Riley Nelson cleared to play, likely to start against Hawaii

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  • cougarNV Las Vegas, NV
    Dec. 1, 2011 1:01 p.m.

    I agree with Y Grad/Y Dad- A Disagree tab is much needed. It would save a few silly posts too I think.

    Do any of us give credit to Coach that he might be making it difficult for Hawaii to know who to prepare to play against with his announcements?

    I hope that is his plan. Let Riley rest for the Bowl game though.

    Go Cougars!!

    Dec. 1, 2011 9:26 a.m.

    7dawg, who is feeding you your information. Hoffman is a Sophomore. He has two years left after this season. I agree that Jake needs to prove himself more, but he has a much higher ceiling than that of Riley. Riley is not going to get any better. He is a lot more mature than Jake. I think Jake will be a very good qb in two years. He is just young right now.

  • Broom Hockey Champ Alpine, UT
    Dec. 1, 2011 9:22 a.m.

    Why do you continue to fall for the Chris B. bait? It's not like this is the first time she's posted to the boards. Yet, you continue to fall for it. Ignore and it will go away.

    I call Nelson "Riles" because I feel close to him, like he's the people's champ. I have a friend on the team and he says Riles is a really good guy - great leader and friend. Plus, I feel like he offers BYU the best chance to win because he is a threat through the air and on the ground. Moreover, he doesn't seem to get flustered or discouraged like another BYU QB I've seen play.

    We win these next 2 and we're a top 25 team. Lose either and I'm not so sure.

  • Gazpacho Logan, UT
    Dec. 1, 2011 8:19 a.m.


    Did you catch any sarcasm in D'Anconia's post?

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 1, 2011 6:46 a.m.

    Riley Nelson == Tim Tebow. Same ugly throwing mechanics. Same grit and hard running style. BYU used to be like Boise St. but now days they seem more like Air Force with Nelson at QB. I guess Bronco figures Nelson gives BYU a better chance of winning with his running and BYU has turned into a grind it out team instead of the high octane passing attack we all knew for years. I guess this means Heaps is either going to red shirt next year or transfer. I am still betting Jake will transfer.

  • Disgruntled Nephi, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 10:05 p.m.

    Prep Fan, Crowton ruined Ben Olson? He was only there one year, how did Crowton ruin Olson?

  • Veracity Morgan, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 6:51 p.m.

    Can anyone tell me what hospital and room number Riley will be in...I would like to send my sympathy.

  • LonestarRunner Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 6:45 p.m.

    Riley is a fantastic young man and a great competitor.

    The best thing BYU could do is have Riley finish this season and next, with Lark as Riley's backup next year.

    Jake should redshirt next year, and then be the starter in 2013 and 2014. Jake has great potential and just needs time to fine tune his skills, like learning to put some touch on his passes, looking off defenders, and reading defenses. I still think Jake could finish his career as one of the all-time great QBs at BYU, but he's going to have to work very hard at fine tuning his game to get there.

    Good luck to all of the Cougars in Hawaii!

    One final word...

    The whiners who are questioning Bronco's coaching ability are just proving how clueless they really are about the game of football.

    Bronco has suffered some ugly losses during his tenure at BYU, but one thing he has never done is lose to a 10-loss team, like a certain coach on the hill has already done twice.

  • TrollPolice Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 6:10 p.m.


    Mark it down!

    We'll just add it to the never-ending list of other clueless Utah troll predictions.

  • KinaCoug CORONA, CA
    Nov. 30, 2011 5:58 p.m.

    It is just sad to see how the coaches have tried to tear Jake down from day 1 (which isn't necessarily a bad thing to bring him along) but then not build him back up. They have never been behind him like they have been with Riley. Can you imagine what would have been the reaction if Jake was the starting QB in the TCU game and had 3 mindless turnovers costing the team the win (even with the horrendous special teams play)? Yet Riley is praised- I just don't understand it. Bronco must have made a pact with Riley when he recruited him on his mission that no matter how poorly he played he would be put on a pedestal. Riley loved this idea of always being portrayed as a warrior with how full of himself he is (see the flowing locks and bare midriff abs). Riley has also done just as much damage as the coaches being divisive and creating a divide among the team behind the scenes.

  • PP Eagle Mountain, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 5:45 p.m.

    Funny how many Ute "fans" are on here claiming that Heaps should transfer. As a cougar fan I think Jordan Wynnless should stay right where he is.

  • D'Anconia Providence, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 5:02 p.m.

    Okay here is my prediction:

    Heaps will transfer to Utah.

    The first year playing for Utah, under the tutelage of Norm Chow, he will win the Heisman Trophy and lead the Utes to their first PAC-12 conference championship and Rose Bowl victory. Of course, on a side note, he will get some sweet revenge on his old team as his Utes tune up and prepare for the real meat of the their schedule (BYU will continue to wallow in its own chaotic, insecure delusions).

    His senior year he will lead Utah to a glorious national championship.

    He will be the first selection in the NFL draft.

    A struggling bottom-dwelling team will draft him.

    That team will win 10 games the following year with Heaps as the starting quarterback.

    The following year the Pro Bowl bound Heaps will win a Super Bowl.

    Mark it down!

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 4:36 p.m.

    this should be a sign to Jake Heaps - TIME TO MOVE ON!!! Nelson is going to start EVEN after Heaps throws 4 td's in the last game. Go figure. Heaps is wasting his time under Bronco. Actually, BYU fans are wasting good money watching the new "Bronco-ball" which amounts to a watered down running team. Yikes..what has happened to BYU football that USED to be so fun and exciting to watch??? If I am a high school QB that wants to throw the ball I am NOT considering BYU anymore. BYU has become Airforce.

  • Resolute Voice Deseret, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 4:21 p.m.

    Bronco likes the walk on types that will sacrifice life and limb for him so naturally Nelson will play. Bronco has preferred Nelson since day one he just will not come out and say it directly. Heaps was never the future with Nelson around anyway.

    Heaps should get as far away from the program as possible. Bronco has shown he does not want to develop a player with Heaps skill set, so be it. He wants undersized scramblers with average arm strength. That does not make him a bad coach per say just a bad coach for Heaps.

    A players family should NEVER have a say in when that player is cleared. They do not have the objectivity necessary to protect a player from stupidity like an overbearing coach or an overzealous father, but then again ask USU how the Nelson family is to deal with, objectivity is subjective.

    The truth is BYU is playing a meaningless game. It does not matter who the QB is. Independence, game losses, and a pathetic schedule have rendered the entire season moot. Enjoy Hawaii it is a beautiful locale, but lets not pretend this game has meaning.

  • JosephMother Farmington, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 4:15 p.m.

    Re: Prep Fanatic

    Troll alert! Maybe you didn't realize this but the last two graduated starting QB's from BYU are currently on NFL rosters. 2004-2009, or six seasons, saw Beck and Hall start all but one game (the other Beck started once for an injured Jo. Beck against USU in '04). They might not be starting or future NFL hall of famers but just to be on rosters is an accomplishment. Also, Gary Crowton ruined Ben Olson? How do you figure? Ben was at BYU one year where he redshirted. When he got back from his mission, Crowton had been fired and that was actually one of the reasons for Ben's transfer.

    And you don't think Mangum should go to BYU? Well, he's going on a mission right out of high school and he gets the whole BYU experience so it looks like football doesn't rank #1 on his priority list either.

    You keep telling yourself that BYU will only be mediocre, we can tell that that's exactly what your desperately hoping for, but the truth is BYU will be just fine. As proven by their current Rival's ranking for their 2012 class.

  • BlueNtheFace Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    Nov. 30, 2011 4:13 p.m.

    Why so many fans saying that Riley is "rushing his recovery"? Where is this reported?? What I am reading is that his body has recovered unexpectedly quick. That's something unique to Riley, biologically. The doctor gave him the OK to play. He isn't, therefore, rushing anything.

    Also, Bronco has been clear on his policy that starters cannot lose their position due to injury. Once they're ready to play, they move back into their starting position immediately. The replacement player moves right back to 2nd string, like before the injury. Jake will be the back-up should Riley decide to start. There's no confusion, or at least there shouldn't be any.

    Go Cougars!! Beat the 'Bows!

    BYU 33
    UH 21

  • PP Eagle Mountain, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 4:03 p.m.

    Hey Prep(Ute) Fanatic

    The last 2 BYU QBs are both in the NFL, so based on numbers Bronco has a better average of getting players there than Lavelle.

    Also, you want to fire a coach who has a better record than Lavelle and will most likely have another 10 win season?

    As for Ben Olson - he had 3 years at UCLA to prove himself. I am pretty sure Crowton was not a coach at UCLA.

  • PP Eagle Mountain, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 3:55 p.m.

    I did a little stat counting for both QBs

    Heaps 9-8 Nelson 10-8

    QB Rating for games played (Low-High)
    Heaps 114(74-175) Nelson 162(111-229)

    Current average ranking for defenses faced (Best-Worst)
    Heaps 53(9-106) Nelson 95(42-225)

    Top 10 - 25 - 50 defenses faced
    Heaps 1 - 2 - 4 Nelson 0 - 0 - 2

    When you look at the numbers Nelson had a better rating but Heaps played against a much more difficult schedule. If Heaps had stayed at QB BYU's record would be identical to what it is now and the QB ratings would probably be near equal. If Heaps stays at QB the wins would have erased the notion that Riley rallies the team. Easy wins have a way of doing that. I like both QBs and want whoever helps BYU win. Last year it was Heaps that was perceived as rallying the team.

  • Prep Fanatic Los Angeles, CA
    Nov. 30, 2011 3:53 p.m.

    Jake needs to transfer, and if I was the parent of the kid out of Idaho, I would highly encourage him to go elsewhere to play his college football. BYU has not been the quarterback factory of old, for a very long time, and Bronco cant even realize that that caliber of talent only comes around a very few number of times. We all watched as Gary Crowton ruined Ben Olsen, and now were all watching the current coaching staff ruin Jake Heaps. No other big time recruit would want to come and join the ranks of Ben, or Jake. I really hope that if Jake transfers, that Bronco is fired. Wont happen though, as BYU football ranks low on the priority list for the university, and as long as that is the case, BYU will only settle for mediocrity.

  • JosephMother Farmington, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 3:48 p.m.


    Your defense of Heaps is getting kind of annoying. And the BYU/TCU game was not a blowout. Yes, BYU scored with just two minutes left in the game, and no it wasn't against TCU's third string defense, but even if they hadn't scored that last TD, a 17 point loss is not a blowout. There is no doubt in my mind that if the Heaps we saw in the first 4 1/2 games of the season had played in that TCU game, it would've been a blowout. In the 28-35 point range. As quick as TCU's front line and linebackers were, and the fact that Nelson was still able to scramble to make plays, what do you think would've happened to the non-mobile, easily-rattled Heaps?

  • Prep Fanatic Los Angeles, CA
    Nov. 30, 2011 3:45 p.m.

    What make everyone so sure that the phenom quarterback from Idaho is coming to Provo? I guarantee you that he is probably watching this quarterback controversy between Riley and Jake very closely. I do not blame Jake Heaps for the demise of the offense. I blame Brandon Doman and Bronco for the lack of production out of the offense in the first 5 games. Jake Heaps was the scape goat for breaking in a brand new offensive coordinator. You also have to remember, that the first 5 games were BYUs toughest, and I hardly think that Riley Nelson would have fared much better. Riley performed well against a bunch of high school teams, during the patsy time of the schedule. During the first 5 games, Jakes offensive line couldnt block, receivers couldnt get open and they were also dropping balls. The running backs couldnt gain any yardage, again probably due to the offensive line, and BYU was breaking in a very raw offensive coordinator, one who was never a drop back, pocket passer during his playing career. Oh yeah, Doman had to do it in the NFL, and that is why he never lasted.

  • dustman Nampa, ID
    Nov. 30, 2011 3:45 p.m.

    Hawaii is not joke when it comes to hitting people hard. Riley better play smart or he'll take a beating.

    I hope BYU can pull this off. Hawaii isn't that good, but they always show up against BYU. If BYU goes in lax they will pay for it.

    I don't know if I'd risk Riley in this game. I think just as Riley earned his right to start, I think Heaps has held his own too. We all knew Riley would get hurt this season because of the way he plays, and Heaps stepped up. Where's Heaps reward for stepping up? Riley gets rewarded for stepping up. How about Heaps.

  • JosephMother Farmington, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 3:32 p.m.

    Chris B. is predicting a BYU loss? Oh no, this is horrible because he is ALWAYS RIGHT! Just as he was about BYU not getting out of the first round of the NCAA tournament last year, or about the beatdowns by SDSU in BBall, or how Jimmer didn't win a single national POY Award, or how Utah is going to the Rose Bowl in their Pac-12 inaugural season! This latest prediction does it for me, at least now I won't have to waste 3 hours of my day Saturday watching that trainwreck!!

    Thanks Chris!

  • factcheck Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 3:26 p.m.

    1232- Also loved your Tebow comparison. Both are beating average teams. Tebow has beaten below average teams. Only 2 of his 5 wins are against teams with winning records Denver was blown out against the only good team Tebow has faced. Sound familiar?

    By the way, go check the Sagarin rankings on Oregon St v UCF. #81 adn #82. (66.7 and 66.4) The computers have them about as close as they get. Oh, both are below a handfull of Div 1-AA teams. LOL. Yep, I am sure Heaps could have beaten Oregon St.

    Since you threw out the 3 and out. I will give you some stats. Heaps has more total yards even if you throw in Nelson's rushing. Also note, Nelson padded his stats vs. Idaho St.

  • BYU still rules Nephi, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 2:26 p.m.

    Chris B where have you been! You've been awfully quiet lately. How's that Rose Bowl prediction coming? Based on your history, I'm glad you are predicting a BYU loss. Mark it down!

  • factcheck Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 2:00 p.m.

    Hey 1232. You are right, I never played football and don't know anything. How did you know? I can't believe you exposed me.

    "The team is entirely different with Riley on the field"

    What did you mean by this? Did you mean, that the team BYU was playing was entirely different when Riley is playing? If so, I totally agree.

    "And don't tell me Heaps would have led them to wins over San Jose, Oregon State or even come close vs TCU."

    Seriously? You do know San Jose St that lost to Idaho at home right? SJSU, Idaho and NMSU are about as close as you can get. Heaps tore up NMSU just like he would have against those other bad teams that the mighty Nelson beat. I never said Heaps would have kept the TCU game close. Were you implying that Nelson kept the game close? Scoring a late TD (2 min left) and 2pt conversion against the 3rd string D to cut the blowout to 10 is not keeping it close. Heaps would have done at least as good as Nelson. As far as OSU, Heaps could beat a 3 win team that lost to Sac St.

  • Broom Hockey Champ Alpine, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 1:41 p.m.

    Young > Detmer > Bosco > McMahon ....... Nelson > Lark > Heaps

    What I am trying to illustrate is how far the gap is between what we have now and what we've had in the past. I see this situation improving, especially when Tanner gets here!

    All of that aside, Riles is our best option to win now. If Heaps wants to transfer because he doesn't get to play, so be it. He had a chance and forgot to play. Riles gives us the best chance to win the rest of this year and next year. I plea for continuity at the QB position with Riles.

  • Osgrath Provo, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 1:31 p.m.

    CougFaninTX | 10:49 a.m.writes wisdom.The competition to start has to be based on merit - what can you do for the team right now. Hawaii is not an ordinary BYU opponent. Somehow they always get fired up for the Cougars and play with greater than normal intensity. The Cougars need their best quarterback in the game.

    There is a whole lot going on that we know nothing of. What is Riley's condition, what is Jake going to do after the season, how much does Bronco know. Clearly everybody on this board has an opinion, and as has been said about opinions elsewhere, they are much like corporal openings: everyone has one and most of them stink.

    It will be interesting to observe what really happens.

  • Veracity Morgan, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 1:16 p.m.

    Wow...Chris B. is back from his bereavement...

    We all know how much indigestion that entire crow must have caused with Utah's loss to the very lowly Colorado Buffalos...but it is good to have your spew back.

  • AZJazzFan Gold Canyon, az
    Nov. 30, 2011 1:10 p.m.

    Nelson is the better between the two qb's, the results speak for themselves. What Heaps did in high school is not helping BYU score any points.

  • Still Blue after all these years Kaysville, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 1:01 p.m.

    Geez. What games have all you Heaps lovers been watching? He was not thrown to the wolves by Doman. His receivers are capable of getting open. Heaps has to throw quickly because he's afraid of the rush and can only see one receiver, so there is not a lot of time for receivers to get open. Riley solves that problem big time. Bronco does not love Riley over others (if he did, he'd hold him and and protect him for the bowl game). Jake had his chances, many of them. Against weak or strong competition, Jake failed, and mostly with leadership. The team does not buy into Jake, they buy into Riley - its obvious to a 4th grader. We did not lose to TCU because of Riley - we lost because of poor special team play that put us down 14 early. And who knows who the future for BYU is? maybe Jake, maybe Hill, maybe someone else, but all we know is now. And Riley is the best guy to put on the field. If he is cleared and wants to play: put me in Coach!.

  • fan in orem Orem, Utah
    Nov. 30, 2011 12:46 p.m.

    Whatever happens, Hawaii will have to prepare for two completely different QB styles. All of this helps us at gametime. I just hope that in the past 10 years since we played there that Hawaii has padded the concrete under the turf better than it used to be.

  • 1232 Ogden, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 12:31 p.m.

    RE: Factcheck
    You clearly have never played the game , know what coaching is about, team sports are about,or what leadership is. The team is entirely different with Riley on the field. It is not about who has better "skills" or who has the better "arm". It is about who doesn't go in and come out with a 3 and out every other series. It is about who leads the team and gives them the best chance to win. And don't tell me Heaps would have led them to wins over San Jose, Oregon State or even come close vs TCU. Have you seen what Tebow has been doing lately with his inability to play QB? just saying.

  • Danish American Payson, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 12:27 p.m.

    It's so nice to see all these comments from you guys making big bucks coaching giving us all your wonderful knowledge. I'm sure your evaluation of talent will continue to pay you well.

  • Sandpiper Air Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 12:24 p.m.

    Chris B has been wrong on many things but saying Riley will have fear is now at the top of the list.

  • JayDee West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 11:34 a.m.

    Medical personnel have cleared Riley to play, then he should play. Quite a few armchair doctors on DNews.

    BYU coaches determine that Riley gives the team the best chance to win against Hawaii, then Riley should start. Quite a few armchair coaches on DNews.

    I'll put my confidence and trust in those who have dedicated their professional lives to making such decisions, rather than in fanatics and trolls with biases and agendas.

    Not sure what all the straining at gnats is going to get most of you. I'll watch the game with great anticipation and cheer on BYU as always.

    As for Jake, good luck with whatever decision he makes at the end of the year.

    Good luck Cougs! Beat the Bows and win your bowl!

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Nov. 30, 2011 11:25 a.m.

    First let me plead with the Des News, Please give us a "dis-recommend" button so we can tell a commentator just how much we disagree with his/her opinion.

    Hawaii is NOT an unimportant game. Win these last two and we MAY end up ranked. And to win the last two, you have to win the first one. Lose either and our mediocre season is complete.

    I too worry about whether Riley really is ready and whether it is wise for his health to play him this soon. But there is a doctor, a coach and the player himself all involved in that decision. It is their collective decision to make. And the player has a sports doctor for a dad, for Pete's sake. Suddenly you geniuses are smarter than all of them combined? And those of you calling for Bronco's head on a platter, you do realize that you are a very small minority, notwithstanding all of you who seem to feel that way appear to have posted today.

    Go, Riley! Go Cougars! Hang in faithful, Jake! You can still have the last laugh if you really want it.

  • Real Bass Idaho Falls, ID
    Nov. 30, 2011 11:20 a.m.


  • cowboy99 South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 11:16 a.m.

    I see there are a lot of couch potato coaches out there who seemingly know everything about Nelson's health and performance in practices.

    If he's cleared to play he will play. Enough of these fabled stories of Hawaii ripping him apart or even more fabled stories of Heaps emerging as a leader of the team without some time with a clipboard in hand. If it didn't happen early this season it not going to at all until after he redshirts.

  • BluCoug Provo, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 11:16 a.m.

    Big mistake!

  • factcheck Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 11:15 a.m.

    RE: KinaCoug
    Best comment I have read on these DNews boards in months.

    RE: 1232

    We all must be 'Carazy'. Seriously? "END OF STORY" How did you come to this conclusion? The magical 42-7 win over Idaho? You know, the same team that NMSU beat. Was it the win over powerhouse Idaho St? Maybe the high 5 to the side judge in the TCU LOSS. A 2 pt conversion w 2 min left to make a blowout look closer that it really was. Is that the sign of a great leader? Did you watch the TCU game? Did the OSU game make it END OF STORY? OSU had 3 wins total & a loss to Sac St. WOW! I admit watching the USU come back was great. USU was not prepared for Nelson, but it might be more of a reflection on how USU played than Nelson. USU has been the most up and down team in the country in almost every game. They blow big 2nd half leads to Auburn, BYU, Fresno and LaTech and have huge second half comebacks against HI, SJSU and Nevada. Please let us all know why it is END OF STORY.

  • IDC Boise, ID
    Nov. 30, 2011 11:11 a.m.

    Play Heaps and keep Heaps in as long as the offense is moving. Heaps has earned the right to continue starting. Let Riley heal so he is ready when needed.

  • D'Anconia Providence, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 11:05 a.m.

    BYU ruined Jake Heaps in much the same way that Ron McBride almost ruined Alex Smith. Luckily Utah was able to save Alex before it was too late, thanks to Urban Myer.

  • giantfan Farmington, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 11:02 a.m.

    Re: CWEB

    Then why even watch the game? Or why bother being a fan? Actually, in fact, I rather doubt you're a fan at all.

  • Floyd Johnson Broken Arrow, OK
    Nov. 30, 2011 10:58 a.m.

    Thanks Chris, I'm on my way to the casino now! Native American gaming is awesome!

    Having broken a rib myself, my hat is off to anyone who can not only stand up and stay in the game with a fracture, but throw a touchdown pass two plays later. I could barely raise my elbow for two weeks, let alone throw a ball. I milked mine to keep me out of dish duty for a month, he wants to play football in two weeks.

    Heaps lost the starting position as the result of his poor performance on the field, not because of a lack of talent. As long as Nelson is performing in the manner that he has, this should be his job to lose.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Nov. 30, 2011 10:58 a.m.

    JustintimeY reflects my sentiments exactly. However, this is a pretty meaningless game and I would hate to see Riley get popped again--physically he could take it, but another hit like that might affect him mentally. But I don't know how ready his based on his practices. Maybe he is 100%.

    Veracity--you're related to Jake Heaps, right?

    I hope Jake stays because I think he potentially will be really good after one more year. But I don't think that the coach should start him just because he might transfer if he doesn't start him.

  • factcheck Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 10:50 a.m.

    Hey 7dawg. Help me out here. What big dogs does Riley give us a chance against? TCU? Do you think he would have looked any better against Ole Miss or Texas? USU was caught off guard when Nelson came in, then he goes on to beat Idaho, San Jose St, Idaho St. Are those teams better than NMSU? Oregon St is no better than UCF.

    My point is Nelson hasn't really beat anyone either. All I hear and read after the NMSU game was, well yah..Heaps looked good, but it was New Mexico St. For some reason Bronco and the Nelson fan club/media act like Nelson beat good teams.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, Utah
    Nov. 30, 2011 10:50 a.m.

    Please, people, I BEG you to stop with the notion that Heaps can't get any better! Who are you to say that we have seen the best of Jake Heaps and he can never be a leader? Who are you to say that he will never step up when needed? Who are you to say Heaps will never match up to Nelson?

    Besides, you keep saying that Heaps is not the future. Then who is? Riley? He graduates after next season, and next year's schedule isn't much better from this year's. Besides, you say that Heaps can't beat top teams, but how many top teams has BYU beat with Nelson as QB? Why couldn't Nelson inspire the team to win against TCU? How come he didn't save us against Utah? How do you know Heaps is the problem, and not Doman's offensive schemes?

    Don't get me wrong; I like Nelson. He shows a lot of heart, and he stepped up when we needed him. But if you compare the two (including the opponents they've faced), it's difficult to say that Nelson is clearly the superior QB. Give Heaps some slack!

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Nov. 30, 2011 10:49 a.m.

    Bronco and the doctors will not take a risk with Riley's health. If they believe he is not 100%, they will not play him. If he's ready to play, he'll be under center.

    For all the fans who continue to compare Riley to Jake, it reminds me of the Marc Wilson vs Jim McMahon controversy a couple of decades ago. Riley has proven he can move the offense, Jake has not. Jake probably has more NFL potential than Riley, but Ben Olsen had tons of potential also. Potential only counts if you reach it.

    I hope Jake stays at BYU, and with a redshirt year reaches his potential. Even if he transfers, he'll be redshirting next year (unless he goes to a FCS school). I just hope he doesn't try to recruit Apo and Stout to follow him.
    If Jake transfers, it tells me something about his inability to work through adversity.

    If he does transfer, Taysom Hill will be arriving on campus in January. He could redshirt next season behind Nelson, Lark and Munns. And in 2013, we'd still have two solid QB's in Munns and Hill to battle for the starting position.

  • Flame of the West Southern, Cali
    Nov. 30, 2011 10:44 a.m.

    Nelson earned the right to play - he should play. Kind of like earning the right to be in a bowl game. Kind of like earning the right to be a coach. Bronco continues to show his quality by winning games - arguably against lesser opponents at times - but a win is a win.

    The writing is on the wall for coach K. You can't continue having PAC 12 losing conference seasons, lose to Colorado when you should have played in the title game, have no offense, hire yesterday's news coaches, and continue to earn the right to coach in this new era of pay for performance. Losing in high stakes c-football is no longer forgivable. These were seasoned, veteran coaches that even just 5-10 years ago would probably still have their jobs. Now the precedence is set and it is game on. The warning bell was just sounded very loud and clear for the Utes. Mr. B, can you not mark this down?

    Ute fans, congrats on your bowl game and enjoy the off-season, but I recommend sleeping with one eye open...

  • McFarland Clovis, Ca
    Nov. 30, 2011 10:33 a.m.

    Riley is a stud and I am stoked that he will be starting this Saturday. You have to love this guys courage and heart.

  • CWEB Orem, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 10:20 a.m.

    It really doesn't matter. Win or lose at Hawaii is the same. We still go to the same bowl. The biggest risk is putting a player out there who could really get hurt seriously. There is no miracle, his ribs are in no way healed in that short time.

    Who are we kidding. Bronco is putting a kid into danger, and there is no reason whatsoever.

    And this I predict, we will get down into the blue zone, and Nelson will chuck the ball up into the air for grabs as the pressure gets to him. BYU will again squander chances to score at least 2-3 times directly due to the way Riley Nelson handles pressure in a big game.

    This isn't really a big game, but Hawaii thinks it is. That's all that matters. I think I'll take some Advil "before" kickoff. Gonna need it.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 10:16 a.m.

    Go Bows.

  • 1232 Ogden, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 10:03 a.m.

    You guys that think Heaps is the Future are carazy. BYU is a completely different and much better team with RIley on the field. END OF STORY

  • giantfan Farmington, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 10:01 a.m.

    Starting Riley if healthy and cleared to play is absolutely the right thing to do. Those of you that think Heaps is the future apparently have short-term memories. If he's the future based on what he did during the first 5 games of the season then BYU's future is pretty bleak. I'm not saying that Heaps can't be a good to great QB for BYU down the road, he just needs some seasoning and he also needs some more time on the bench to get hungry. I think a redshirt year for him would be ideal, with him competing for the starting job in 2013 and '14. If he decides he doesn't want to do that and chooses to transfer instead, sobeit.

    And don't get too excited about how Heaps has performed recently against Idaho and New Mexico State. This time last year he was doing the exact same thing against pretty pitiful competition. Heaps may be a great QB against the terrible teams but he's also proved he folds like a house of cards against the good teams.

  • truthserum LEHI, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 9:56 a.m.

    This seems really premature in a game that doesn't mean anything. Save Nelson for the bowl game. Heaps is gone.

  • JustintimeY Boise, Id
    Nov. 30, 2011 9:46 a.m.

    As much as I think Heaps my be the future you cannot honestly say that Heaps is the better quarterback today over Riley. Riley is by far the better leader and has the respect of his team. Jake was the primary reason that BYU was loosing the Utah State game which was a lost game, until Riley the gamer that he is took the team on his back and refused to lose. Please stop trying to rewrite history Jake was doing very poorly and the offense was stagnant until Riley took over. Heaps "may" be the better quarterback in the future, may have more potential in the future, but Riley is by far the better quarter back "today" and will be the better quarter back next year. Jake has yet to prove he can consistently make a pass over 15 yards. He continues at times to make bad reads and has no touch on some of his passes that are thrown to hard to wide open receivers. Many players never live up to their potential and Jake is still in potential catagory.

  • 7dawg Norman, OK
    Nov. 30, 2011 9:27 a.m.

    fan in orem-

    My fault. Hoffman is not going anywhere thank goodness. I thought he was a Sr.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 9:23 a.m.

    I love this! Coach M is the man! Please, cougars, play Nelson. I guarantee Hawai'i will smell the fear, as Nelson will be afraid of getting hit. He's not about to stay in the pocket, and he's not about to expose himself by throwing the deep ball--too much risk of taking a solid hit, and getting hurt. He cried during his first game with Hawai'i when he was at USU? Wait till this Saturday. And, once he goes down, there will be that much more fear in the eyes of Heaps. This is NOT going to be a good game for the Y. Hawai'i 36, BYU 9. Yes, you heard it here first....

  • D'Anconia Providence, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 9:22 a.m.

    toosmartforyou | 8:36 a.m. Nov. 30, 2011

    Wow! Way to lay out the bait for the Utah trolls! I guess you really want to raise the level of the conversation around here. :) I love your arguments. They are very persuasive, on topic, and smart...too smart for me.

    Anyway. As a Ute fan I wish Riley a safe return to play. It just shows what an amazing athlete he is to heal that quickly.

  • Dan the Fan PROVO, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 9:07 a.m.

    Article should read,
    Riley Nelson cleared to play, Heaps likely to transfer!
    I think Bronco has done a poor job in handling this QB situation. He's annointed Nelson like he is some kind of miracle worker all the while instilling no confidence in Heaps and giving him lip service. As a fan can you honestly look at this team and say we are a great team, I can't. I can say that we have potential, but we've seen how far Riley can take us. If you are happy at 9-3 or 8-4 Riley is your guy. Heaps would have won every game that Nelson started, but the experience alone would have allowed him to develop into the QB we all expected him to be.

  • KinaCoug CORONA, CA
    Nov. 30, 2011 8:57 a.m.

    another horrible decision and just plain lies from Bronco. Riley is Bronco's guy and will always be praised. This decision was made a long time ago. My guess is that it isn't a "miraculous" recovery at all but probably not as bad as originally diagnosed and now he is cleared to play, making him look more like a "warrior". Bronco makes the guy out to be a Navy Seal or a champion MMA fighter. Jake took the fall for Doman's learning curve and lack of running game, and played against far better competition. When given the opportunity against the same weak competition he has had better games than Riley did and earned the starting job back, only to have it ripped away by poor coaching decisions. Now we have to worry about Jake transferring. If that happens, Bronco needs to be fired.

  • fan in orem Orem, Utah
    Nov. 30, 2011 8:53 a.m.

    7 Dawg: Where is Hoff going?

  • Broom Hockey Champ Alpine, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 8:37 a.m.

    Riley > Jake

    That being said, even if Riley has nearly recovered, he should rest this week so that he is 100% for the bowl game, when the stakes are high.

    A win in the bowl gets us another top 25 team and then we can claim 2 top 25 teams this year.

  • Veracity Morgan, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 8:37 a.m.


    ...If Jake leaves BYU, he will not play on Sundays. If he redshirts next year, he most likely will. Someone mark it down and let me know how I did in a couple of years.

    No need to wait...your wrong.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 8:36 a.m.

    Predictable how all the Ute trolls can't slam BYU, Bronco, Jake or Riley enough over this game. I guess the frustration from blowing it big time against Colorado is just too much to take without letting off steam. After all, they could have been in line to be wiped all over the field by Oregon if they could have defeated the league DOOR MAT but 39 yards in a half shows the Utes "certainly were ready to play"------pumped up by "Kyle and Norm" and raring to go. Too funny.......

    By the way, how's the PAC 10.2 South lately....fired any more head coaches?



  • WA_Alum&Dad Marysville, WA
    Nov. 30, 2011 8:30 a.m.

    Mendenhall has made the right call. If the doctors clear the kid to play, if Riley feels prepared to play and if he'd earned the starting job (he was the starter when injured), you play him until he doesn't perform. It's not just the message to Riley or Jake, it's the message to every other player on the team. You put it out there, you give your all, you earn it, and you get it.

    If Jake leaves BYU, he will not play on Sundays. If he redshirts next year, he most likely will. Someone mark it down and let me know how I did in a couple of years.

  • DEW Cougars Sandy, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 8:17 a.m.

    Is Riley crazy? Not the same when he saw as a USU player because Hawaii always hungry against BYU. Jake should start along with heart like Riley did, don't play scare, don't be a robot and stay away from medias. And lastly, Riley hasn't practiced with his new protection gear? I remember Jimmy Mac had to wear knee brace (or braces) and he said it wasn't so confortable to move around. I wouldn't want to see Riley carrying around this Oxygen Cylinders in the near future or worse!

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Nov. 30, 2011 8:12 a.m.

    Run and not be weary, walk and not die from a collapsed lung next time you get pile driven into the turf....

  • Veracity Morgan, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 8:09 a.m.


    Send me your address...I will send you some barf bags.

    With some people, the truth hurts.

    But in your case you, it seems it makes you sick.


  • jazzbball Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 7:56 a.m.

    Uh Doman said Miraculous.

    Cue the obnoxious utah fans...

  • BYU still rules Nephi, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 7:54 a.m.

    Honor Code, if I was from Colorado I would be excited to see someone else beat BYU since nobody in Colorado can. Like exclamation points much?

  • 7dawg Norman, OK
    Nov. 30, 2011 7:53 a.m.

    If I hear Jake is the future one more time I may vomit. If we had all american talent at RB and WR positions then he would be a very good quarterback. Hoffman and Apo are solid, but that is it, and Hoff is gone next year. No one else can get open against good defenses with speed. (see Utah, Ole Miss, Texas, and TCU games) And our RB's are not good enough to keep the defenses honest.

    If receivers were open and Jake had time he would be a great QB, but against good defenses Jake has no time and WR's are not getting that point Jake is an average athlete that is terrible when under pressure and he becomes a sitting duck.

    Jake is not the future against top tier competition....which is where BYU would like to be considered. Against the New Mexico States and Idaho's of the college football world, if that's what you want Cougar fans, then yes, Jake is the future.

    Riley at least gives us a shooting chance against the big guys with a little above avg arm and his ability to run. Love his heart and leadership as well.

  • Veracity Morgan, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 7:50 a.m.

    Wow, my respect rating for Bronco is lower than my respect for Obama...and that is low.

    How can Bronco keep making these kind of decisions...isn't anyone advising him?

    Sad, sad and sad.

  • Honor Code Denver, Colorado
    Nov. 30, 2011 7:33 a.m.

    Can't wait to watch those Warriors beat BYU this weekend. Good to see this "INDEPENDENT" thing working out nicely for BYU!!! Maybe Carl Benson will be at the game to get BYU to sign a contract to play in the WAC!

  • aunt lucy Looneyville, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 6:54 a.m.

    Bad move. Jake is the future and should be the starter. Nelson should be the safety net on the bench. Fans want to see the starter even he only takes baby steps in getting better.

  • Dixie Dan Saint George, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 6:29 a.m.

    Adios Jake! Another brilliant decision by Bronco.

  • Frozen Chosen Savage, MN
    Nov. 30, 2011 5:48 a.m.

    Bronco is proving he doesn't have what it takes to be a successful head coach. There is absolutely no reason to rush Nelson back on the field like this - he is rusty and still banged up. Given Hawaii's propensity for getting very emotional against BYU there is a strong chance that Nelson will get sacked a few times and reinjured. Then Heaps will have to go in the game cold without having had the starter's reps in practice. Let Heaps start this game and bring back Nelson for the bowl game fully healed with more practice under his belt.

    Bad, bad coaching.

  • Louisiana Cougar Pineville, LA
    Nov. 30, 2011 4:33 a.m.

    Stupid on Mendenhall's part to give Nelson the snaps all week against an opponent where 1) it will be likely that Hawai'i head hunts the Cougar quarterbacks, and 2) BYU will need Heaps to be sharp.

    My prediction is that BYU will lose big on the island! Just another example of Mendenhall's inability to properly prepare a team with lots of potential.

  • Cougar Nation #1 Provo, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 4:00 a.m.

    Noooooooo!!! Please don't play Nelson at QB anymore.

  • Cougar Claws Lindon, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 1:35 a.m.

    Maybe he will get another cheap shot that will give the reigns back to Jake Heaps in the first quarter.

  • kokua KAYSVILLE, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 12:52 a.m.


    The reason Heaps was sidelined was not because of an injury, but because of fear, and lack of real leadership when his team mates needed him.

    Give it back to Heaps ? No that is not an option.

    Ted H. is on the right track however, he stopped short. Heaps has a weak heart and like all drama queens he needs the spot light, without it he simply fades out and into obscurity.

  • USNGary South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 12:26 a.m.

    I agree his responses have been weak but it seems like the coaches have given up on him. If they want Riley back next season then he doesn't need to play. A collapsed lung is nothing to play around with.

  • Alpine Coug Alpine, UT
    Nov. 30, 2011 12:19 a.m.

    Love Riley Nelson, but this seems so unnecessary and so premature. Allow Jake to start against Hawaii and bring Riley in on an "as-needed" basis. Why would BYU choose to jeopardize the long-term health of a young athlete by rushing his full recovery. Rest him against Hawaii and save him for the bowl game.

  • Ted H. Midvale, UT
    Nov. 29, 2011 11:46 p.m.

    Usn, although I still wish jake were going to be the future, I think the guy is gone. He has been asked several times recently about transferring and his only response is "now is not the time to talk about that." Even if jake was mostly undecided I think he would say something typical like " I am committed to this program" and then decide in offseason. The fact that he wont even give a half hearted commitment right now says to me he is gone. And before you go crazy on me, I have said nothing about whether he can or should be the future. Its simply my guess that based on his weak responses that he is gone.

  • Carson Provo, UT
    Nov. 29, 2011 11:43 p.m.

    Hawaii is going to take Riley apart, then finish with Jake. Which will be bad news for the Bowl game.

  • USNGary West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 29, 2011 11:39 p.m.

    He has no business playing this week. Give the team back to Jake. He is the future of the team.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Nov. 29, 2011 11:32 p.m.

    Good Luck. Stay healthy and get the game to a point where Jake can clean-up again, thus both of you keeping your skills current.


  • sammyg Springville, UT
    Nov. 29, 2011 11:30 p.m.

    Just hope things are not being rushed. Good luck!