Dick Harmon: Nelson, Defense come up huge in blowout of warriors

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  • AZguy Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 5, 2011 8:41 a.m.

    I have to admit that I have been very frustrated by this whole QB situation. The bottom line is that they need the QB that gives them the best chance to win. I think the coach has done that. A player should not lose his position to injury and the one who gives you the best chance to win should start. So, that is Nelson in my opinion. If Heaps and Nelson were even, then I would go with Heaps because there is more upside for the future. But Riley just wins. Would Riley have made a difference against Texas? I think so. Would Riley have changed the Utah game? Only the score-not the outcome.

    I hope Heaps stays, redshirts and skyrockets in his last two years. Staying or transfering, he only has two years of eligibility left. He might as well do it here at BYU. My bigger concern is how does he become a team leader that the team listens to and follows?

    Go Cougs.

    BTW, I may end up at the LV bowl again, BTW, watching my Broncos versus my Sun Devils. The fates are laughing at me heartily.

  • Osgrath Provo, UT
    Dec. 4, 2011 10:17 p.m.

    It's one thing for journalists wanting to increase readership to make unfounded but controversial pronouncements - like Heaps SHOULD transfer, but when BYU fans try to make a case that they are looking out for Jake's best interest in suggesting he transfer, that goes beyond ludicrous. Can any of you that think Jake transferring is the best thing for him address some interesting points:
    1. How easily will he be able to pick up a new offense quickly enough to be effective next season? (he would probably have to sit out a season as a red shirt anyway)
    2. How many quality teams out there have been highly impressed with his performance so far? Do we know how much in demand he will be?
    3. The very traits that Jake needs most of all to become a great quarterback, the heart, the mental toughness, the magnetic leadership, are abundantly demonstrated by his own team mate. Could he benefit from an additional year learning from Riley? Since he would have to red shirt no matter where he goes, why would it not be better to red shirt with a program he is familiar with with receivers he knows well?
    4. If he took his ball and went home (i.e., transfers just because he got beat out by someone else), what would that say about his character, persistence and leadership?

    I don't see that tranferring is going to help him, but we will find out soon enough whether that is on his mind.

  • Jake2010 bountiful, ut
    Dec. 4, 2011 9:17 p.m.

    As did Utah State Jenny so what is your point?

  • Jake2010 bountiful, ut
    Dec. 4, 2011 9:02 p.m.

    I'll save you some time.... How much of an anybody is Eastern Illinois? How big a deal is Tony Romo? Is Heaps a Romo? His time at BYU would say no... Point in case is that it isn't whom you play it is how well you play your position... If you play your position well enough the NFL will take notice and recruit you regardless of SEC Champion AQ status poll ranking or whatever.... If Heaps continues to play as he has he will not get in the NFL... If however, he redshirts his next season and watches the pro Nelson do his stuff and takes dutiful notes and improves his butt off for 2013 and 14 he will get to the NFL and do no worse than John Beck and possibly as well as Alex Smith.

  • Jake2010 bountiful, ut
    Dec. 4, 2011 8:57 p.m.

    Those who are knocking the BYU schedule and how Heaps won't get into the NFL as a second string blah blah blah whatever you want to say I encourage you to take a long slow processing look at the current NFL rosters and see where each QB on the rosters league wide are from.....If it validates your claim that playing Tulsa and Oregon State as an unranked team then fine.... I will eat my crow but if not, please take this as a lesson in waking up, knowing what you're talking about or stay home and silent those jumpy fingers. Deal?

  • Hellooo Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 4, 2011 8:45 p.m.

    I remember another qb that supposedly did not have a good enough arm to play the position, certainly not in the pros. He was drafted late and replaced during the season a veteran "strong-armed" gb. His name is Joe Montana and I believe he did pretty well as a "West-Coast" qb.

  • VictorVonTrap Draper, UT
    Dec. 4, 2011 8:02 p.m.

    The smartest thing Heaps can do is transfer to school that has a good receiving core, coaching, and program. If the Y had knocked off OSU last night then Heaps would be wise to stay but the direction that Y is heading isn't particularity notable or hopeful.

  • Noblepromise PROVO, UT
    Dec. 4, 2011 7:37 p.m.

    Heaps will leave because he has seen the following three changes since he was recruited by BYU: being replaced by Riley, BYU going independent, and Offensive Coordinator (OC) has offensive schemes associated with when Doman was QB instead of when Anae was the OC. Heaps was highly a recruited high school blue chip athlete and stayed two consecutive years at BYU. Did he defer going on a LDS mission to pursue this quest to be noticed by NFL scout as BYU starting QB? Now he is married and 2nd string quarterback and not getting the exposure of playing even though BYU is on ESPN. I wouldn't fault him for transferring as his desired profession is playing in the NFL and playing in bowl games and against competition teams that are ranked. Riley in turn deserves to be the starter as Heaps was benched because of performance and not injury. I wish both quarterbacks well.

  • EdGrady Idaho Falls, ID
    Dec. 4, 2011 7:01 p.m.

    Heaps is gone, and all BYU fans better pray that Nelson doesn't get hurt in 2012; otherwise, it will be a long, dreadful season.

  • cowboy99 South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 4, 2011 5:39 p.m.

    Common-Tator | 8:31 a.m. Dec. 4, 2011
    Saint Paul, MN

    ...He has the arm that defines today's West Coast offense QB...

    How does someone who cannot throw across the middle be the definition of a West Coast offense QB.

    I'm tired of this nonsense that we need to develop Heaps. That's exactly what we are doing. The best place for him right now is on the bench with a clipboard in hand.

  • Jenny83 OGDEN, UT
    Dec. 4, 2011 4:24 p.m.

    oh and Sanjose also beat Hawaii..and that's when Hawaii still had there regular qb.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Dec. 4, 2011 4:06 p.m.


    Also "interesting to note" that Hawaii also beat colorado this year. And of course we all know who colorado beat.


  • Truth Seeker Wellsville, UT
    Dec. 4, 2011 4:01 p.m.

    If Jake transfers it will give people two years to complain about what BYU let get away. The media just loves a story. Please stay Jake! Please!

  • Tman1122 AMERICAN FORK, UT
    Dec. 4, 2011 2:20 p.m.

    bYU schedule next year is as bad as this year. We will lose to Utah, and Boise. It a toss up with Utah state, ND and GT. ND isn't that great, but their NBC contact will pay us well we should join the Big 12, but our lawyer will not allow it!!!!

  • Ville Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 4, 2011 2:03 p.m.

    Legacy??? Please, he hasn't beaten a team who is any good or going to a bowl game and BYU is unranked. But hey, the coaches love him so I'm sure he'll be a really good QB his senior year who will get us ranked, beat a good football team on our schedule and lead us to a victory in a meaningful bowl game? Sorry to break it to some fans but the Legacy of Shiede, Nielsen, Wilson, McMahon, Detmer, Young, Bosco & Sark is where it stops.

  • Jenny83 OGDEN, UT
    Dec. 4, 2011 1:51 p.m.

    Interesting to note that UNLV also beat Hawaii by 3 touchdowns this year.

  • Gorum The Old Madison, AL
    Dec. 4, 2011 12:31 p.m.

    Ironic Fact.

    Heaps, the guy with the huge arm, Has only 1 throw that was for longer than 29 yards this year (it was for 37 yards).

    Nelson on the other hand has has completed at least 1 pass of 40+ yards in every game in which he has had more than 7 pass attempts.

    And Heaps has 89 more pass attempts on the season.

    I like Heaps. He has great potential. He is just not as effective as Nelson is right now. I say let Heaps redshirt in 2012 and comeback in to lead the Cougars to a BCS or even NC game in 2013.

    That may sound rather extreme, but look at the timing. It will be Heaps 4th year in the system. On the offensive side of the ball he will still have Hoffman, Apo, Falslev, Quezada, Alisa and all of you TEs. Basically all of your skills positions will be 3rd year starters. There will be more movement on defense, but Kyle Van Noy will be a senior and under Bronco the defenses have usually been pretty good.

    Now look at the schedule. Home: Texas, GerogiaTech, Utah, BSU.
    Road: Houston, Notre Dame, Washington St. Pretty Good.

  • bricklavin Gilbert, AZ
    Dec. 4, 2011 10:52 a.m.

    C'mon Dick. Riley may have grit, but he does not have a legacy. That's just ridiculous to say at this point.

  • hornetfan declo, id
    Dec. 4, 2011 10:10 a.m.

    Wasn't the arguement in the Mtn. West when BYU and Utah were there, that it was unfair to punish them for going 10-0 or whatever and not getting considered for a BCS bowl because they could only beat those on their schedule and they took them as they came.

    Seems that is exactly what each team must do. That same arguement has been used against every non-automatic qualifying team yet, ie: Boise State, TCU, Houston, Utah et.al.

    9-3 is a great year. 10-3 even better if it happens (still has not yet been played ragardless of the posts that BYU will win or that BYU has already lost)

    Look at the future schedule through the next few years and you find some pretty big names on the schedule...however, there is no guarantee at this point how good any of them will be when the game is played. Pretty much like every conference, every scheule.

  • Tman1122 AMERICAN FORK, UT
    Dec. 4, 2011 9:53 a.m.

    I feel it's great that BYU has won the WAC!!! Great job guys! 9-3 is an amazing record in the WAC

  • BigCougFan Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 4, 2011 9:22 a.m.

    If Jake has any intelligence he'll stay. The biggest mistake of his career was when they started him over other more qualified players. He just wasn't ready to be the starter as a true freshman. The kid has talent and drive but the hype put him into a much too big spotlight. Given a red-shirt year he'll be in a better position to lead the Cougars to more 10-win seasons.

    Stay Jake.. don't listen to the idiot media.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Dec. 4, 2011 9:20 a.m.

    boatersteve | 6:30 a.m. Dec. 4, 2011
    Fruit Heights, Utah

    Congratulations Utah for returning the program to the glory days by choking big time to under 500 teams. Honestly, I thought UNLV was as low as the Utes could go.

  • Common-Tator Saint Paul, MN
    Dec. 4, 2011 8:31 a.m.

    Have to agree with idablu ...

    A more forthcoming analysis of Riley's passes yesterday would have to indicate that he did not look sharp passing, significant yardage notwithstanding. He is no doubt gritty, and just playing following the injuries he sustained attests to that. About the only thing I could agree with from Mr. Harmon's article is that the receivers adjusted incredibly well ... though to passes that were slow to arrive, sometimes ill-advised, and frequently well off the mark. That there were no picks indicates how vulnerable Hawaii's pass defense was (as opposed to their initial run defense). This also points out just how misleading the QB-rating system is, for Nelson didn't look all that "on" ... again, yardage and stats notwithstanding.

    It would have been interesting to see what Heaps would have done against that defense -- perhaps exceeding the previous two games' efforts, though we'll never know.

    I love Nelson's grit and football toughness. He won't play beyond the Cougar Blue, however, at least not as a QB. Comparisons to Tebow are weakly associated (other than the distinction as a running quarterback - though not yesterday.) Tebow actually throws a better ball (heaven help us!) and performed (performs) his miracles against significantly better defenses than USU and Hawaii.

    Heaps still has the potential to play at the next level. He has the arm that defines today's West Coast offense QB ... if he can gain the "killer instinct", and distinctive look in the eye that every confident QB leader seems to possess. On the sidelines and in the huddle, he doesn't yet seem to possess that "look" held by the likes of McMahon, Young, Detmer, Wilson ... and a slew of other non-BYU greats, who you felt by their demeanor would win on sheer determination, (perhaps that's Nelson's contributing attribute?!), much less talent.

    Biggest kudos -- the Blue Defense. Incredible job, much to the credit of that (who is he?!) defensive coordinator / head coach, as well as tough-nosed players executing incredibly well!!

  • jakartafan Houston, TX
    Dec. 4, 2011 8:26 a.m.

    I hope Jake stays. All he needs to become a great quarterback is more time, and a redshirt year would give him that time and leave two full seasons. I know it has been a tough year for him, but if he cuts and runs he fails to learn the lessons about overcoming adversity that will make him a better quarterback, and a better man.

  • sls Columbia, MO
    Dec. 4, 2011 6:41 a.m.

    Why the extended story about Heaps? Other players get less playing time and it's no big deal. The big story is that BYU is 9-3.

  • boatersteve Fruit Heights, Utah
    Dec. 4, 2011 6:30 a.m.

    Congratulations BYU for returning the program to the glory days by beating up on under 500 teams from second rate conferences losing only to teams with winning records, and missing out on the opportunity, not once but twice to move to ACQ conference. Heaps, go find a program that really cares about their program and give yourself a chance to be all that you can be.

    Dec. 4, 2011 2:27 a.m.

    @ idablu,

    i couldn't have said it any better. honestly, why does every writer think, and even encourage Heaps to transfer?? how would transferring be better than staying?? either way he has to redshirt. the biggest upside in staying is that he won't have to learn a new system. Heaps has every bit of potential to become a great QB, and what he needs to learn is to love the game the way Riley loves it, lead like Riley leads, and earn your starting job like Riley earned his.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Dec. 4, 2011 1:56 a.m.

    I really wish the writers for DN would quit encouraging Heaps to transfer. This is like the 4th article now, right? You really know how to make a kid feel welcome.

    I honestly think Heaps will be much better off by remaining patient and staying put and redshirting a year. He'll probably get the reins in 2013. Besides, I don't think he'll garner much interest among significant D1 schools, especially with the promise of becoming a starter when he becomes eligible.