is the right thing to do for his development because he isnt giving his full effort. For evidence of his incomplete effort, think of the Pick 6 he threw against Ole' Miss and didn't try to tackle the guy that picked him off. Also think of his unwillingness to stand in the pocket and take a hit in order to get the ball to the receiver one second later when the route is developed.

    For Heaps' development as a QB, he has to routinely give 100% - and a good coach will get 100% out of his players, even if it means benching them for a time in order to get that.

    So please, Bronco, please do the right thing and stick to your guns when you said that if anyone on the team doesn't perform, they won't play. Your team will thank you for it. Jake Heaps eventually will, too.

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 6:39 p.m.

    BYU needs to:

    1. Hire Detmer as QB coach (they need to do this sooner rather than later), to free Doman to concentrate on the offense.

    2. Some creative plays to help open up the offense (take a page from Boise State's playbook). A couple of ideas - Jake takes the snap, hands off to Riley for a delayed run up the middle - or, Riley takes the snap, hands off or ladrals to Jake to throw a long pass downfield - try a few fake punts on 4th down during the next few games and some other creative plays.

    3. Jake starts and does very well in these next few games, because of the lesser talented teams - has a large lead in the 3rd or 4th quarter - put in Lark &/or Munns, and give then some playing time for development purposes.

    4. By the time BYU plays TCU, the coaches will know who will be most effective, Jake, Riley, Lark or Munns - play that person.

    5. If the coaches do their jobs, BYU could be 11-2 and ranked at end of season (which includes the bowl game, of course).

    Go BYU. Go coaches. Go team. Be nice fans.

  • 6'8 Lehi, Utah
    Oct. 5, 2011 5:06 p.m.

    I'm impressed with the talent and athleticism of BYU's team. There are a lot of athletes who came to BYU to win. This is not all about Jake Heaps' NFL career. It's about the team as a whole. In fact, this "NFL potential" is a big reason for Heaps' poor performance. He's more concerned about not getting an injury than he is doing whatever it takes to win.

  • SoUtHapa Saint George, Utah
    Oct. 5, 2011 5:01 p.m.

    Prep Fanatic,
    What happened last year doesn't matter when what's happening right now is so glaringly poor. Nelson did just fine with the plays Doman called, unless he audible out of them, in which case he showed yet another reason he's more prepared to play now. Oh, and another little dimension he and/or Lark adds, athleticism, can be earned by Heaps but he has to be willing to put in work for that. Now that's something that's neither been required of him by the coaches nor volunteered by himself...yet.

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 4:56 p.m.

    Why all of the controversy? The Desnews and Trib love it! Why not just let the coaches decide, which they will do anyway, nevermind our input. We can all sleep better and enjoy the ride, rather then become frustrated about something in the future that we can't do anything about anyway. We'll see what we will see on Saturday. Many will be pleased and many will not. That's the way it is. Peace.

  • zeba North Ogden, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 4:36 p.m.

    Since when was it logical to stick with a QB that has been playing poorly? Logical would be to stick with the guy who lighted his teams' fire and rise up to defeat USU.

  • Prep Fanatic Los Angeles, CA
    Oct. 5, 2011 3:43 p.m.

    As a true blue BYU fan, I say that its time for Jake Heaps to transfer. I have been a huge Jake Heaps fan since watching him play in High School. He is a stud of a quarterback and has a rocket for an arm. I whole-heartedly feel that if he stays at BYU, this coaching staff will end up ruining him, just like Gary Crowton ruined Ben Olsen. And then, it will be a cold day in you know where, before we ever get another top quarterback recruit to come to the Y. BYU fans in general, are delusional, if they think that Riley Nelson is the answer to our woes. This needs to be Jakes team, and the entire coaching staff for starters needs to embrace that philosophy, and then ensure that every player on the football team understands why. If Jake doesnt get that from these coaches, then he should pack his bags and transfer to a school that will embrace his talents and abilities, and will also coach him to his potential. The current staff is failing him. Jake was recruited by many top D1 schools. Hell find a home.

  • Prep Fanatic Los Angeles, CA
    Oct. 5, 2011 3:26 p.m.

    @ G Swenz
    Did you even watch the last 8 games last year? My guess is not. When Jake was finally given the reigns and no longer had to play musical quarterbacks with Riley Nelson, he flourished as a true freshman under Robert Anae. BYU went 6-2 in their final 8 games. Jake Heaps passed for over 23oo yards, and the BYU offense averaged 33pts per game. And he did it all without the likes of Riley Nelson, because he was injured. No more musical quarterbacks! Oh, and if you hadnt already noticed, BYU has the same exact offensive personnel as they had for those last 8 games, minus Luke Ashworth, and added a healthy Ross Apo. So whats different now? BYU fired an offensive coordinator that was starting to find his groove with Jake Heaps and this talented offense. Enter Brandon Doman. BYUs offense has been dismal at best. Maybe, just maybe, the new offensive coordinator is to blame? I think hes a big part. I will tell you this; Riley Nelson is not the answer, as its not very hard for any team to prepare for him. All he does is run.

  • Mick Stupp Happy Valley, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 2:59 p.m.

    This comment section has been one of the most entertaining and informative football discussions I've ever seen. Thanks, everybody. Personally, though, I'm an expert. When I was young, I tossed several passes in flag football games, and I can still run circles around old fat guys. I'd bet Rock has similar qualifications. So, based on my vast experience, I can tell you that Heaps would make a great water boy in the NFL. He might even tear up the Big Sky. But against BYU's modest schedule so far (Texas may be for real, but the rest are mediocre, a combined 7-10), Heaps has proved he is not ready to quarterback a major college football team. What BYU ought to hope is that Chuckie Keeton joins the LDS Church, goes on a mission next year, and transfers to BYU while he's away. He's the best quarterback in the state.

  • SportsRUs Happy Valley, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 2:41 p.m.

    Sorry, OHBU, but those passes you're accusing the receivers of dropping weren't the problem. Of Jake's first 11 passes, he completed 5, and 5 of the other 6 were so overthrown the vultures circling the field had to dodge them.

  • daddman54 FARMINGTON, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 2:40 p.m.

    I've never seen a fan base so tough on their own as BYU. I wonder if potential recruits read these forums and decide they don't want to be drug through the mud and second guessed to the nth degree during their entire NCAA eligibility.

    Oct. 5, 2011 2:33 p.m.

    How was this decided last year? Nelson got hurt while they still had a rotation at QB.

    Who cares about how great Jake's arm is, and what he did in High School! He has no composure, and how can you be a leader when you are in freaking La La Land and continue to think you were sent from Heaven to give BYU a BCS birth when you continue to throw more INT's than TD's, and 50% of your passes are incomplete?!

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 2:26 p.m.

    Hey Skippy:

    No question Utah would give up a Nobel for Riley this week. First, it isn't their Nobel, it was given to a faculty member. Second, The U got lucky vs a WAY over-rated BYU squad that couldn't move the ball. And that was WITH their starting QB. Without Wynn, the U will be lucky to have a winning season in the PAC-12.

  • VictorVonTrap Draper, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 2:25 p.m.

    Coaching has been a problem at the Y for years. Heaps has the raw talent but something seems to be missing. I think the best thing Heaps could do for his long term career is transfer. The Y isn't the QB factory it used to be nor does it effectively develop its players.

    Mendenhall is a decent guy but he is not a top 20 caliber coach, nor are his staff. If beating a WAC team constitutes the players and coaches getting excited and rallying around Nelson what does it say about the Y football program? At the Y, beating USU is considered a reason to celebrate? At a top NCAA program alarm bells would be ringing 24/7 and heads would roll.

  • tbaird1120 HEBER CITY, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 1:49 p.m.

    We keep saying that Heaps is the true BYU QB. BYU QBs do put up big numbers passing, but they were able to do that because they could extend the play, keep their eyes down field, and were willing to take a hit. It was not that they had a rocket of an arm, but instead that they were creative and made plays. Heaps can't extend a play, does not keep his eyes down field, and cannot take a hit. Nelson has shown that he has the ability to do all those things. Detmer did not have a great arm, Doman won all but two games at BYU with no arm. BYU has two wideouts that you just have to put it close and they will catch it. Nelson did that, Heaps has overthrown and overthrown and has not given his guys the chance to catch the ball.

  • fender Washington, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 1:33 p.m.


    "Sometimes your own homework and the five star rating line up..."

    What exactly does that mean? The ESPN and Rivals analysts look at exactly the same thing the college coaches look at: high school game film and performance at camps. The coaches are no smarter than the analysts, who are all ex-coaches or players. Professional teams have millions of dollars riding on draft day and their scouts are wrong in their assessments as often as right. It is not an exact science.

    Perhaps you weren't aware that a five star is awarded to a player who analysts believe can make a big impact immediately...not next year or two years from now, but immediately. After a season and a half Heaps has done nothing against good competition to show that he is a big impact player. As one former D1 coach said about another QB with a big arm and a resume but no intangibles, "He's good enough to get you beat." BYU coaches can ride the Heaps' bandwagon for another two and a half years and he will be just good enough to get you beat.

  • relientk Lindon, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 1:02 p.m.


    Investing more time in Heaps now would be like investing in Enron. You're gonna get burned!

  • EdCullen Orem, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 12:23 p.m.

    I fully agree with Brad Rock here. Good article.

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    Oct. 5, 2011 12:15 p.m.

    Start Nelson. He's earned a shot at starting. If Heaps can red-shirt, its a win-win and a no-brainer. If a pole were taken with only BYU fans, I'm pretty sure he'd win.

    This offense needs someone with Nelson's ability to scramble. It's much more important than having a perfect arm. Not only that, he's fun to watch, and that's important, especially if we're going to be on ESPN.

  • Robert Rexburg, ID
    Oct. 5, 2011 11:51 a.m.

    Yeah it was settled last season -- with Heaps' many poor performances leading BYU to a dismal record and lopsided losses. That should be enough to bench him.

    If they start Heaps, they'll continue to lose. The record demonstrates this conclusively.

  • Bluecat82 Minneapolis, MN
    Oct. 5, 2011 11:45 a.m.

    You know...

    After watching SJSU go to Fort Collins last week and win...

    After watching Idaho go to Charlottesville and take an ACC team (granted a bad ACC team but still) to OT before losing...

    And after seeing NMSU a few weeks ago come into my backyard and beat a Big Ten team (granted, a horrible Big Ten team, but still)...

    I'm not sure I'd qualify those three games as "easy wins"...just saying.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 11:38 a.m.

    Brad Rock is 100% correct!! Brad may have burst some bubbles breathing some reality into Reily Nelson supporters but what Brad said was accurate. Nelson is one of those college back ups - like Blain Fowler that can come in - on occasion - to give a spark or fill in for an injury but nothing more than that. Heaps is struggling - no question - but let's be objective here folks and step back from the situation for a moment. Heaps finished STRONG last year under the Anae offense and has struggle with the Doman offense (along with everyone else). Heaps will get figure things out and will start being more accurate on his throws IF Bronco and Brandon don't abandon him for a temporary fix called Nelson. Heaps has a big arm and a classic quick release as well as a nearly 6'3" height to see the field. He was accurate last year and he will be accurate again. Nelson is a glorified high school QB and nothing more. Yes he can get some yards with his running but he isn't going to pass BYU to prominence by any imagination. If Bronco benches Heaps I am done with BYU football this year.

  • manaen Buena Park, CA
    Oct. 5, 2011 11:30 a.m.

    @OHBU, "What more can a quarterback do than hit his receivers in the hands and chest?"

    A couple of suggestions:
    * Try to tackle the Ole Miss player who intercepted him instead of walking away from the play.
    * Pounce upon the ball he fumbled into the end zone instead of jumping over it. Also, do not say in your post-game comments that you were trying to make a "heads-up play" when you fumbled that ball.

    In short, man up and become a game-day football *player* instead of a practice-day technician.

  • Parkite1 Park City, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 11:28 a.m.

    As usual Rock you are wrong. If the Cougars win the rest of their games and go 10-2 I bet they get a BCS invite, especially if they beat TCU and Hawaii handily rather than escape with victories. Nelson deserves to start the next game. Heaps should then come in for the second quarter or halftime. If Heaps performs and executes the offense as a leader then he should start the next week. The problem is no way Doman, it is Heaps over-throwing his receivers and hitting their feats. Doman cannot make the players follow through but a QB who is a leader can help the entire offense get better and grow confidence Heaps does not have that this year, yet..

  • Prep Fanatic Los Angeles, CA
    Oct. 5, 2011 11:17 a.m.

    There are so many Riley Nelson fans out there, that it scares me. What make you think he can effectively run a team? He was given plenty of chances last year to prove himself, but being the one dimensional player that he is, he finally got himself injured while trying to be a running back. He cannot throw the football effectively enough, to be a productive D1 quarterback. He is an option quarterback, and has been since his days at Logan High School. The only other option quarterback to play at BYU, just so happens to be the offensive coordinator now. Brandon Doman was only successful at BYU, because he had a Doak Walker Award winning running back in Luke Staley who could continually take the pressure off of the rest of the offense. Without Staley, Doman would not have been effective. BYU is not option football. BYU has been built upon the pass and needs to continue down that road. Riley works well with some Wildcat packages, but to say he can lead this team to the Promised Land, is ludicrous. This team and coaches need to ride this storm out with Jake Heaps.

  • hoost Walnut Creek, CA
    Oct. 5, 2011 11:15 a.m.

    Nelson got hurt. The position landed in Heaps lap. He didn't have to earn anything. People like to cite the fact that he is one of the BYUs best freshman QBs ever. That sounds good and all, but there's no substance to it since BYU hasn't really had any other freshman QBs. BYUs QBs have rarely started more than two years. Heaps doesn't need special treatment in order to reach his potential. Let the kid who ends up being most productive NOW play.

  • niners SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 11:10 a.m.

    You can be a good qb without much arm strength (nelson), as long as you can make smart decisions(nelson), take a hit(nelson), and be a leader(nelson). You cannot be a good qb with a lot of arm strength(heaps) and have no decision making abilities i.e. progression reads(heaps), no leadership(heaps), and not taking hits for your team (as heaps avoids every game). To be a great qb you must have all of these traits. Nelson has the traits to be a good qb, heaps does not as of right now. The arm strength of a qb is highly overrated and Bronco should not be starting heaps just for his arm strength.

  • SoUtHapa Saint George, Utah
    Oct. 5, 2011 10:48 a.m.


    Aspire to be Boise State? They could do much worse. I don't think Boise State aspires to be BYU!

    You don't get it. Heaps is not good. The "experts", and you, got it wrong this time. Many, many balls have flown off target...completely. And, to top it off, I don't believe receivers are not catching balls on purpose but he is not popular in the club house.

    His biggest problem is fear and the timidity born of it combined with a lack of work ethic to solve that biggest problem, which equals it never going away.

    Time to move on and plenty of talent to move on with.

  • ExDixieIte Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 10:47 a.m.

    Heaps an NFL quarterback? I want some of what you've been drinking!

  • swishh15 Roosevelt, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 10:35 a.m.

    Heaps an NFL quarterback?? Are you kidding me? The dude is ranked 113 out 119 Quarterbacks in D1 College Football. I realize he may be slightly better than that but common. He needs to jump about 105 spots to have a chance.

  • azjim GILBERT, AZ
    Oct. 5, 2011 10:31 a.m.

    Hire Ty Detmer as quarterback coach. Brandon Doman can't be oc and qb coach at the same time. Heaps has struggled he needs a great coach. Jim McMahon and Steve Young had Mike Holmgren. Get a clue Jake naysayers!

  • SoUtHapa Saint George, Utah
    Oct. 5, 2011 10:22 a.m.

    Fender is dead on. There are also many great college players, including Heisman recipients, who moved on to either no NFL career or a disappointing one. There is no strict parallel supporting your theory. Success at one level, by an individual or a team, does not necessarily translate into a professional career. You need look no further than the QB of the undefeated, national championship team, Robbie Boscoe, to find an example. A perfect model of guts and leadership at the college level and no pro snaps to follow.

    Furthermore, too many put too much on what some recruiting site says about some high school boy. National high school program and player comparisons? It's tough enough to compare and rank entire college programs with only what, 119 at the D1 level. Heaps should be considered as an exposure of these "systems" for what they really are, a calculated GUESS. There are simply too many variables with the number of high school programs and players in this country.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Oct. 5, 2011 10:17 a.m.


    Who does BYU aspire to be, Boise State? I personally see a more sustainable and successful model in the likes of LSU, Alabama, Ohio State, and USC. Sure, every team has their down years. But in college it's not about the X's and O's, its about the Jimmys and the Joes. I'm certainly not suggesting that BYU stop doing their own homework and only recruit the 5 stars. But sometimes your own homework and the star rating line up, and you won't get those players if you have a reputation for having a quick hook. It's certainly no coincidence that the teams that are regularly in the top-5 at the end of the year are the same that are placing teams in the first round of the NFL draft.

    Honestly, after watching and re-watching Heaps' games as starter, with a few exceptions, he's not the problem. What more can a quarterback do than hit his receivers in the hands and chest? It's pretty difficult to find many passes thrown by Heaps that simply sailed or missed their target completely. His biggest problem is misreading defenses and forcing throws...a plague on all freshman and sophomore qbs.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Oct. 5, 2011 10:15 a.m.

    The best thing right now would be for Heaps to bench himself and give himself the time to grow into the position. Maybe the rest of the year or even to redshirt next. That would be the honorable thing to do.

  • Bacon Eater KAYSVILLE, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 10:13 a.m.

    I don't think I have ever read an article I agree with more. Brad Rock has put into words every feeling and thought that has been pinging around inside me since last Friday. I have sat in those stands and watched QB's come and go since Virgil Carter. Good for Nelson, he did a great job, but he should not be given the starting job. His up-side potential is very limited. We will win the next several games no matter who plays, use it to get Jake's legs under him. Besides, Riley needs a haircut :-)

  • D'Anconia Providence, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 9:57 a.m.

    Robert Anae is looking pretty good right now! Doman and Bronco are the problem. Jake Heaps is taking all the blame for an offense that is predictable and has no run game. He threw some really nice balls in the second quarter to receivers who couldn't make a play and/or were not open. He would thrive on a good team that was well coached.

    BYU is lucky to have Heaps and he should transfer if he is not the starter this weekend. And I doubt he will start. Bronco will opt for short term success over developing a quarterback and offense that can actually compete with the bigger schools.

  • utahcountyute Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 9:54 a.m.

    If he wasn't married I would say send Heaps on a real mission. Humility would do him some good.

    I like Riley's hair though. I hope he doesn't have a test coming up soon.

  • fender Washington, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 9:51 a.m.


    Sorry pardner, you're way off there. You don't build an elite program with 5 star recruits who can't live up to their high school press clippings. You build an elite progam by winning football games and you win games by putting playmakers on the field. Boise State is the poster child for winning games with recruits nobody else had much interest in. Young, McMahon and Bosco are perfect examples of guys who came in without hype and fanfare and just flat out performed in the big games to put BYU on the map. Bear in mind that those same guys--just like Lark and Nelson now--would never have gotten their shot if Heaps had been there.

    The Division 1 dustbin is chock full of 5 star QBs who lacked the intangibles and I think it's evident that Mr. Heaps is one of them.

  • Ravenal Somewhere in, Utah
    Oct. 5, 2011 9:39 a.m.

    Agreed, they need to start Heaps. They also need to bring in a QB coach so Doman can focus on the entire offense. If Doman was a veteran OC then he could probably handle 2 jobs but he's not so he can't.

  • srh83 Hillsboro, OR
    Oct. 5, 2011 9:31 a.m.

    Heaps is one of the worst QBs in division 1 football. Riley had two touchdowns in one quarter, while Heaps has had three touchdowns in 18.5 quarters.

    This is not a difficult decision! Start Riley!

  • Utah'95 FPO, AE
    Oct. 5, 2011 9:24 a.m.


    Heaps is NOT a good quarterback. He is currently rated #103. Numbers don't lie.

    The question is whether he will ever become a good quarterback.

    My prediction - BYU will stick with Heaps. He will mirror last year's season, meaning he will look good against the weaklings on the remaining schedule, but will lose to TCU, Hawaii, and maybe Oregon State. Everyone will declare that he has progressed, but no one will really know whether that's true until next September, when the Cougars play at Georgia Tech, Utah, and Boise State.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Oct. 5, 2011 9:21 a.m.

    Nobody is more popular with the fans than the backup quarterback. These message boards are certainly proof of that.

    To those that seem to be frustrated with the idea of specifically preparing a kid to play in the NFL, you need to realize that doing so is how you build an elite program. When a highly-touted and talented recruit comes to your school and doesn't make it to the NFL, other elite talents take note. You don't think BYU benefited throughout the years because of Young and McMahon and the perception that playing at BYU can get you into the NFL? Heaps is BYU's biggest recruiting catch in years. If he fails, BYU will struggle with recruiting in the future. If we develop him and he succeeds, it becomes that much easier to get the next elite qb talent.

    Oct. 5, 2011 9:16 a.m.

    I am willing to bet some of our Ute fan friends have voted in this poll where Heaps enjoys such a large margin of support. Ha ha.

  • Skippy West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 9:13 a.m.

    Brad...I really don't think Utah would give back their nobel prize for Riley! (I hope you were just trying to be funny)

  • cclute4 LOGAN, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 9:09 a.m.

    It's too bad that BYU will probably decide to sit their best running back and quarterback. Coaching Fail!

  • Golfhack20 West Jordan, Ut
    Oct. 5, 2011 8:58 a.m.

    Everyone needs to take a step back and realize that Jake Heaps is a good QB. However what drives me crazy is the fact that he throws to different players all the way down the field and when they get 30 yards and in he locks on Apo. He needs to keep distributing the ball to all his guys!!! Guys will sale out for him if they know they will get the ball! If not they do enough to get by and that is killing this offense.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Oct. 5, 2011 8:50 a.m.

    Oops, sorry, that was last year's game in the video. But the result was the same this year--well-thrown balls going through their hands.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Oct. 5, 2011 8:46 a.m.

    Take a look at the youtube video "BYU receivers drop passes vs. Utah St." Over a dozen dropped passes that Heaps delivered into their hands or torsos. How can you fault Heaps for that?

  • TizTheSeason Lehi, Utah
    Oct. 5, 2011 8:44 a.m.

    How about, Don't let anyone know who the starting quarterback will be until the end of the season?
    How can you continue to use Heaps and the NFL in the same sentence? This is crazy.
    In a recent article written about James Lark, He always prepares to be the starter. Why not give the guy a chance. There is no drama, hype or long hair that comes with him. His practice jersey is even modest. Give the kid a try!

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    Oct. 5, 2011 8:36 a.m.

    Nelson got lucky vs usu. Utah lit him up and so will other defenses with fast athletes.

    Heaps is not the issue of ability, it is him sticking with Domans offense which ironically was how domain overcam crowton, Nelson still doing the same thing to him.

  • MJB Tooele, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 8:32 a.m.

    I have to agree with Cougar Passion. I think it's about time to name Lark as the starting quarterback. I would love to see him start against SJSU this saturday night. That would put to rest the question as to whether he would be a better option now or in the future. It would be hard to lose this game and it might give an insight as to the abilities of the "backups".

  • manutd Milford, CT
    Oct. 5, 2011 8:25 a.m.

    i like jake heaps but the future is now, one win at a time. we can't keep sacrificing the team and the reputation of the program in the hope that heaps finally pulls it together. last years farce and this years offensive melt downs on national TV no less, has set the program back in major ways. investing in heaps has become a year and a half in the making with no major wins. think about it. when was the last big win against a quality ranked opponent, oklahoma? even this years schedule is pretty weak when you break it down. if he can't beat or perform against the minnows then time to give someone else a shot. doesn't mean he is done at byu. if he transfers so be it. it wasn't meant to be.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Oct. 5, 2011 8:17 a.m.

    I think one thing so many seem to have missed about that USU game is the play of the receivers. Throughout the game, they were dropping passes that was inexcusable. If a pass hits your hands, or your stomach, it should be a catch. But they missed a lot of those. When Nelson came in, for some reason they started fighting, making acrobatic catches that covered up the fact that Nelson isn't very accurate and doesn't have a strong throw. Heaps definitely gives this team a higher ceiling. What I'm wondering is where all that effort from the receivers was the whole game. Is there some locker room angst against Jake and Riley is a more likable character? Was it just that they sensed the urgency with the switch? Did they feel a little less pressure from the DBs because USU was trying to adjust for the qbs ability to run?

    Note: Hoffman has been great and made great catches all day, and I don't think Apo was completely lucid, so I'll excuse him. But Mathews and Jacobson have got to have some poise...they need a bit more Collie in their game. Catch the excuses.

  • TwoBitsWorth Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 8:12 a.m.

    Keep them guessing! Don't let anyone know who the starting quarterback will be until game time. Use some of the other Quarterbacks. With all the talent on hand at BYU, why not use the surprise factor? Give Lark a chance to see what he can do. Mix it up and let the rest of this year be a proving ground for the "stable" full of QB's at BYU. Let them fight for the job and pick the one who wins the fight. I know I am right because I watch football games on TV every chance I get.

  • Unlucky HEBER CITY, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 8:07 a.m.

    Yes Heaps hasn't been as good as projected and so BYU fans jump all over him, which only makes someone feel negative pressure which makes their play more inconsistent. Then fans blame him for not allowing the other talented players meet their talent. Why is Heap's talent overhyped, but all other players get a break from fans. You were told by the press how good they were, watch none of them are as good as they wwere touted. I've said it before alot.this is what BYU is always going to be like. Bronco is the perfect coach for BYU. They have the type of players they want, high character, high standard young men. They won't always have the greatest talent, but they will compete against all but the 20 to 30 best teams. It has been around 20 years since they really beat someone good. Oklahoma had a down year the year they beat them. So get used to this and be positive about your team or things will only get worse because I wouldn't want any of my children or grandchildren playing at BYU.

  • dustman Nampa, ID
    Oct. 5, 2011 7:59 a.m.

    Doman is the problem, not the QB spot.

    Doman is the only thing our horrible running game and passing game has in common.

    Our offensive line is crumbling way too fast. The running backs can't make plays and the QB's have no time to throw.

    Neither Nelson nor Heaps will be successful if Doman is designing and calling the plays.

    Nelson cannot be expected to run the ball for the offense and throw it too. He tried that last year, for half of the time, and got hurt. He can't do that full time.

    Get an OC that makes your players successful. Right now some good running backs and QB's are being wasted.

  • Master Nielsen Saint George, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 7:58 a.m.

    I see a lot of potential in heaps. i am surprised that he can get his helmet over his swollen head though. That being said i still think they should start Heaps with Lark as his back up. Take Nelson and make him one of the main running backs that gives the defense something to consider in his ability to throw the ball. It also opens up many more options for the offense.
    I like Nelson as a running back but not as the starting QB.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 7:49 a.m.

    Geez Rock, you have drunk the Kool Aid. Heaps is not the man, and I think if he got mad and transfered the Y would be better off. Besides, he has a re-shirt year. Losing his starting job would be a wake up call for him. Part of his problem is the plays Doman calls. The other part is that he can't read a defense. Bring Detmer to teach him how to do that.

  • Yooper Houghton, MI
    Oct. 5, 2011 7:46 a.m.

    I just don't get why so many continue to reference Nelson's failings last year, and Heaps successes last year, as somehow a predictor and model for the current BYU football team (i.e. October 2011). Although the past can often predict the future, we're talking about the now--the present--not the past. Nelson stepped up big time, in a quarter and a half, in the Utah State game: more accurate, more touchdown passes, more elusiveness in the pocket, better running yardage, better energy, and better leadership, than Heaps had shown in any of his previous five starts.

    Heaps had his chance, he didn't deliver, and now it's Nelson's. Until Nelson starts an entire game and flames out, how can we accurately "predict" that he will automatically fail? Based on his "recent" play (i.e. the best predictor of success), he seems better prepared to lead BYU to victory at this moment in time. I say go with the hot hand until it cools off.

    Oct. 5, 2011 7:42 a.m.

    Rock highlights and propogates the problem all too well. He makes Heaps the main event of BYU football. He writes about his worries of Heaps not getting to the NFL if Riley starts. Rock encourages the entitlement and "Heaps Hype" too much. Heaps was a good HIGH SCHOOL football player and he was the QB of a TEAM that beat losing teams and a poor and declining UTEP team last year.

    IT IS BYU FOOTBALL!!!! Not heaps training camp and media day for the NFL. Heaps has flat out stunk lately. He needs humility and "less talk and more walk". He may be great but if he can't win a game then he is not even good now.

    Quit making it about Heaps and his potentially hurt feelings. Make it about the BYU football team and winning football games...last I looked there were a lot more great young men playing football for BYU than just Heaps...many that have set great examples by going on missions and are winners already.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 7:41 a.m.

    Well, one improvement has happened and that's the lack of comments coming from Jake. That's a huge improvement in my book albeit at the expense of a bruised ego and now confidence issues.

    It would all be so easy to fix if Jake would simply perform to fan expectations.

    A few cupcake games will be welcomed and might be all that's necessary to regain confidence and season the QB.

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 7:19 a.m.

    While I generally agree with Brad Rock on this, and have heard a number of other Blue fans make the same point, the real mistake was putting an unprepared freshman at the helm of a major college football team last year. I don't care how naturally gifted a kid is, he simply won't be able at age 18 to lead a major CF team without first learning the system and earning his teammates respect. If it took promising Heaps the chance to start as a feshman to get him to commit, the coaches should have passed on Heaps and let him go somewhere else. And if We have a down year or two because Riley can't get it done, so be it.w. That is a recruiting issue that is water under the bridge.

    I personally think Riley Nelson is better than many give him credit for, and believe that physical capabiliy is second to mental toughness and competitive spirit in HS and college athletics. But that is not the point - day in and day out, I think the Cougs are better off starting Junior quarterbacks, not Freshman and Sophomores.

  • Prep Fanatic Los Angeles, CA
    Oct. 5, 2011 7:14 a.m.

    Why is no one looking at the coaching, as to one of the problems with the offense? Everyone is so quick to jump all over Jake, for the demise of the offense. Lets look to one reality that keeps coming to mind. BYU finished 7-6 last year, going 6-2 in their final 8 games, with losses only to TCU and to Utah. In those 8 games, the BYU offense was averaging 33pts per game. Who was playing quarterback? Thats right, Jake Heaps, and he had the entire offense, minus Luke Ashworth, that is playing football for BYU this year. Also this year, they have Ross Apo, who was sidelined last year due to a broken hand. The only thing that is different, this year, is the offensive coordinator, the one who calls the plays. Robert Anae was fired at the end of last season, and Doman was promoted. Big change, not only in experience, but in their play calling ability. Jake last year, in 10 starts, was 219-383, for 2,316 yards, and averaged 33pt per game. Thats impressive.

  • DaveKnowsWhatsUp Bloomington, IN
    Oct. 5, 2011 7:07 a.m.

    Rock, Please please please stop referencing anything in relation to Heaps and the NFL! I think a large part of the problem is that Heaps has been believing this stuff for way too long, and because of this he has not taken the effort to figure out what it takes to be a decent qb. Sure he has the physical ability to be great, but there are too many other issues that are preventing him from doing so (most of which are in his head and attitude). Until he gets past these, he will never be a decent college player, much less in the pros.

  • Utah'95 FPO, AE
    Oct. 5, 2011 6:49 a.m.

    "Heaps struggled early but eventually found his footing, leading the Cougars to six wins in their final eight games."

    Let's be honest, Brad, considering the level of competition Heaps faced in the last eight games of last year's season, that's not saying much. According to Sagarin, here's how the eight finished the season:

    SDSU - 34
    TCU - 4
    Wyo - 108
    UNLV - 131
    CSU - 130
    UNM - 170
    Utah - 26
    UTEP - 121

    The "improvement" that everyone saw in Heaps in the latter half of the season wasn't as dramatic as you all wanted it to be, but rather was due to playing inferior competition.

    Heaps has a cannon for an arm, but he doesn't have "it," and he doesn't "get it" either. Most importantly, there's no guarantee that he will ever develop the leadership, poise, and insight that it takes to be a successful quarterback.

    BYU has rarely had problems finding productive quarterbacks. As usual, they are stocking the shelves with good candidates. The decision is bigger than Heaps vs. Nelson, it's whether to continue to try to develop the five star high school QB who has fallen off the curve, or declare him a bust and begin grooming "the next BYU quarterback."

  • SoUtHapa Saint George, Utah
    Oct. 5, 2011 6:47 a.m.

    All of you, including Brad Rock, who are drunk on Heaps of Kool Aid, have obviously never stood behind center and taken a snap, at any level. Just because you have nice mechanics and throw a pretty ball a long way doesn't make you a leader, or even mature. This is the big time where even the struggling programs have big, strong, mature men on the field. All of you need to go watch the Nelson post game interview on youtube and compare it to anything Heaps has said...ever for a maturity reality check. Nelson and Lark/Heaps equals Men/Boy. These are guys who are considerably more mature than most pro players. Our mission rotation gives us that advantage.
    Ya, I saw the look in Heaps eyes as Riley led the team. It was the look of "oh no, there goes my job!". He looked like a whipped puppy not someone who was learning a lesson. My brother-in-law lives in Washington where this kid played and UCBaller nailed it, those teams were ridiculous, especially in the 3A classification.
    Let Heaps transfer. Having been behind a center, it is very plain to me, he's not it.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 6:35 a.m.

    I have a hard time agreeing with this article.

    And how telling: "BYU isn't going anywhere beyond the Armed Forces Bowl, regardless of wins." Maybe BYU did take a big step backwards this season.

  • BigCougFan Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 6:31 a.m.

    regardless of Jake's production this year, he is the starter and Riley can't "earn" it away from him on 1 quarter of play. The coaches see them both a lot more than any of us do.. I trust the coaches to make the right decision. The right decision was made in the game against USU when they subbed Riley for Jake. But that doesn't mean it's the right decision long-term or even against a different team.

    I'm not a Jake fan or a Riley fan.. I'm a BYU Cougar fan and I support the team and coaches. Go Cougars!

  • AzTim Gilbert, AZ
    Oct. 5, 2011 6:23 a.m.

    "But if Heaps is lacking experience and confidence, he won't get it watching Nelson. "

    Did sitting and watching another qb for a couple of years diminish the experience and confidence Young, McMahon, Wilson, Doman, or Hall? It can be argued that their sitting, watching, learning and growing is what made them all great. Why should we be afraid of the same for Heaps?

  • Randy01 Lees Summit, MO
    Oct. 5, 2011 5:22 a.m.

    @What Now: You highlight the real problem, BYU's schedule. Take out Utah, Texas and TCU it is simply a joke. Any one of the top seventy programs in the nation would go 9-3 with this schedule. With a schedule like this, everything is padded, including the fan's sense of the program's importance.

  • Cougar Claws Lindon, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 12:36 a.m.

    Do you think BYU receivers are dropping passes on purpose and lineman are "missing" blocks on purpose to make Heaps look bad? I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I don't put anything past anyone anymore.

  • localblue Sandy, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 12:30 a.m.

    I don't know why people keep putting all the blame on Heaps. He's young and worried about his NFL career but the issue here is coaching. Let's not forget that Heaps was undefeated in high school and was known for how well he threw the ball, accurately, easy to catch, etc. The guy was recruited by everybody (OU, FSU, etc.) and likely would be a star at any of those programs in a year or two.

    Our problem is the offensive coaching is abysmal. I like Doman and I like Bronco. But I also see guys in over their heads, unable to create a run game that relieves pressure on the pass, an offensive line that got smoked by Utah's defense, basic play calling, etc. This team is talented and should be able to play with anybody. The fact that they can't is a reflection on the coaches more than anything else.

    I like Doman but I'm just not sure we have the time to wait around for him to get up to speed. I say you keep Bronco as DC and go out and hire a real OC. Otherwise all this talent is wasted.

  • G-Force Washington, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 12:09 a.m.

    Could it be the real conflict here lies with the HC and earlier promises. Pretty sure there's a bit of politics and strategy that will go on inside the war room. If Nelson plays, Heaps threatens to transfer. If Heaps plays, the Jr's and Sr's who are mostly RMs, mature, & 24 and 25 yrs. old (and have paid the price to start) may not respect the golden child. Lark, who was signed as Nelson committed to USU and then transferred, may be the best that never was...because of those dreaded living room promises. How does one Rise Up when it's not the play on the field, but the play behind the the theater we call college football.

  • Mountain Cat Oceanside, CA
    Oct. 5, 2011 12:07 a.m.

    Heaps is a strong armed robot, incapable, it seems, of adjusting and creating. He doesn't seem to be throwing touch passes to real live receivers. Instead he is throwing overly programmed, beautiful, hard passes that get an a+ for form, but an F for results.

    Doman promised a less predictable offense, but it has become absolutely predictable, in the dumps statistically ---- and deadly boring.

    BYU football has been exciting only when Riley takes the snap.

  • R-9 st. george, ut
    Oct. 4, 2011 10:35 p.m.


    Take him to Salt Lake they need a QB.
    Up on the hill they are LOL!!!!

  • CWEB Orem, UT
    Oct. 4, 2011 10:33 p.m.

    Heaps has hit many receivers for very very catchable balls! They drop them.

    Heaps is your man, you keep going with him. And you get in the face of receivers who drop his throws! If they don't "like" him, and drop his passes, then sit them down.

    I see no coaches in the faces of our players when they drop passes, fumble, or overplay and interception!

    Riley is heady and strong, but no great BYU QB EVER has had an arm as weak as Nelson...he's a situation player at best.

    You Nelson fans don't know diddly. Period.

  • UC Baller Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 4, 2011 10:23 p.m.

    Veritas Aequitas | 10:08 p.m. Oct. 4, 2011
    Fruit Heights, UT

    if whats that easy? winning 3 State Championships with a stacked and loaded team? Take a look at the HS roster and tell me they werent stacked-especially after signing day.

    He has missed many easy throws that a college QB should make easily. Watch any game this Saturday on TV, and tell me one QB that Heaps could replace. I watched 16 teams last Saturday with Tivo and every QB looked a lot better than Heaps. He is too far into it to be missing such easy throws. He has the rocket curls down pat; and the quick hitters to the RB out of the backfield; but he actually has too good of an arm/no touch to complete the side line arc passes and deep skinny posts. He tries to laser those. And we wont mention his timidness...

    I personally would like to see what Lark can do. I bet he would be better than 116th out of 119 Div 1 QB's. I have personally seen three HS QB's in Utah Valley that can make better throws than Heaps...

  • Veritas Aequitas Fruit Heights, UT
    Oct. 4, 2011 10:08 p.m.

    Rock is dead on right.

    @UC Baller | 7:51 p.m. Oct. 4, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT.....
    If it's that easy, why doesn't every HS team do that?


    Heaps is the future.

    Nelson can't run QB draws, thow up hail mary's, and have defelected touchdowns four quarters per game for two more years.

    "BYU's QB battle was decided last season".

    The right choice was made.

    And BYU has a great change up in Riley when he is needed.

    I am so tired of this argument deflecting the criticism away from where it should be placed. Directly on the coaches shoulders.

    Bench Doman and DuPaix.

    Let's see Doman, Dupaix, and Bronco coach the talent.

    Oct. 4, 2011 10:02 p.m.

    Jake Heaps is going to have a Matt Berry, Ben Olson career. He is a ship that already has sunk. Put in Nelson and Lark and lets forget the train wreck that is Jake Heaps ever happened.

  • BlueSouth MC KINNEY, TX
    Oct. 4, 2011 9:48 p.m.

    Jake is afraid, he flinches if the defense breathes on him. This is his biggest liability and one that I don't think is easily overcome. The line and backs have not done a bad job protecting him this year, some let-downs, but over-all he gets the protection he needs, but acts like an abused rag doll. I don't care how talented a player is, if he is afraid, he will never play to his ability. Doman has begged him to run a little bit and he refuses to do so and slides 5 yards too early to avoid getting hit. I don't know what happened in the off season, but he plays and looks as if he's scared to death. I also think Doman calls better plays for Nelson because they are a similar type of player... hard to tell in 4 drives, but I think we should see. I don't think it would be bad for Heaps to sit the bench awhile and get his head straight.

  • bballjunkie Pleasant Grove, UT
    Oct. 4, 2011 9:42 p.m.

    Wrong,wrong, wrong the injury helped put the misery of the dying horse to rest... Jake is by far a better QB, BYU fans have a serious case of short term memory, Riley is a great kid but he is NOT going to be the answer. Jake should and better be the starter this week. WAKE up BYU fans, your stomping all over the future...

  • red rocks Saint George, UT
    Oct. 4, 2011 9:32 p.m.

    The problem is Doman not the QB there is no creativity.

  • 54-10 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 4, 2011 9:05 p.m.

    Lay off Jake. I think he is really good.

  • Manny Saint George, UT
    Oct. 4, 2011 8:58 p.m.

    The coaches need to find out which QB the team will follow and fight for. It really doesn't matter who that QB is. If the team is forced to play for a QB that they don't believe in, then they will look lethargic, fumble and drop passes cause they just aren't feeling it. When the team believes in the guy the coaches choose as QB, good things will happen. It's all about chemistry.

  • The Cucamongan Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    Oct. 4, 2011 8:47 p.m.

    I concur with Rock too. Did anyone look at the eyes of Heaps when Nelson was enjoying success? I believe that he has already received his wake-up call thinking that he was not replaceable. If Heaps cannot get it done with some of the cupcake opponents prior to TCU, then yes - Insert Nelson and Lark! Heaps can sit the rest of the season on the bench and figure out what went wrong.

  • Cougar Passion Riverton, UT
    Oct. 4, 2011 8:27 p.m.

    It seems a shame to me that James Lark is being penalized essentially for his timing. He is stuck at third-string because he wasn't immediately ready to play coming back from his mission--imagine that--so he doesn't get the reps in practice necessary to improve his skills fast enough to overcome the inertia of having two other players ahead of him, regardless of their lack of production. So, we may be stuck for some time with one quarterback who isn't nearly as good as he thought, and another who, as much as we like his character, isn't a long-term solution to lead the team. Of course, Brandon Doman could eventually see himself in the mirror and suggest to Bronco that Lark be given the starting job with a couple of games left in this season. But that would mean several more mediocre games until then. I hope the coaches have better vision than that, but I'm not counting on it.

  • Big Hapa Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 4, 2011 8:24 p.m.

    re:GA cOUG

    How do you improve against poor teams ? OK teams that we should easily beat, Let me rephrase, teams that the other Big Sky teams beat handily. You do not improve you are ignoring the problem hoping it goes away or it gets all better all on its own.

    Lets stay in the real world, the present, this weeks game in fact, and play the clear stand out Riley.

    Band aid really, a few good reps, did you not watch the game ? Riley goes in with 5 minutes left in the third quarter, basically a sinking ship, bails the team out and you call it a few reps, Wow I guess the sun is really just a bright light. Or you are Heaps immediate family.

    Sorry it is all captured on film, archived and will be for ever canonized as one of the best come backs a BYU qb has engineered. Sorry.

  • IDC Boise, ID
    Oct. 4, 2011 8:23 p.m.

    I agree with Rock. Nelson is fun to watch but he can only take BYU so high. Invest more time in Heaps. If Heaps heart and mind catch up to his arm, he will be one of the best BYU qb's ever. Nelson has the heart and mind but when teams game plan for him and make him pass, his game will fall apart.

  • WHAT NOW? Saint George, UT
    Oct. 4, 2011 8:19 p.m.

    The "row to hoe" could not be more inviting:

    San Jose State
    @Oregon State
    Idaho State
    @TCU (Cowboy Stadium)
    New Mexico State

    5 easy wins.
    2 toss-ups.

    Whomever becomes Bronco's choice, the starter will put up some amazing numbers.

    BYU should easily end up 8-4 going into the bowl game.

    If the "toss-ups" go their way, they could be 10-2.

  • GilmerTexasCougar Gilmer, TX
    Oct. 4, 2011 8:00 p.m.

    Like most of the great BYU quarterbacks, Heaps needs time on the bench watching and learning what a BYU quarterback is. He's been nothing but a disaster this year on the field. We don't want this season to be a total disaster. The Utah game was enough of that. Play Nelson and let Heaps get his act together, if he can. At this moment there appears to be a huge gap between now and Heaps illustrious NFL Hall of Fame career.

  • UC Baller Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 4, 2011 7:51 p.m.

    Jake was great in High School because:
    -he had a great coach that threw it a lot and padded his stats
    -he never got sacked
    -he surrounded himself with studs, State Champs 3 years in a row.Studs everywhere.
    -all his recivers were 6'4 athletes and fast. 3 are starting as Frosh or Sophs at other D1 schools (i.e. saw couple on Saturday dismember Utah)
    -he believed his own hype and had a PR person really good at doing HER job
    (even held a press conference to announce where he was going to go to school)
    -never had to take a hit

    Its time to move on. He told everyone he was only staying at BYU for 2 years and then was gone. He thought to the NFL...but maybe his crystal ball really meant transfer. I dont know where he would go and play right away as the 116th ranked QB nationally out of 119.

    If we dont make a switch, why do we have more than 2 QB's on the roster? I bet the 5 that are coming in are watching this very closely...

  • Still Blue after all these years Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 4, 2011 7:26 p.m.

    Jake has had sook many chances. Others have not. Jake has not earned the right to continue to play. Nelson, then Lark if that does fail.

  • ParkCoug PARKER, CO
    Oct. 4, 2011 7:24 p.m.

    The long term cure seems to be a new QB coach that knows what he is doing, and can help Heaps. He certainly is not improving but going the wrong direction. Sure Heaps was a talented High School Player that seemed to be improving at the end of last season. What has happened since? A new OC who in learning a new job, seems to not successfully manage two roles let alone one role.

    Oct. 4, 2011 7:20 p.m.

    As for Jake, I say we bench him and if he transfers all the better. He is a glorified version of Ben Olson or Matt Berry. give Riley and Lark their run. we have a 3 star and 2 4 star QBs no one has ever heard of because they are all to focused on "how great" jake is. truth is he is nothing. let the real QB's go out and prove themselves.

  • Back Overland Park, KS
    Oct. 4, 2011 7:19 p.m.

    If the season were a wash, you give the upcoming youngsters time to see what they can do, however, the season is in full force, you play the best player to get you a W. Heaps has the golden resume, but continues to miss receivers and make bad decisions. I have seen many a QB with golden arms (pros and college) that never do get it all together, a good QB uses his head as much as his arm. Riley earned back his job, now it is Jake's turn to earn his job back, if he can. It's pretty simple. Starting Jake again in front of the home crowd would not be good for the team at this point.

    Oct. 4, 2011 7:19 p.m.

    I feel like I am taking crazy pills here. Start Jake? Really? Why? So we can drive to the 30 yard line and have our drives die out? In 1 quarter Riley was able to finish not 1 but 2 drives, and thats better than Jake has been able to do all year. He has 3 TD's on the year + 1 rushing TD that was actually set up by Riley. People tend to point out "How well" Jake played last year, but who did they play? Wyoming, Colorado State, UNLV. My 8 year old nephew could have been QB and they still would have won. BYU needs to finish drives and they have a QB in Nelson that has proven he can do it (and despite their record I think Utah St is probably the best team in Utah, they are 5 minutes from a 4-0 record)

  • GACougar Atlanta, GA
    Oct. 4, 2011 6:55 p.m.

    I like Riley Nelson and I appreciate what he did for the team against Utah State. However, Riley is a band-aid and not a long term cure. He does not have the ability to be a starting quarterback in BYU's offense. Sure, he had a great three or four series against Utah State but they had not prepared for him. If a team knows he is the starter and they have a week to prepare for him then he will be shut down. He has no arm for throws greater than about 20 yards so teams will be able to take advantage of the shortened field and focus on shutting down the short passing game and the run game.

    If Jake is not the future then it will be Lark or the transfer kid coming home from a mission. These next few games will be against teams that any quarterback can beat. Now is the time to give Jake the opportunity to improve. And he will only improve if he is playing.

  • 4BS St George, UT
    Oct. 4, 2011 6:46 p.m.

    BYU needs to do what is best for their program. Either Heaps is a bust or he is very under achieving. Either way, if Nelson gives the Cougs the best chance to win, he needs to start. If Heaps pouts and transfers, so be it, there are other lining up to take his place.

  • stgjazzfan Saint George, UT
    Oct. 4, 2011 6:39 p.m.

    BYU should start Heaps each game and sub Nelson when he gets in his funks. Then the Cougars can get a shrink on the sidelines to help Jake with the phantom linebackers sacking him in his head? If so things might improve with time, if not they could always give Lark a shot. Or they could line up both Jake and Riley in the backfield and keep the other team guessing which one is realy running the play.

  • SoUtHapa Saint George, Utah
    Oct. 4, 2011 6:29 p.m.

    Brad Rock is wrong, wrong, wrong! An injury decided the starter last season. One good bowl game against UTEP, of all teams, does not a leader nor BYU star make.
    It is glaringly obvious that this young man needs time to develop and even then I as well as the majority of bloggers in these threads may not be convinced that Heaps has what it takes. There are mature men, like Nelson and Lark, who are prepared in every way to lead this team. All that's missing is the starting reps in practice to develop the timing it takes. Most people don't realize how limited the non-starters are to snaps at practice with the 1st team O. Riley did what he did with little to none. I, for one, would love to see what he or Lark could do with as many snaps as Heaps has been getting.