BYU football notebook: Jake Heaps taking QB situation in stride

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  • sg newhall, CA
    Oct. 6, 2011 1:59 p.m.

    Riley did more in half a game then Heaps has done all season. Bench Heaps. It's time to put Riley to the test. I really am not impressed with Heaps. And really? The length of Riley's hair was an issue? AND he had to apologize? Ridiculous. Should not have been newsworthy. Go with Riley and see how he performs. I think Heaps is done. He will never make it to the pros, at least not the NFL. He will never to drafted. Doman needs to be demoted back to quarterbacks coach and a new offensive co-ordinator needs to be hired. If not, the offense will continue to be and look lethargic and anemic. It's Riley's turn. I'm just not so sure Bronco is brave enough to make that decision.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 6, 2011 9:30 a.m.

    I have to think that Heaps will be worse if and when he does play now that Bronco has clearly shown he has no confidence in him. This was really poor judgment by Bronco. You can do this sort of thing with every position EXCEPT QB and Bronco will soon find that out. If Bronco really thinks Nelson is the man then BYU football is headed for the cellar. Brad Rock was right - the QB decision was clearly decided LAST YEAR and Heaps was heads and shoulders about Nelson. You don't pull Heaps just because he is struggling with a new work with your QB in practice to make him better. With Heaps it isn't a physical or skill thing .. it is just a problem with the new Doman offense which is partly Domans fault but all that can be fixed. With Nelson it is clearly is a skill thing and there is nothing you can do about that. Nelson is too small and his throwing ability is high school-ish. BAD MOVE BRONCO!!!

  • rok San Diego, CA
    Oct. 6, 2011 8:15 a.m.

    Don't apologize, Riley.

  • CougarOnTheProwl Murray, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 10:56 p.m.

    Heaps blew a big opportunity in the utah state game, he had receivers wide open majority of the night and either otherthrew them or just flatout missed them. He gets to antsy in the pocket and rushes his throws, his confidence is gone and im puzzled as to how he suddenly lost it after how he finished last season. You have to bench him for two reasons, one he needs a wake up call, something to get him motiviated and to do some soul searching as to why he is having the issues he is. Second, how can you go back to him when Riley came in and lead BYU to a comeback win? what kind of message does that send to the rest of the team if you allow Heaps to remain the starting QB when he really isnt getting it done? The team responds better to Riley right now and so you have to go with him. Now this doesnt mean Heaps is done, he is still young and has time to get things fixed, he has all the physical tools he just needs to get things straight in his head and play with more confidence.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    Oct. 5, 2011 10:17 p.m.

    Nelson got lucky. A fast defense will expose him and he will cough up the ball just like with Utah. USU's defense was too slow to capitalize on all those broken plays. Heaps will be broken mentally by this, Nelson will be a flash in the pan and BYU will not get anywhere this season. I find it ironic that Doman is the O coordinator now, he basically ignored Crowton and ran his own plays. Heaps should just run his own plays . He was doing fine.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 10:05 p.m.

    Have one play one series and the other play the other series---it is only fair. It is ironic that the passing suffers because the running suffers.

  • azjim GILBERT, AZ
    Oct. 5, 2011 9:20 p.m.

    Anae.... typo sorry Robert, Brad, Matt.

  • azjim GILBERT, AZ
    Oct. 5, 2011 9:17 p.m.

    Jake needs a quarterback coach. Hire Robbie Bosco now. He could step in and be effective on day one. Brandon Doman is busy trying to be oc. You don't turn into Norm Chow or Robert Lanae overnight. We have a young and inexperienced coaching staff. Let's not blame Jake for coaching mistakes. Ty Detmer may be a good long term solution if Robbie doesn't want the job. But Bosco is a true blue cougar and champion. If. Called. He would. Serve!

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Oct. 5, 2011 9:15 p.m.

    "Riley Nelson made a commitment to maintain certain behavior, etc., that, yes, includes the length of his hair. Regardless of whether people think hair length is trivial or not, he made that commitment. If he is sincere in his apology for breaking his commitment, it shows integrity. Most people can keep the "big" commitments. It's adherence to the little ones that is the best indicator of an individual's character."

    And where does piety and being judgmental fall as an "indicator of an individual's character."

  • yourmomgoestocollege Las Vegas, NV
    Oct. 5, 2011 7:45 p.m.

    Bring in Tanner Mangum and see what he can do, as a senior in high school!

  • CaptainL PROVO, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 5:51 p.m.

    Nelson did a great job of rallying the team to victory last Fri but I would start Heaps, knowing that Riley can be that spark the team may need. Riley still can't make the throws necessary and if teams loadup in the box they will stop his scrambling and the offense will stall just like it did last yr. Start Heaps , but let him know that if he struggles, Nelson will be brought in asap.
    If we get the chance, I would love to see how Lark would do.

  • BYU Student Provo, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 5:23 p.m.

    Bastiatarian, his hair wasn't even too long. My hair has been as long when I've gone to take a test. People just got all upset about something that wasn't an issue - it can go down to your collar.

  • Wookie Omaha, NE
    Oct. 5, 2011 4:57 p.m.

    I find it amazing that the school will look past its football players violating the honor code but will hold the rest of the school, including basketball team, to the standards. When will the leaders of the Church step in?

  • Mildred in Fillmore Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 4:50 p.m.

    Why isn't the game being televised? I thought that all of the games would either be on an ESPN network or BYUTV.

  • Bastiatarian TUCSON, AZ
    Oct. 5, 2011 4:31 p.m.

    Riley Nelson made a commitment to maintain certain behavior, etc., that, yes, includes the length of his hair. Regardless of whether people think hair length is trivial or not, he made that commitment. If he is sincere in his apology for breaking his commitment, it shows integrity. Most people can keep the "big" commitments. It's adherence to the little ones that is the best indicator of an individual's character.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 4:12 p.m.

    How many bad games does 'Hypes' have to play before somebody realizes the emperor has no clothes?

  • wahului Stockton, CA
    Oct. 5, 2011 4:05 p.m.

    It seems that Jake is much more inclined to be patient and condescending regarding his progress than anyone else is. Why is it that these guys have to be mollycoddled and pampered into performing?? My guess is that most of the good ones don't. Jake came in with huge hype and hasn't lived up to it. Whatever the reason, it's up to him to either perform or get out of the way. If her were honestly self-evaluating, he wouldn't have been the least bit surprised ...indeed, the biggest fan question is "What took so long?" It would probably serve Jake and the program well for him to be backing up and carrying a clipboard for the rest of this season, and redshirting next. Meanwhile, wonders could occur with a high quality quarterbacks coach (Ty Detmer?) added to the staff. Can you imagine Heaps' strength with Detmer's touch and accuracy? It is painfully clear is that Jake isn't nearly as D-1 ready as Jake thinks he is; he needs to back up, get serious about learning the parts he lacks, and catch up on his skills, both physical and mental. It could save his career.

  • Laser Iowa City, IA
    Oct. 5, 2011 3:59 p.m.

    Don't worry about your hair Nelson, the only ones really worried/ offended are the self appointed U judges from Salt Lake. They are really good about telling others how they should live. You just keep winning.

  • Big Pappy west jordan, utah
    Oct. 5, 2011 3:51 p.m.

    HAIRGATE!!!Really?! Ryley, if your hair length is bothering people, I am not one of them. I'm as bald as a que ball and I am jealous of anyone with hair. Was it a little long for the honor code? Maybe. Should people be complaining about it? Only if they have no life at all! Ryely, if that's the only problem you have while at BYU you'll be doing pretty dang good! Go Sampson...I mean Ryely.

    Good luck to both qb. Both are fine young men with great futures.

  • Coach Biff Lehi, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 3:31 p.m.

    Is there any way Utah could get Chase Hansen a year early? We play him tomorrow night and I would dearly love not to have to deal with his athleticism.

  • Big Hapa Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 3:14 p.m.

    Bronco stated " it was only one game, one half " Hello just think what Riley would have done with the entire game.

    I think it is a good strategy to not announce who the starter will be why give your opposition a leg up in game prep., that is smart, but the other comment not so much.

    Bronco must find a way to round up the herd so to speak, of all the media attention and out of control rhetoric that comes from him, his staff and his knuckle head sophomoric qb and regain the media upper hand.

    Lastly, who cares if Heaps transfers the stable is full of talent and new recruits so bye bye Heaps.

  • Uteanymous Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 5, 2011 2:53 p.m.

    PAC 12 loves clueless

    You really are if you believe that every Utah game next season will be nationally televised.

  • anti BCS Anaheim, CA
    Oct. 5, 2011 2:44 p.m.

    PAC 12 loves U

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but televising a PAC 12 game on the subscription-only PAC 12 Network isn't even remotely equivalent to a Nationally televised game on ESPN.

    How many fans outside the PAC 12 are going to subscribe to the PAC 12 Network?

    How many Utah fans currently have a subscription to the Big Ten Network?

    Stop spinning and just accept reality that most of Utah's PAC 12 games are going to end up on a PAC 12 Network REGIONAL broadcast.

    Oct. 5, 2011 2:24 p.m.

    Bronco, you are really going to wait for a whole week of practice to decide this?!

    I don't care how well Jake does in practice this week, look what he has done in games; nothing. About the only good performance he has had was against UTEP in the Sun Bowl. Let Riley take the reins like he should have been able to do last year.

    You would be better off putting all 5'11" 165lbs. of Alex Kuresa in rather than let Heaps and his arrogance continue. At least you would have composure and leadership at QB.

  • Riddles in the Dark Olympus Cove, Utah
    Oct. 5, 2011 2:19 p.m.

    PAC 12 loves U

    Get your own facts straight:

    Fact: The BYU-Oregon State game NOT being televised, even regionally.

    Fiction: That EVERY PAC 12 game next season will be nationally televised.

  • Oh, please! Saint George, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 2:12 p.m.

    re:utahcountyute "I always thought that Heaps needed a bigger helmet but it had nothing to do with growing out his hair."

    That's funny! Thanks.

    Give Nelson the nod for right now. He's got a lot of guts, maturity and drive and he's not afraid to hit or get hit.

    Sure would like to see Lark play some. Didn't get a chance to see him in high school.

  • utahcountyute Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 1:04 p.m.

    I always thought that Heaps needed a bigger helmet but it had nothing to do with growing out his hair.

  • Ravenal Somewhere in, Utah
    Oct. 5, 2011 11:49 a.m.

    I wonder if the coaches were all hoping that Heaps would have gone on a mission. Then they would have Nelson and Lark playing while he's gone and Jake could have backed up Lark his Sophomore year and start as a Junior and Senior.

  • PAC 12 loves U Sandy, Utah
    Oct. 5, 2011 11:44 a.m.

    @ Clueless in the Dark

    "I've heard that there will be NO television for the Oregon State game. Haven't we been told repeatedly by certain folks up north that EVERY PAC 12 game is supposed to be nationally televised?"

    As it turns out! You weren't LISTENING to those folks up north or to Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott when the TV contracts were announced a few months ago. The 2011 football season is the last year of the "OLD" Pac-10 tv contracts. Of course you won't see Oregon State, or Utah playing KJZZ! Commissioner Scott renegotiated the "NEW" tv contracts so that EVERY Pac-12 football and mens basketball game will be "NATIONALLY" televised on either ESPN, FOX, or the Pac-12 Networks. The new tv contracts will begin for the 2012 football season for 12 years. Now you've been correctly informed!

    Please Riddles, stop making things up! Your making yourself look foolish!

  • Ravenal Somewhere in, Utah
    Oct. 5, 2011 11:44 a.m.

    If I'm Bronco, I'm telling my defense during practice to pressure Heaps on every play until he gets used to being a target. Defenses know they just have to get near him and he panics anyway.

    That being said, I still think Heaps should be starting but bring Nelson in on some plays to change it up.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Oct. 5, 2011 11:10 a.m.


    Quarterback depression? We don't need a wimp.

    Heaps should demand the bench. Wait a year and half and make his move.

  • Back Overland Park, KS
    Oct. 5, 2011 11:01 a.m.

    Riley, you're refreshing thanks!

  • cowboy99 South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 10:49 a.m.

    I think people are giving Jake too much lee way. If he's half as good as everyone thinks he is it would have shown by now. People complain about bad OC and WR but those are just excuses. Remember Max Hall came in here with a lot less D1 experience as a sophmore and did just fine. Even last year against poor teams Jake's brilliance was still just ok. And this year all the teams we have played were poor and he's doing even worse.

  • SoUtHapa Saint George, Utah
    Oct. 5, 2011 10:35 a.m.

    Ok, that's a funny entry! See Y fans, there are U fans on here who are funny...on purpose.
    BTW, just the Nelson hair cut part is funny. The go with Heaps part...not so much.

  • Ballfan6 AMERICAN FORK, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 10:26 a.m.

    First off, Riley shouldn't have to apologize for his hair. It's not out of control, or down to the middle of his back. He is fine. But heaps should have been surprised. He had been given so many opportunities and never capitalized. I think it was his job until he lost it by not producing. Nelson came in and was productive. He even completed a pass or two. It wasn't the most pretty motion, but he did it and that's all that matters. I think you give Heaps chances here and there. But it should be his job to gain back. Riley has shown he can spark the offense. Heaps can definitely learn a lot from Riley. Nelson not only can take a hit put he looks to give one. If I was bronco i would put Heaps on Punt/Kickoff practice squad and teach him how to take a hit and be tough.

  • AFCoug Colorado Springs, CO
    Oct. 5, 2011 10:23 a.m.

    Mendenhall is keeping the QB thing under wraps to prevent the D from preparing for one or the other. Smart move.

    To play Nelson over Heaps now may end Heaps BYU career let alone whatever confidence he has left. Taking it in stride translates to depression.

    Nelson is the more mature guy and can likely handle the situation better than Heaps. I say play Heaps until he struggles again at OSU or TCU and force the better teams to prepare for Heaps. After Heaps stinks it up in the first half bring in Nelson for a change-up and we may finally beat TCU again.

    If Heaps actually delivers against the weaker competition and then against OSU and TCU QB quandry over. Heaps has learned from being benched and becomes a better QB and person as a result. If not let him transfer. BYU has done better with less recruited talent in the past and will be just fine without him. Still need to let him succeed or fail though.

  • NW Coug Provo, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 10:22 a.m.

    Heaps just needs to grow his hair out. He'll be fine.

  • azjim GILBERT, AZ
    Oct. 5, 2011 10:18 a.m.

    Lets get real. Jake needs a qb coach, hire Ty detmer! Doman is a rookie offensive coordinator, he's still figuring out where to sit.if Jake is looking tentative it may be a lack of confidence in doman .

  • UgottaloveMaxie SLC, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 10:18 a.m.

    finding out who is productive in practice? That's the problem with byu over and over and over. they're great in practice, against each other, but getting on the field and performing is another thing. byu has had a fine record since bronco took over, but against good teams they have been less than steller. and when they do win it's barely (USU, Ole Miss, OK). How about a solid victory against a good team?

    Anyway, the person to provide the best leadership and production is Nelson. Why do people think Heaps is the long term answer? All he has done is be an all-american HS qb, and in college ranks he has a strong arm, oh and a big talker. what else has he done to show he is the long term solution? It's time to start grooming another guy, or give it over the Larks for a game or two. byu will win 5 of 7 the rest of the year IF I went under center, so it really doens't matter who plays, but it shouldn't be heaps he hasn't earned it...except for maybe in practice, according to bronco...

  • Riddles in the Dark Olympus Cove, Utah
    Oct. 5, 2011 10:16 a.m.

    I've heard that there will be NO television for the Oregon State game. Haven't we been told repeatedly by certain folks up north that EVERY PAC 12 game is supposed to be nationally televised?

  • utahcountyute Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 9:59 a.m.

    I would go with Heaps now that Nelson cut his hair:)

  • Striker Omaha, NE
    Oct. 5, 2011 9:38 a.m.

    All Nelson needs to do is trim his hair on the back and around his ears and it's fine. It doesn't need to be clean cut like a missionary. His hair isn't extreme in any way. I kind of like it. Hope he doesn't chop it all off. It gives him some power!!!

    Oregon State game will get televised. But if not, how dare they not televise a "champion" conference school. Some conference.

  • WhatsInItForMe Orem, Utah
    Oct. 5, 2011 9:29 a.m.

    To continue as BYU's starting QB, Jake needs to solve his touch issue and his inability to be patient enough to check down. Doman can help in the patience department with a few roll-outs here and there. Maybe.

    I'd start Riley vs SJSU and see whether he can produce. If not, bring Jake in and see if HE can. If not, then give Lark a shot.

    I wouldn't start Jake unless they see during practice that he can put touch on the ball and do his reads before throwing.

    I'm really curious about Lark. He seemed to always have good stats in Fall Practice, albeit with 2nd-teamers.

  • TheSportsAuthority Arlington, VA
    Oct. 5, 2011 9:27 a.m.

    Heaps will be fine. He's got the arm strength and ability to throw accurately. Now he just needs to learn a little patience, to wait a second longer for a receiver to break open, to move a little in the pocket to create a passing lane, to learn how to put a little touch on his passes instead of rifling every throw, and most importantly, to develop greater maturity and more urgency to do whatever it takes to win.

  • svutility Des Moines, IA
    Oct. 5, 2011 9:27 a.m.

    I think that Riley gives us the best chance to win while Doman gets his bearings. That is for a few reasons: 1st, he plays a very similar style to Doman, so Doman knows how to play-call for his skill-set; 2nd, he is tough and the team would follow him off a cliff if he told them they'd make it. I would love to see Nelson take the reins because of his leadership, and I think that we can win with him. He makes up for a lot of limitations that are caused by an inexperienced play-caller.

  • So. Cal Reader Escondido, CA
    Oct. 5, 2011 9:20 a.m.

    The only thing I have to add is, "and that's OK." A little slice of humble pie is probably the best thing for him in many ways. Hopefully it'll produce a personal turn-around for him against San Jose State, because I believe he should still start ... at least one more game. Go, Cougs!

  • sports-junkie West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 8:40 a.m.

    IMO, I think Riley should start this week for a couple of reasons. But let me preface this by saying Riley is NOT the answer. Jake is the long term answer for BYU qb

    First, Riley came in the game v USU with like 5 min left in the 3rd, and led the Cougars in dramatic come-back fashion to beat the Aggies. Mid-way through the 3rd I had already mentally prepared myself for the loss and the crowd was like a deflated balloon. Riley made that game fun. He made some "lucky" plays and ended up winning it for the Cougs. You cant then turn around and start the other guy after all that happened.

    Second, Jake needs to learn that the job just isnt "his" to have no matter what happens. If Jake under performs (like he has all season) game after game, what will be his motivation to get better? If he sees that "yes, they will bench me if I am not playing well" I think that will give him some mental toughness.

    Start Riley and pick a scenario, Jake should play in the second half or at least the 4th qtr.

    Oct. 5, 2011 8:30 a.m.

    Jake said he was surprised he was pulled. Really? I think everyone was surprised he wasn't pulled earlier. It shows he has a ways to go in maturing. I hope he will eventually catch up to his promoted talent level but I'm not holding my breath.

    Oct. 5, 2011 8:25 a.m.

    Heaps comments make me want to throw up. By what he says you would think he had just been diagnosed with some disease or lost a family member. "I am taking it in stride" "I am taking it one day at a time." "It was very unexpected." "I'm fine" Give me a break.
    Go Riley
    Go Cougs

  • dustman Nampa, ID
    Oct. 5, 2011 7:47 a.m.

    Doman is the problem, not the QB spot.

    The problem is bigger than the QB spot. It is the entire offense. Without a good running game, neither Heaps nor Nelson will have much success as a QB. No team prepares much for BYU's run game, so they can sit back and cover the pass. Sadly, BYU is relying on a QB to run the ball. The running backs need to be the ones doing this and keeping the opposing defense honest.

    If Nelson has to throw and run, he's not going to last that long. He got beat up last year just playing half of the time. The poor running game and poor passing game has one common problem, and thats Doman. Doman needs to step. He needs to use the tools available to him.

  • SoUtHapa Saint George, Utah
    Oct. 5, 2011 7:02 a.m.

    I politely disagree. Jake is not the guy. He is a frightened boy. Furthermore, either Lark or Nelson would and will do more on their feet and with their arms than Heaps has shown he can do. You may be from St. George but you apparently had nothing to do with high school football down here a few years back. If so you would have seen first hand two young men, who even then were physically more advanced than Heaps has worked, or not worked, to be. Lark was incredible to watch and Nelson was a literal nightmare for both Hurricane and Pineview in the semis and finals of the '05 season. Problem is neither of these boys hired publicists during high school. They were also enjoying time starring in multiple sports and devoted to high GPA's as well as preparing for missions. As a former QB, I can see that Jake is clearly, absolutely, NOT the guy. And, since you brought up Lavell, there have been numerous postings in these threads of QB shuffles back in the day, even without prima donnas and their publicists that Lavell never had to deal with.

  • Tomahawk Red North Salt Lake, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 1:47 a.m.

    This is probably a good thing for Heaps, and BYU. Prior to his benching, Heaps came across as a believer in his own hype. And often times when that happens, the effort on the field is less-than 100%.

    I doubt Heaps thought he'd lose the starting job. Now that he has, and how he's seen so many fans get behind Nelson, it will probably motivate him further.

    The next time Heaps is called on to start, he better get the job done or BYU may show him the door.

  • BYU Student Provo, UT
    Oct. 5, 2011 12:57 a.m.

    His hair's not even long. Give me a break. Riley, you and your long hair can come hang out with my beard any day, and we can go take tests and not worry about it. Admittedly, this is a terrible way to spend time with anyone.

  • ATC Stockton, CA
    Oct. 5, 2011 12:51 a.m.

    I think Heaps can be a great quarterback if he learns how to take time in the pocket. Thats what Nelson was good about, he was able to take his time, and scramble if he needed more time. I just don't know if Nelson will be able to make the throws, last year he would try to run it too much, so when teams made him beat them through the air, he couldn't do it. I say give Heaps one more chance and if he can't be productive against San Jose St. Nelson deserves to be in

  • JustAsking Saint George, UT
    Oct. 4, 2011 11:26 p.m.

    Jake is the guy. If this is what it takes to develop him then ok. But if the talk about not knowing who the QB is, ends up being more than that,(just talk) it could spell disaster for the program for years to come. I don't seem to recall LaVell ever yanking QB's willy-nilly. In fact, I seem to remember him staying the course with a horrible Sean Covey. In any event, if indecision was the downfall early last season, I hope we do not have to go through it again. A couple of lame duck passes by Nelson that fortunately ended up working out does not solve the issues facing a bevy of untested coaches and a seriously under performing offense. Pressure at this point, should be on Brandon Doman and the effectiveness of his scheming as well as the entire receiving core not the QB alone. Where is the "Band of Brothers" now?

    Maybe if the team were to rally and play with the intensity with Heaps like they did for a second stringer, we would be blowing out teams instead of eking out close games.