BYU football: Y. getting a lift from unexpected players

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  • Ronald Uharriet SWun City, Ca.
    Oct. 12, 2011 8:03 p.m.

    Lets keep things in perspective:
    Heaps vs SEC Old Miss and wins by a point.
    Heaps vs. Big 12 Texas and loses by a point.
    Heaps vs. Defending C-USA Champins and wins by 7.

    Cant justify the Utah game.
    Cant justify the Utah St. game

    Now lets look at Nelson

    He did good vs a seller dweller in the WAC, a conference below the MWC. (San Jose St.)

    How will Nelson look against Pac 12 1-4 vs. Oregon St. We beat Oregon St. by 20 points the las time we played them. Our series is 4 wins and 5 loses.

    Vs. Idaho State bottom of the WAC Oh Hum.

    How will Nelson look vs TCU?

    What about New Mexico State, another celler dweller of the WAC.

    What about Hawaii??? (WAC good team. Wac a conference below the MWC,

    Comparing one QB vs quality teams vs another QB vs celler dwellers is not an intelligent comparison.

  • Ronald Uharriet SWun City, Ca.
    Oct. 12, 2011 7:17 p.m.

    I am first to admit, that I was 100% in the camp of Jacob Heaps at the start of last year season.
    It blew my mind that we gave equal time to Nelson Riley. That meant that each of the two quarterbacks only got half of the reps in all the practices, that they should have had with the starters. That meant that all the opposing teams that gave their starter QB 100% of the reps with the starters had a great advantage over us. The games that followed proved it.

    When both QBs were playing, they could never get in rhythem. The receivers could not get use to the changing QB rotations and they failed miserably at attempting to catch the ball.

    This year, I have changed somewhat. I have given up on the idea that we know how to coach
    5 star players, be it Ben Olsen or Jacob Heaps. I can now see that under the circumstances,
    Nelson Riley is the QB to finish this season.

    I can not understand how we can be so stupid as to put Jacob Heaps down in every article written about the comparisons of our two QBs.

  • Big Hapa Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 12, 2011 12:36 a.m.

    The heat Heaps is enjoying is the result of his big mouth, this is a classic blunder of over promising and under delivering.

    Can't take the heat get out of the kitchen, the kitchen you created.

  • Weber State Graduate Clearfield, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 1:26 p.m.

    Since the BYU defense cant effectively put any pressure on the opposing quarterback, the key to racking up yards and points against them is to throw to any receiver defended by Eason...guaranteed completion or at least a pass interference call. Then it becomes a question of who ever scores the most points, wins. Unfortunately, the BYU offense is terrible, with or without Heaps or Nelson. Oregon State has good coaching and will exploit this weakness to no end...OSO can be a dangerous team.

  • WhatsInItForMe Orem, Utah
    Oct. 11, 2011 9:16 a.m.

    @ idablu,

    Read my post again. I'm referring to the church leaders' decisions, not any sports leadership at BYU, like Tom or Bronco.

    So, it's NOT just football we're talking here. It's what the Church wants for its exposure, as so often stated about why BYU went independent in the first place.

    Many posters have been specifically mentioning the Church leadership in their questioning.

  • dustman Nampa, ID
    Oct. 11, 2011 7:46 a.m.

    Alisa was the key to this win. BYU finally has a hard runner. With the horrible O-Line, BYU needs a runner that can pound away.

    Nelson and Heaps are not great. Two different types of blah. The Offense was rocking it at the end of last year. The only change was Doman. I hope Nelson's body can hold up. I hope Heaps learns the new system.

    Either Nelson or Heaps could have played and BYU would have won. I was surprised at the interceptions thrown by Nelson. Trying to force it. Nelson fans would say he was trying to make it happen. But if Heaps did it, it was just a poor decision from a scared QB. Funny.

  • Osgrath Provo, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 11:50 p.m.

    A coach needs the horses to be a good coach. Those who blame Doman for Jake's lack of production and leadership need to learn a little about what it means to be a coach. Unless you believe that the offensive coordinator has been teaching Heaps to overthrow on any play designed to go more than 20 yards or to throw with no touch at all on the shorter plays, you can't blame the OC.

    If you want to compare the quarterback coach for Heaps' freshman year and his sophomore year, well - surprise - it's the same guy. So how is it going to be, do you want to maintain that the QB regressed from one year to the next? This was the same coach that did OK with John Beck and Max Hall - and by your statement Heaps did really well his first year. The fact that outside of the UTEP game Heaps was really no better last year than this doesn't matter, of course.

    Doman does not make the passes - or make the poor passes. The quarterback needs leadership qualities more than physical qualities, which is why Riley wins.

  • idaho cougar fan Twin Falls, ID
    Oct. 10, 2011 10:52 p.m.

    Glad to see guys that are practicing and playing well get some time. On the Big 12 issue, if we had or have a chance to go to the Big 12 and don't go, there will be A LOT of disappointed fans. Enough to stop buying tickets for the NMSU, SJSU and Idaho's of the world. BYU didn't even sell out Saturday's game vs. SJSU. If you keep bringing in WAC bottom feeders year in and year out, the fans are not going to be happy.

  • Henry Mapleton, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 8:42 p.m.

    Heaps is taking the heat that Doman should be taking. We get thee top ranked QB in the country who does really well his freshman year and then struggles under a new and inexperienced offensive coordinator? This sounds like a coaching issue to me. Don't get me wrong, I like Riley, but Heaps is much more talented. Too bad Heaps is being blamed for Doman's mistakes.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Oct. 10, 2011 6:41 p.m.

    Re: what'sinitforme

    "For you LDS fans that doubt the BOT's ability to make the right decision says something about your own faith in your church's leaders, right?"

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. This is exactly the type of attitude that so irritates faithful LDS members who aren't BYU fans. I resent that someone would question my faith and loyalty in the Gospel and religious leaders by my questioning of decisions regarding BYU football. It is a SPORT! It is entertainment! BYU is not the only "true" school, and no I don''t have to accept all the secular decisions made in behalf of my school or team that I support and contribute to financially to maintain my good standing in the Church.

  • WhatsInItForMe Orem, Utah
    Oct. 10, 2011 5:42 p.m.

    Hey, impatient "fans" who wonder why BYU doesn't make public statements like Air Force did, so that you can know what's going on, it's simple:

    1. BYU's been negotiating with the Big12 behind closed doors; makes no sense to muddy up negotiations with public statements.

    2. Public statements, outside of saying what Air Force did (that they're NOT going), don't make sense. Why tip your hand if you're still negotiating?

    3. The mere fact that BYU's not saying anything means that NOTHING has officially been decided yet. So, the Big 12 isn't necessarily out of the picture because of the silence from BYU.

    BYU might still get into the Big 12, or the Big East (yuck!), or just remain independent.

    For you LDS fans that doubt the BOT's ability to make the right decision says something about your own faith in your church's leaders, right?

  • WhatsInItForMe Orem, Utah
    Oct. 10, 2011 5:22 p.m.

    BYU to the Big East with AFA, Boise, etc.?

    That'd be WAY worse than not going to the Big12 while staying independent.

    It'd just be another mid-major conference scattered all over the U.S. after the other BCS conferences get done pulling out the remaining better Big East teams during further expansion. Doubt after that it could retain AQ status.

    Still, why did BYU extend its series with Boise from 4 to 12? There's got to be SOME connection with what WILL be happening.

  • WhatsInItForMe Orem, Utah
    Oct. 10, 2011 5:18 p.m.

    Okay, thin-skinned coach lovers.

    I'll knock off my criticisms of Bronco when opposing QBs get as much defensive love as BYU QBs do.

    Bend but don't break defenses aren't used so exclusively by top college teams as is done by BYU. Those top teams routinely get into QB's faces.

    I really do love Bronco and can't see anyone else doing this job right now. But, I expect more of him, just as he does of himself. I just don't think he's seeing the forrest for the trees sometimes. It's easy to do that when you're so close to something.

    I've watched enough football over 40 years to get a feel for what works and what doesn't (generall speaking). So, I'll continue to espouse my opinions and criticisms.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 4:53 p.m.

    My neighbor Michael Alisa is a very nice young man and it was good to see his success. Funny that as a high school player at Timpview he spent most of his time as a linebacker. He did carry a few times in most games I believe and was successful. Interesting that Quezada and JJ who are also very nice running backs tore up the California country side as high school players. I think it will be hard to leave Michael on the bench from now on.

  • Hondo Alpine, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 4:37 p.m.

    What happened to Nelson's Hair? It was the only reason I had for tuning into the remaining games on the schedule.

  • MJB Tooele, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 2:59 p.m.

    I have always hated it when the cornerbacks back up 15 yards each pass play and expect to stop the opponents from getting a first down. It will NOT happen if you don't get pressure on the quarterback OR the wide receiver or preferably both. Teach a new system where the cornerback plays aggressively against the wide receiver when giving them a 10 or 15 yard cushion will not stop them from getting a reception for a first down. Knock them to the ground if you have to.

  • SoUtHapa Saint George, Utah
    Oct. 10, 2011 2:34 p.m.

    I recommend that all check out Riley's post game comments as any who do so will be treated to a mature perspective of one's own performance. Such a refreshing change from what we've been getting.
    There is nothing any Riley doubter/hater could have observed that he didn't nail in his own critique. He is brutally honest and accurate in both negative as well as positive assessments. Regardless what anyone does in life improvement is always easier when see that improvement is needed.

  • Big Hapa Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 11:55 a.m.

    Alisa took the opportunity and shot out of the corral on firer. He did a tremendous job. He and Riley are stepping up, way up and the entire team is feeding off the enthusiastic energy that is spilling out all over this team.

    It is a joy to watch inspired players who when given the shot at garbing the brass ring have done so, and the ripple effect is awesome.

  • Big Hapa Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 11:49 a.m.

    re: Dray

    Correct, the OC seemed to have lost his nerve or perhaps did not want Riley to destroy SJSU to horribly, it would have really look bad for his heaps.

    Bronco is always hedging as well, with his statements like possibly the right decision when he was referring to Riley playing the entire game. This is crazy talk or simply covering up there knuckle head preseason choice.

    As far as Looking for a back that can slash, cut and run over people he has those guys he just had a very slow of foot QB1 running the offense. Case in point suddenly all the backs are preforming better as well as the whole offense and defenses, hey the entire team is playing better, much better inspired football.

  • TexasCougar San Antonio, TX
    Oct. 10, 2011 11:22 a.m.

    These past two weeks I have watched Riley play like a former player we had, not considered a great quarterback-he just knew how to win games,Brandon Doman. Another old familier feeling I have had, being behind but having an opptomistic feeling that we could still win the game, something that was lacking the fist few games. Jack may yet become a great quarterback, but he I think he needs to learn how to handle game pressure.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 11:10 a.m.

    Trying to use the "court of public opinion" has broken many a deal on many different levels and can leave a negative taste in the mouth of many, many people. Although it can be a little aggrivating to the fans, I usually try to let things play out before I judge too harshly. In the end, you can usually understand why the cards are/were held so closely. Be patient and you are likely be pleased with the end result. In the mean time, BYU has a lot of games scheduled with some pretty good teams over the next year or two. I am looking forward to them.

    Oct. 10, 2011 10:50 a.m.

    "My point is that a quality team and organization like the AFA has the decency to talk to their fans and keep things above board. What the heck can be so secret that Tom & Co. can't let us know what's going on, or at least that something is or isn't going on? We are dealing with a conference affiliation negotiation, not the fate of the free world."

    BYU is run by a religious institution. Given how secretive that institution tries to be such as about temple ordinances, are you really surprised?

    Judging by some of the posts I've seen here one would think we are dealing with the fate of the free world.

  • cork Murray, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 10:00 a.m.

    My point is that a quality team and organization like the AFA has the decency to talk to their fans and keep things above board. What the heck can be so secret that Tom & Co. can't let us know what's going on, or at least that something is or isn't going on? We are dealing with a conference affiliation negotiation, not the fate of the free world.

  • XelaDave Salem, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 9:21 a.m.

    For me it is simple- Do you really feel we have a chance in a close game with Heaps on the field or Riley?- exactly- go Riley- throw a few bad ones and even a fumble but at least it feels like we have a chance- that is about all this season has to offer at this point.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 9:20 a.m.

    The more quality western teams that leave for the Big East, The less teams there are left for the BIG 12 to look at. I would have liked to see BYU in the BIG East. It would get them the East coast exposure they want every year. BYU will do what is best for BYU. There are a lot of moves yet to be made in the conference shake-up. Boise does not have much of a following and brings practically zero revenue to the Big East. AFA might be a little better with a bit of a national following. These are attempts to save the BIG east. BYU is asking for some concessions for broadcasting, a guarantee of the conference sticking together and no Sunday play. That turned the BIG 12 off for now. Maybe forever. It might take another year or 2 or 3 but BYU will end in a good place uneder good conditions. I would like to see how they do with independence for another year or two.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Oct. 10, 2011 9:15 a.m.

    A quick, injured beaver is dangerous when you come into its den. Don't overlook OSU, especially at Reser.

  • gb13 Herriman, Utah
    Oct. 10, 2011 8:54 a.m.

    The Y needs to focus on more than just the QB (and their offense). If the other team can't score, then our offense will be just fine. However, the defensive secondary is so porous that (almost) any team can throw against them. There is "minimum" (to zero) pressure put on the opposing quarterback which makes Eason even a greater liability. He plays 10 yards off the receiver and gets burnt regularly and misses tackles. Everyone in the stadium knows who the opposing team will throw against on third down. And 90% of the time they are successful, unless the receiver drops the ball or the QB makes a wild throw. My point is; year-after-year we end up with the same mediocre talent in that position. And, year-after-year the defense struggles because the rest of the team work their guts out for two downs and then give up the easy first down due to pathetic play in the secondary. On Saturday, I watched closely as Eason "dogged it" (play after play).

    "No upfront pressure" plus "no contesting secondary" is a real killer. That is why we struggle to control teams, even when they aren't very good.

  • Duh west jordan, ut
    Oct. 10, 2011 8:33 a.m.

    @bobco | 1:44 a.m. Oct. 10, 2011

    Doesn't matter who the opponent is, they still have to play the game. All we care is that they come out and play the game that BYU is capable of playing.

    TJ | 7:40 a.m. Oct. 10, 2011

    I agree with you. I get tired of everyone playing arm chair coaches. If you think you can do better then go get educated and become the coach.

  • cork Murray, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 8:07 a.m.

    So now Air Force and likely Boise are headed for the Big East. They want Army and Navy, too, and may get them. What I find interesting is that the AFA AD went right to the press and announced the contact they had from the Big 12 and declared publicly that they weren't interested and why. Maybe Mr. Holmoe could show his fans(tongue in cheek) the same courtesy....

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 7:40 a.m.

    Why don't those of you who are not happy with the coaching, earn a coaching spot and eventually get a job at BYU. You can then become the head coach and show us how it should be done. You can recruit, deal with the honor code, deal with the missionary program, develop the players and get them to play up to their potential and show us how much better you are than Bronco. Or maybe your young enough to earn a starting position on the BYU team and show us how good you are.

  • WhatsInItForMe Orem, Utah
    Oct. 10, 2011 7:07 a.m.

    It's obvious from Bronco's remarks that he didn't understand that some players are practice players while others are gamers. Maybe he's figured that out by now, perhaps with Doman's help, as I read that it was Doman's request to put Nelson in to finish the UCF game.

    And, keeping Nelson in for the entire SJSU game being Doman's desire, shows that Doman DOES know what's going on, and who can run his offense effectively.

    I'm sure Nelson's propensity for turnovers will lessen over time as he gets reps and game experience.

    Nelson DID show he can pass well enough to run the offense effectively, so nay-sayers about his passing game should just eat crow. That long bomb for a TD showed he IS capable. Sure, not the strong arm that Jake has, but Nelson does win!

    Fully expect to see Alisa more involved in the offense now. He doesn't stutter like DiLuigi. Seems Bronco has recognized Alisa's talent.

    Feeling more confident about beating Oregon State now.

  • bobco SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 1:44 a.m.

    Lets remember who the opponent was...

  • cougblood FARMINGTON, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 12:59 a.m.

    Also it seems to me that we get out couched every single game. The first half looked good both on O and D but the Spartans make adjustments at half time and we cant do a thing. I thought Anai was let go partly because he was unable to call plays outside of his game plan and would not adjust to a defensive change up. I have seen nothing from Doman to tell me that he is any better at that.

  • cougblood FARMINGTON, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 12:58 a.m.

    Jonathan, I absolutely agree. I feel that our defense has a lot of talent that was not being utilized during the game. Bronco would either rush three and drop everyone else on an entire drive that would result in points of would blitz on first and second either sacking the QB or hurrying him only to rush three and drop everyone else back again on third down giving up big chunks of yards. Rushing three 300+ Nose guards is not an effective pass rush, their QB had all day, when we hurried or hit him he threw interceptions and incompletion, is this really that hard to see. Also when we blitz more than one linebacker why dont we play some bump coverage or at least some tight coverage. It seemed all too easy to beat the blitz with a quick slant or a toss to the flat where the DB is standing 15 yards down field from the receiver.
    Why play bend dont break D when we have playmakers?

  • CaptainL PROVO, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 12:17 a.m.

    I have been hoping for Alisa to get more PT since the first game, he is a stud and has the size and athleticism we need at running back. With OS beating Arizona last week, this won't be an easy game, if we don't come out with intensity and fire we'll lose. Nelson played well last week (at least in the first half), he needs to prove he can move the chains via the pass and I'll be OK with him. He doesn't have the arm to be a real good QB at this level but I love his tenacity, fire, heart and leadership, hopefully that will be enough to produce the Win. Heaps has way more potential than Nelson but until Heaps learns how to get intense, tough, and firey he'll probably remain on the bench, (unless Nelson gets hurt).

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    Oct. 9, 2011 9:32 p.m.

    I see a "lapse" of discipline too often. Still way too many mental errors, turnovers, penalties and missed assignments. The second half of most games looks like the cool down period of a gym workout. I also see an overall lack of killer instinct on both sides of the field. All of this I think is accepted behavior by the players because of coaches that seem to act less than intense. Sorry to dump on staff, but a coach's personality extends to the players and right now it just seems like BYU coaches appear to tolerate mediocre performance. They are not demanding a greater degree of excellence for 60 minutes. I hope I am wrong but that's the impression I get.

  • sisucas San Bernardino, CA
    Oct. 9, 2011 9:29 p.m.

    Riley wasn't amazing on Saturday, but he's just a better football player than Jake Heaps. He's fun to watch and it's obvious that he wants to win badly. I look forward to continue watching him.

  • Love the Game American Fork, UT
    Oct. 9, 2011 9:26 p.m.

    I think the coaching staff is great. That said, they have for too long tied "loyalty" and "position mastery" to who gets to start. For several years it seems like if you are named a starter then you are always a starter. Best players should play. We need more playmakers and not every playmaker has mastered his position. When kids don't perform give the next kid a shot. I am shocked to see another running back and QB actually get a shot this year. There are talented kids on the bench, if someone isn't performing then give another kid a shot who is standing out in practice. For example, do we really not have someone better than #25 at corner? His "leadership" and "work ethic" which has been hailed in the past are not cutting it on Saturday. Let's see if we have a playmaker on the bench.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Oct. 9, 2011 9:15 p.m.

    Alisa was a nice surprise last Saturday. I'd like to see him start on Saturday. The defense continues to look pretty good, but need to bring more defensive heat on the quarterback - last Saturday the opposing QB had way too much time especially on 3rd and long.

    I like the hurry up offense - need to do more of that. Doman should call more run, pass option plays around the ends.

    BYU 31
    Oregon State 17

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    Oct. 9, 2011 9:05 p.m.

    Cougars are making progress. By making progress each and every game by the end of the season they will be where they should have been for the Texas game and perhaps can beat UTEP again in a bowl game. Next year we can perhaps skip the August prep work and get prepared again during the season. You can see that by mid season we can snap the ball without having it fly over the QBs head. Who needs to work on those things before the season? Shame on those ticket playing fans for expecting excellence. Football is only the number 5 priority for the players and coaches.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Oct. 9, 2011 9:00 p.m.

    Michael Alisa was a stud on Saturday. If he continues to play like that, our running game will move to the next level.

  • DRay Roy, UT
    Oct. 9, 2011 8:50 p.m.

    Seems like Alisa and Riley do not so much play a position as they play football. Love their drive, energy, their get-it-done attitude. That said, it seemed the play calling in the third, fourth quarters was very conservative, and I don't think Riley excells there, he needs to constantly push to excell, cut back on the throttle, and he doesn't do so well.