BYU football: Riley Nelson out for next week's game

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  • kokua KAYSVILLE, UT
    Nov. 15, 2011 7:59 a.m.


    The Vandal fan did not get to have his head handed to him by Riley perhaps that is why he was impressed.

    Then again a QB with two cracked ribs and a collapsed lung tossing a TD pass in the first few minutes of the game was not impressive ?

    Wait a minute, why do we care about a critique from a Vandal fan ?

  • Utah'95 FPO, AE
    Nov. 15, 2011 7:46 a.m.


    I expect better from you.

    According to Sagarin, who has tracked rankings and SOS back to 1998, it is the 96th best schedule in the nation. With only mediocre Hawaii and weak New Mexico State left, this year's BYU schedule will be the weakest one they have played during that thirteen year period.

    In this week's ranking, five of BYU's opponents are ranked below 100, and one of them is ranked below 200!

    Yet you claim that doesn't qualify as horrible?

    Since you brought up Utah's schedule...

    You're right, Utah gets a "pass" by not having to play Oregon and Stanford this year. That was certainly fortunate for the Utes - kinda like it was fortunate that when BYU goes to SEC country they get a "pass" by getting to play #115 Ole Miss who is the worst team in their conference.

    Utah has played the nation's 32nd toughest schedule. BYU's schedule is #96, so maybe niners should have claimed that Utah's schedule is 3x the schedule BYU has. :)

    Second, I agree that Nelson isn't the prototypical BYU QB. But he got results that Heaps wasn't getting. Now Heaps will play because of Nelson's injury, not because Vai was wrong.

  • Veritas Aequitas Fruit Heights, UT
    Nov. 14, 2011 7:13 p.m.

    niners | 8:40 a.m. Nov. 14, 2011

    All of us Ute fans know that BYU had to put together a schedule at the last minute and that is why their schedule is horrible...But do not compare Utah's schedule to BYU's schedule, if you have an ounce of college football knowledge you know Utah has 4X the schedule BYU does in terms of quality opponents.


    BYU's schedule is not "horrible"... BYU did not get a "pass" on playing the two premier teams in the PAC... That was Utah.

    Secondly, Utah's schedule is not 4 times the schedule of BYU. Blow the "ounce of of college football knowledge" off, because you apparently don't have it.


    Riley Nelson will not be the running threat for the rest of the season, ready to throw is body around, so Jake Heaps (sorry Hapa) is the man.

    Riley is a "carnival act", a stuntman, and not a college QB.

    He did what he had to do.


    Turn the team over to Jake, and let Vai eat crow on Friday.

  • Rickwell, P. Mesa, AZ
    Nov. 14, 2011 8:58 a.m.


    ... if you have an ounce of college football knowledge you know Utah has 4X the schedule BYU does..."

    Yep, and what's your record?

    Guess your not a quality opponent...

    You only look good trying to compare yourself to BYU. To everyone else in the country you are an irrelevant bottom feeder.

  • niners SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Nov. 14, 2011 8:40 a.m.

    Just to make a point on a board getting a lot of comments at the moment...

    To all BYU fans:

    All of us Ute fans know that BYU had to put together a schedule at the last minute and that is why their schedule is horrible...But do not compare Utah's schedule to BYU's schedule, if you have an ounce of college football knowledge you know Utah has 4X the schedule BYU does in terms of quality opponents.

  • niners SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Nov. 14, 2011 8:30 a.m.

    From an outsider perspective, I honestly believe Heaps has more of an upside than Riley. Maybe not today, or even this season but do BYU fans really see Riley getting any better than has been this season? Riley will not be the QB that is going to beat the BCS teams you have front loaded next season. Get Heaps experience against NMSU and Hawaii and then some more against a better C USA team. Heaps has NFL potential, Riley does not. Heaps can take you to elite status, Riley cannot. BYU needs a high powered offense to make up for the lack of speed on defense, Heaps will provide that if Doman/Bronco can get him to his potential. Just thought I'd give my opinion, not that many of you BYU fans care what I think...

  • Utah'95 FPO, AE
    Nov. 14, 2011 8:26 a.m.

    My bad, Washington State has played in 2 Rose Bowls since 1998, not in the last 10 years.

  • Utah'95 FPO, AE
    Nov. 14, 2011 8:11 a.m.

    B C,

    I can see how, as a Cougar fan, you fancy yourself to be an expert on what constitutes a "cupcake."

    A few observations:

    Utah's remaining games are against conference opponents. They didn't "schedule" them - they come with conference membership.

    Washington State has played in 2 Rose Bowls in the last 10 years.

    Colorado has won a national championship since your beloved Cougars have.

    If we define "cupcake" as being ranked 100 or lower in the Sagarin ratings, then Utah has ONE cupcake on their schedule - Colorado. BYU has FIVE!

    It sounds like #77 Washington State meets your criteria for "cupcake." If we consider all teams rated lower than WSU cupcakes, then Utah will face off against FOUR cupcakes this year. BYU will play NINE!

    Bye the way, Independent BYU has scheduled Washington State for the next 2 years.

    BYU's schedule this year is TERRIBLE this year, largely because they didn't have time to put together a competitive on after announcing their independence. I expect BYU's future schedules will be much better. But for a BYU fan to mock anyone else's schedule for containing too many cupcakes is the ultimate in the pot calling the kettle black.

  • B C Park City, UT
    Nov. 13, 2011 11:12 p.m.


    Who's we? Got a mouse in your pocket Utah troll? With the cupcakes Utah is finishing the season with, it's amazing that the trolls insist on continuing to embarrassing themselves with their hyperbole.

  • yourstruly PAUL, ID
    Nov. 13, 2011 11:05 p.m.

    The future of BYU is Heaps, Hill, Mangum. Heaps redshirting would result in Hill and Mangum having to wait too long. If Heaps can show he has matured and is showing his ability BYU would be really tough with Nelson playing some and giving BYU a strong 1 2 punch. BYU has to get lucky to recruit elite running backs and will do well when an Unga or maybe a couple of Alisa's show up but the main recipe for BYU to reach its past heights is to get on track with passing QB's, great tight ends and maybe get a couple more elite receivers like Hoffman. I don't want to anoint Hoff just yet but he is improving before our eyes and hopefully will be even better than Collie. Passing for only 200 yds a game (current formula) won't cut it to develop receivers, qb's or an offensive line.

    In my opinion sure BYU will win a bunch with Riley but against the elite teams his strength will be negated and even if he is somewhat effective the BYU brand as a potent passing team goes in the back room for another season.

  • CougarOnTheProwl Murray, UT
    Nov. 13, 2011 10:47 p.m.

    Tough break for Riley but he is tough and it wouldn't surprise me to see him back playing against Hawaii, hope he recovers quickly. Heaps played well in his place, probably the most accurate and efficient he has been this season. Good thing is, I believe byu has two capable QBs and both can get the job done.

  • coleman51 Orem, UT
    Nov. 13, 2011 10:35 p.m.

    It makes no difference who we play as quarterback as long as we play Division 2 teams such as Idaho State, Idaho, and New Mexico State. Maybe the next opponent will be an NAIA opponent. Get well soon, Riley, so you can play against a real opponent when we get to the cupcake bowl.

  • CalmDown Saint George, Utah
    Nov. 13, 2011 9:37 p.m.

    Really? You make a crack about Lark? Based on what? Zero snaps at practice...ever. Thrown in for mop up time, not his fault it's against such a lame team that it's for an entire quarter plus. Mop up time consists of throwing players together who never get to work together, typically still against the oppositions #1D. What do you expect? You can't tell anything from that.

  • Ronald Uharriet SWun City, Ca.
    Nov. 13, 2011 9:10 p.m.

    We have four very good Quarter Backs including Lark and Muns. NELSON is injured and needs time to heal.. His back up, Heaps, is a 5 star QB. The 5 Star QBs back up appears to be Lark.
    We are very fortunate to have all four of these QBs.

    It is just plain stupid to say anything that is not an absolute compliment about any of these four QBs.

    It is an embarrasement to be part of a group that has so much in the four great Quarter Backs that we have, and appreciates what we have so little.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Nov. 13, 2011 8:24 p.m.

    Idaho is a better team than UCLA, which makes this a satisfying game.

  • In Stitches Provo, Utah
    Nov. 13, 2011 7:11 p.m.

    @ I'll call it

    You're not a BYU fan, you live in Ogden and have season tickets to BYU. Um ... whatever.

    I have yet to hear or read ANYTHING negative from the coaches in regards to any of the players. That's not their style.

    These Utesies insist on coming on the boards to try and spread manure as fact!

  • majmajor Layton, UT
    Nov. 13, 2011 6:56 p.m.

    I hope that Nelson heals quickly. He is the man! As I recall, he through the 30+ yard TD the play after THE HIT (and he was hit then also). It takes some courage to get thumped like that and keep playing.

    I wish Heaps well. He played better than the third-stringer, but with a better cast. Heaps is the BYU's future. I hope that he plays the rest of this year, and is able to red-shirt next year.

    The way that Nelson plays, I am not sure that he can play a whole season, nor do I think that he can play his style of football with a healing broken rib. Maybe he will return in the bowl game, but not before. He doesn't have the patience.


  • BluCoug Provo, UT
    Nov. 13, 2011 6:35 p.m.

    With Doman's improved play calling, the RB's and O-line running on the same page, Heaps just needs to shake off the rust, get the team chemistry going and the kid will be just fine.

    However Jacobson, just needs to learn how to catch the ball, especially when it hits him in the hands!

  • yourstruly PAUL, ID
    Nov. 13, 2011 6:23 p.m.

    Why bash Lark when he was playing mopup with many other reserves. I absolutely love Riley and when healthy his legs and competitiveness make him a force. Yet as QB's go Heaps has Jordan potential next to Rileys Jimmer potential. I also remember Michael Jordan as an underclassman at North Carolina and he was no Michael Jordan then. As a previous caller stated Jake needs to learn the nuances of the position. He is too concerned about being sacked and needs to hold on to the ball longer if he doesn't feel a good chance of an open receiver. BYU also needs to open it up more and let him go through the growing pains.
    With Hoffman and the young tight ends coming of age and Apo and Jacobson hopefully showing up more and Coach Doman learning from his mistakes I see the real potential of BYU in a year or two realized if they can become a pass first out score them type of team with their strength being Heaps, Hoffman, Alisa and hopefully Apo who still is struggling but showing promise.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 13, 2011 6:06 p.m.

    Getting out my predictable crystal ball, what do you bet that Riley is done for the year...Heaps will finish out and Bronco will once again play the drama queen card and declare an unsettled QB battle next spring and will not name his starter till just before the 1st game next fall.......

    Lets hope Bronco gets his walking papers.......he can't coach!

  • MiP Iowa City, IA
    Nov. 13, 2011 5:43 p.m.

    Heaps gets the nod for NMSU.

    With a healthy Nelson and improved Heaps, who gets the nod at Hawaii? Nelson, because he never actually "lost" his job. BUT if he does not perform like he is 100%, Bronco will not hesitate to put in Heaps.

    Certainly, we now have evidence that Heaps is markedly better than Lark.

    Bluewombat8: "I am disgusted by most of you BYU fans. I am a cougar fan people need to be more real. Neilsen if he does come back..."

    I attest that he IS a cougar fan and Utah hater, even if he says "Nielsen."

    Apparently Rockwell has appointed himself speaker for the Utes.

    He is right in one thing, though, that the bottom feeders of the WAC are already "disappearing" from BYU's schedule.

    For next year, the WAC will add UT-San Antonio and Texas State-San Marcos to their football slate; those teams, at least initially, will replace NMSU and SJSU (leaving USU out since I like them Aggies) as the "bottom feeders." Since BYU does not play UT-SA or TSU-SM, despite the fact that they still play NMSU and SJSU, means that the bottom feeders are now off BYU's schedule.

  • SanDiegoUte SAN DIEGO, CA
    Nov. 13, 2011 5:11 p.m.

    Here is a sincere wish for Riley's quick recovery. Tough kid. Go Utes!

  • Utah'95 FPO, AE
    Nov. 13, 2011 4:33 p.m.


    Please note that my post was in response to what someone had said earlier. And please comment on what I wrote, not what you think I was thinking.

    Heaps was arguably the most sought HS quarterback in the nation two years ago. Jon Hays was a JC quarterback that didn't get offers from Division I schools. Thus far, Heaps has been disappointing, while an unheralded Hays is improving.

    Heaps' QB rating is 105.8. His numbers came against #13 Texas, #34 Utah, #82 USU, #86 UCF, #115 Ole Miss, and #137 Idaho.

    Hays' 120.6 rating came against #28 ASU, #35 Washington, #41 Cal, #59 Pitt, #61 UCLA, #80 Arizona, and #99 OSU.

    Don't mistake me for a hater. I want to see Heaps become the QB the BYU Faithful want him to become, just not when the Cougars play my Utes. Yes, he has a great arm, and shows moments of greatness, but his numbers don't lie....

    Don't beat up on Hays. Like I said, he is improving, and is doing what he is asked to do. You're fooling yourself if you think Utah fans "don't want Hays to be anything more than he already is."

  • Bluewombat8 Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 13, 2011 3:36 p.m.

    I am disgusted by most of you BYU fans. I am a cougar fan people need to be more real. Neilsen if he does come back will look more like a high school QB because now he can't run. His passing is the biggest black mark in the history of BYU QB's. The only reason he is servicable is because of his legs. We have Heaps who has the potential to be a great QB but everyone is calling for his head. He is YOUNG. BYU usually has QB's who who have been on a 2 year mission and has a year of red shirting under their belt before they take the reigns. Give Heap more seasoning and more experience and he will tear it up. Neilsen has reached his celing Heaps is no where near his. Be patient and supportive.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, Utah
    Nov. 13, 2011 3:24 p.m.

    "Folks, Nelson is the better player and QB. It's ridiculous to see everyone ignore the obvious and say Heaps is better."

    Better player, possibly. Better QB, no way! Look at Nelson's throws compared to Heaps' throws. Jacobsen dropped that one catch, but still Heaps looked more impressive. Sure, he's had interceptions, but every game I've seen with good QBs (Stanford, Oklahoma, Kansas State) have had multiple unforced interceptions. If two QBs are about the same skill level and one is about 4 years older than the other, then the advantage goes to the younger guy. That's just how it is.

    Remind me again, did the nation know who Jimmer was his sophomore year? I'm not necessarily comparing Heaps to Jimmer, I'm just illustrating the point that people get better as they get older. Heaps has NOT peaked yet!

  • Rockwell Baltimore, MD
    Nov. 13, 2011 3:06 p.m.

    I'll call it what?

    A couple of losing seasons, which are inevitable, and Utah fans will desert RES just like they did the HC.

    Utah had a gold-embossed invitation to the PAC 12 championship game this year - an ineligible USC, the top two teams in the PAC 12 not even on their schedule, and a very mediocre division with only one have half-decent challenger, ASU, and the Utes still couldn't backdoor their way into the championship game.

    The bottom feeders of the WAC are already disappearing from BYU's schedule. The PAC 12 will always have its 2- and 3-win bottom feeders.

    I laugh at the thought of the giddy anticipation of Utah fans as they await their season finale with their new "rival".

  • Still Blue after all these years Kaysville, UT
    Nov. 13, 2011 2:55 p.m.

    Folks, Nelson is the better player and QB. It's ridiculous to see everyone ignore the obvious and say Heaps is better. Get well soon Riley, we'll weed you for last 2 games.

  • I'll call it Ogden, UT
    Nov. 13, 2011 2:47 p.m.

    Keep on comparing the bottom feeders of the WAC to the likes of UCLA.

    I enjoy the good laughs.

    If anyone cares, I can't give my seats away with the schedule being played in Provo.

    However, folks want to know how they can get tickets to see the PAC-12.

  • Rockwell Baltimore, MD
    Nov. 13, 2011 2:47 p.m.


    The comparison of differing levels of competition for Heaps and Hays might have some relevance IF the statistics for both had been relatively equal.

    We all know that every time Hays doesn't hand off to White, Utah fans cross their fingers hoping Hays doesn't do something stupid to lose the game for Utah.

    Even though Heaps hasn't lived up to expectations, so far, anyone who understands football can see talent and great potential that simply needs a little more polishing. Only a few naive haters are hoping Jake will abandon his dream of being another great BYU QB.

    On the other hand, Utah fans are simply hoping to survive the season with Hays. Nobody wants, much less expects, Hays to be anything more than he already is, a mediocre, emergency fill-in for an injury-prone starter. Utah fans will be all over Hays the next time he loses a game because of some stupid decision.

  • SoUtBoy25 Cedar City, UT
    Nov. 13, 2011 2:46 p.m.

    hrs4...too funny. I guess missing wide open receivers, an abysmal third and short pass percentage, and being afraid to get hit were Offensive Coord. problems.

    I think Heaps can still be a good QB, but to blame the OC for poor performance is laughable.

  • IDC Boise, ID
    Nov. 13, 2011 2:43 p.m.

    Heaps arm is amazing. He just needs to cut down on mental mistakes. Hopefully with Alisa, the running game can keep the pressure on Heaps down.

  • Utah Girl Vernal, UT
    Nov. 13, 2011 2:28 p.m.

    Sorry Riley got hurt. My son was a QB in high school and got some cracked ribs that kept him out for several games. Very painful, with every breath, and every move. I hope Riley is given adequate time to heal, and then GOOD protection and lots of tape and padding if he does play.

    Give Heaps a chance. He's young and is still gaining experience. He needs to know his team, his coaches, his school, and the BYU fans are supporting him. It's a tough enough job without feeling like no one wants him out there!

    Good luck with the remaining games, and the bowl game, too.

  • Utah'95 FPO, AE
    Nov. 13, 2011 1:57 p.m.

    Snack PAC,

    You're right, any quarterback would be proud of a 75% completion rate.

    But regarding defense, consider:

    -Utah's basic defensive philosophy is stop the run, and depend on the corners to contain the pass.

    -Opponents throw against Utah because they can't run on them.

    -Comparing USU's rating to Utah's is skewed by the fact that the Aggies have played the 99th toughest schedule while the Utes have played the 32nd hardest schedule. But since you went there, here are the two teams defensive rankings:

    Rush yards per carry: Utes-7, Aggies-17
    Rushing yards per game: Utes-9, Aggies-23
    Passing yards per game: Utes-76, Aggies-64
    Passing efficiency: Utes-22, Aggies-43
    Total yards per game: Utes-27, Aggies-29
    Points per game: Utes-17, Aggie-73

    Regarding Hays, he has come a long way in the last month. His priorities are:

    -Give the ball to an extremely productive John White IV.

    -Keep the defense honest.

    -Don't make costly mistakes.

    His 5-13 performance (you forgot the 1 TD vs. 0 INT, BTW) was against UCLA's #62-rated pass D, while Heaps' opponent was against Idaho, ranked #110 in passing YPG defense.

  • hrs4 Mapleton, UT
    Nov. 13, 2011 1:55 p.m.

    I hate to see Nelson get hurt, but Heaps is by far the better qb. He took all the heat for Doman's inexperience. Hopefully, Heaps will finish the season for BYU and won't transfer next year. He has been treated horribly by the coaching staff. I don't know of any other program that says such negative things about a player to the press. The early losses this year were Doman's losses and Heaps was the fall guy.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Nov. 13, 2011 1:53 p.m.

    I'm still in the Nelson camp. The modern college QB is mobile and can pose a threat in the air and on the ground. There is no question that Nelson fits that bill better than Heaps. If you look at the best college QB's for the last 5 years, I would submit that 80% were running/mobile QB's.

    Having said that, I thought Heaps did a very good job coming off the bench. It looked like he seized on a couple of throws and was way off the mark, but for the most part was very accurate. And though I still think that BYU will be more successful with Nelson at the helm, I am a little more encouraged by Jake's potential.

    The Hawaii game is 3 weeks away. Riley will say he is ready to play, but I doubt he'll be 100% by then. He should be fine for the bowl game though.

    I think the question of whether Lark should start over either one of them, was answered in the 4th quarter. . . .uh, no.

  • DEW Cougars Sandy, UT
    Nov. 13, 2011 1:52 p.m.

    What was that booing all about when Heaps showed up for? What a low lame booing. Reiley Nelson got hurt and had to leave. Glad to see Heaps on the field and see how he did was pretty good stat on his part. Were they booing because Lark or Mumm didn't get their chance?

  • AZKID Mapleton, UT
    Nov. 13, 2011 12:53 p.m.

    Broken rib and just 1 week missed? I had a similar injury in High School football, and I was done for. Broken ribs are VERY painful. Everything hurts--moving, breathing, basic things like that. I can't imagine playing football without the rib being completely healed (5-6 weeks). I think we've seen the last of Riley Nelson for the year.

    I hope I am wrong, though, as I LOVE to watch him play! He added a sorely needed spark to the team. I like Heaps also, so I am not overly worried. Best wishes to Riley. Heal fast!

  • Snack PAC Olympus Cove, Utah
    Nov. 13, 2011 11:54 a.m.


    75% completions is good against air, especially when it should have been 80% without McKay's drop.

    What was Hay's excuse for going 5-13 against UCLA's 61st ranked pass defense?

    btw, Utah State's pass defense is ranked 63rd; Utah's is ranked 76th.

  • pleblian salt lake city, utah
    Nov. 13, 2011 11:34 a.m.

    Um, any INTs against a team like Idaho is unacceptable. Remember, this is IDAHO! He had 5 incompletions. Hardly stellar against a really, really overmatched team.

    Yourstruly, please explain how BYU is better off without their junior qb? Are you still hoping for a Heaps comeback? Wow.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, Utah
    Nov. 13, 2011 11:14 a.m.

    Robert, what are you talking about? Go watch last night's game before making that comment. If you had seen it, you wouldn't be saying that about Heaps.

  • BlueCoug Orem, UT
    Nov. 13, 2011 11:06 a.m.



    15-of-20 passes for 185 yards and two TDs, including a dropped 40-yard pass to McKay Jacobson and a 175.7 efficiency rating, is hardly inaccurate. Heaps does need to learn to be a little more patient, to move in the pocket to create passing lanes, to not stare down his receivers, and to put touch on some balls, instead of rifling everything, but he's usually quite accurate.

    Only a Utah troll, pretending to be a BYU fan from Rexburg, would suggest that having Jake as BYU's starting QB puts the New Mexico State game in doubt.

  • SoCalTrueBlue San Diego, CA
    Nov. 13, 2011 10:44 a.m.

    15 of 20 for 2 touchdowns and 1 interception is not "innaccurate." Should have been 16 of 20 for 45 more yards if Jacobsen had not dropped the long pass that was right in his hands and gut. Give Jake a break. New Mexico State just beat a good team in Fresno State, but Jake will lead the Cougs to victory this Saturday.

  • yourstruly PAUL, ID
    Nov. 13, 2011 9:54 a.m.

    Too bad for Riley but good for BYU. Coach Doman, the offensive line and the receivers are all performing much better now. Heaps made just one physical error on the slightly overthrown pass in 20 attempts and otherwize was nearly perfect with his throws. As usual he makes better decisions than his gutty counterpart and an unbiased football fan such as a Vandal fan from Idaho I talked to yesterday who saw BYU for the first time was very impressed with the embattled Heaps.

    Good for BYU because they have two fine qb's in the future and one that has huge upside in Heaps.

  • Julianne North Salt Lake, UT
    Nov. 13, 2011 9:50 a.m.

    Get Better Soon Riley. We will need you for the Bowl game and the rest of the games. I think that they should make a rule that if you hit a player and he or she gets hurt then you should be penaltalized for knocking that player out. I don't like it when these guys think that they are all mighty and injury a player.

  • Robert Rexburg, ID
    Nov. 13, 2011 9:16 a.m.

    Great, now what should have been an easy win against New Mexico State is in doubt.

    Heaps is just plain inaccurate and unable to improvise.

  • So. Cal Reader Escondido, CA
    Nov. 13, 2011 7:41 a.m.

    Go figure. And here a lot of us were worried about Nelson's hard running and concerned he was ripe for injury because of the recekless amandon in which he carried the ball. That was a heck of a hit he took. Hope he heals quickly.

  • RobSing Minneapolis, MN
    Nov. 13, 2011 6:55 a.m.

    Perfect timing. BYU's schedule is so full of cupcakes, Heaps should be able to gain some confidence. We saw what he could do against real opponents, let's hope he's somewhat better against the scrubs.