Dick Harmon: BYU football: Cougars add two more memorable plays to their treasure chest

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  • Dutch Bellingham, wa
    March 11, 2012 12:26 p.m.

    On that last second pass Nelson to Hoffman to beat Tulsa I leaped off the couch screaming (like everybody else)! Next day I went to the hospital for quadruple heart bypass surgery. Are the two related?? I'm fully recovered now.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 2, 2012 11:44 p.m.


    "Based on your logic, Colorado(3-10) is a better team than Utah."

    Okay, perhaps our new rival is better.

    But, in the end Utah beat a big boy team in a big boy bowl game while Colorado sat home and BYU was relegated to a third tier bowl game with a Friday morning start time.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 2, 2012 11:36 p.m.


    Do some research?

    Okay, Nebraska was on the 20 yard line not inside the 5 like BYU.

    Inside the 5 if you have the big boys you man up and ram it down their throats.

    That is, if you trust your big boys, if not you trickerate.

  • TrueBlue Orem, UT
    Jan. 2, 2012 11:01 p.m.

    @Howard S.

    "Oh, and about trickeration... if you are inside the 5 yard line and the game is on the line, if you trust your big boys you run it up the gut."

    I would suggest doing a little research about college football history before spouting such nonsense.

    Google: Nebraska vs Miami 1984 Orange Bowl - Fumblerooski

    The play was ranked #28 on ESPN's Top 30 Plays of the Last 30 Years.

    btw, the only thing riding on the play was a possible NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!

  • Rockwell Baltimore, MD
    Jan. 2, 2012 10:49 p.m.

    Howard S.

    Unfortunately for U, overall seasons aren't based on a single game.

    Utah beat UCLA, but UCLA won the PAC 12 South.

    Utah beat BYU, but BYU will finish higher in the Sagarin, AP, and Coaches

    btw, does 17-14 sound familiar to you? Do remember your new rival from east of the Rockies? Based on your logic, Colorado(3-10) is a better team than Utah.

    Your argument about goal line trickeration is simply a silly fantasy; lots of elite teams use such trickeration at the goal line. If you knew anything about football, you'd know that.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 2, 2012 9:29 p.m.


    Try to keep up my friend. It was Uteanymous who tried to credit BYU with a more relevant bowl victory because their opponent had a higher Sagarin rating.

    You suggest BYU is stronger because of a higher Sagarin rating.

    I prefer head to head match ups to determine supremacy.

    Does 54 to 10 sound familiar?

    Oh, and about trickeration... if you are inside the 5 yard line and the game is on the line, if you trust your big boys you run it up the gut.

    If you don't trust your boys, you do trickeration.

  • Rockwell Baltimore, MD
    Jan. 2, 2012 7:46 p.m.

    Earth to Howard S.

    Maybe we should give some kind of reward to #90 Kansas for finishing with the #1 SOS.

    Sorry to blow a gaping hole in your SOS story, but the MOST important ranking in Sagarin's rankings appears in the first column:

    #34 BYU
    #37 Utah

    lol at your silly "when trickeration counts" fantasy; you're really grasping at straws their buddy.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Jan. 2, 2012 6:27 p.m.

    Hey, Howard, I'm ticked off right along with you, bro! Dog gone weak cougars with a weak schedule and yet their gonna slip and slide and worm their way into the top 25, darn 'em! By beating another nobody team that was also almost top 25.

    Couldn't have done it against a mighty BCS team, no matter how bad some flea-bite, back-water polls think they are, or Utah either, for that matter.

    In fact, if two BCS teams are playing in a BCS bowl, doesn't that make it a BCS bowl???? I pretty much think it does, Howard.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Jan. 2, 2012 6:19 p.m.

    Wayne Rout

    So I should be able to buy your season tickets next year at a discount? You won't want to let them go, because after one more season of Riley, you can go back to the games. Let me know...


    No, BYU had used it's last time out. I've watched that play about 15 times now (hey! It's me!), and yeah, that's pretty much the way I saw it.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 2, 2012 4:00 p.m.

    Uteanymous | 11:31 a.m.

    Let's see, where to begin...

    Comparing opponent's Sagarin ratings? Do you really want to go there?

    According to Sagarin at 90th, BYU had one of the weakest schedules in the country. 6 WAC games will do that for you. Utah's SOS was 43 and no PAC 12 team had an SOS higher than 45.

    As for trick plays, it's what you do when the game is on the line and you don't think you can beat them mano a mano. Thus, BYU goes to trickeration.

    When the game is on the line and you think you're the better team, you call an 8 yard run up the gut. It's what big boy football is all about.

    Utah lucky? If lucky means you have a better team then I guess you have a point. If the GA Tech's kicker was better he would have made the kick. He wasn't better and he didn't make the kick. No spin there. Utes win.

  • Uteanymous Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 2, 2012 11:31 a.m.

    Howard S.

    BYU beat #29 Tulsa in regulation

    Utah beat #50 Georgia Tech in OT

    BYU's bowl win moved the Cougars up 10 spots in Sagarin

    while Utah's bowl win barely moved the Utes up 1 spot in Sagarin

    Utah fans are becoming just as ridiculous as the other power conference elitists in their misguided belief that conference affiliation is sole determining factor in how good an individual team is.

    btw, I counted at least a dozen trick plays run by Utah in your so-called mano-a-mano matchup.

    Utah was simply lucky that Georgia Tech's kicker doinked his kick outside the uprights while Utah's kicker doinked his kick inside the uprights, or the Utes never would have had a chance of getting to OT.

    But don't let facts get in the way of your spin.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 2, 2012 11:12 a.m.

    Puh-leaze Dick...

    Reynolds wasn't even in traffic. In the open field without a helmet he pushed a guy down. Big deal.

    As for Nelson, consider this... He had to resort to trickeration to beat a CUSA team. Big deal.

    Utah on the other hand beat the ACC by lining up mano-a-mano, man to man, and ran straight ahead for 8 yards.

  • kokua KAYSVILLE, UT
    Jan. 2, 2012 10:58 a.m.

    Wayne in El Paso

    Hum you live in El Paso ? How many tickets do you buy ?

  • kcatch9 Cypress, TX
    Jan. 2, 2012 10:51 a.m.

    I can't help but ask: Why no mention of John Beck to Johnny Harline in the endzone when listing great BYU plays from years past? I can understand leaving out the Collie "answered prayer", but how can you leave out Beck's scramble for Harline's benefit?

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    Jan. 2, 2012 5:56 a.m.

    I am sure that Bronco & Company would agree that Nelson is responsible for the win. Here's the problem, the game should not have been close at all. A QB that can throw would have had the Cougars up by more than two scores near the end of the game. Riley's thinking, such that it is, worked this time. I went to the TCU game which is the best example of Riley's play and potential. We have to put up with the guy one more year. Don't bother buying tickets.

  • MiP Iowa City, IA
    Jan. 2, 2012 3:50 a.m.

    I believe Arynen is correct about BYU getting 3 in the top 10 the Friday of the USU game.

    "I would much rather watch a bowl that matches higher ranked teams, regardless of the payout."

    So I'm guessing you'll be glued to the Penn St.-Houston game, and since it matches up teams ranked around ~20th, it wuold narurally follow that it would be a better game than Tulsa-BYU...

    Quit calling this the Nelson "fake spik" play, Dick. No comparision with the Marino play. I'm not convinced anyone actually thought Riley Nelson would actually spike the ball, considering it was third down, and they still had a time-out. Hoffman's man was simply beat---not because he was suckered by that "spike".

  • SportsFan Orem, UT
    Jan. 2, 2012 12:45 a.m.

    howard s

    I hate to burst your BYU hating, crimson bubble, but BYU's memorable plays in a supposedly "meaningless" victory against a C-USA opponent in a less prestigious bowl, JUMPED BYU from 44th to 34th in Sagarin; meanwhile Utah's OT win over an ACC team in the "prestigious" Sun Bowl, barely raised Utah from #38 to #37.

    Bottom line: BYU's victory over previously #29 ranked Tulsa was MUCH more impressive than Utah's victory over previously #50 ranked Georgia Tech.

    #29 Tulsa
    #38 Utah
    #44 BYU
    #50 Ga Tech

    #34 BYU
    #37 Utah
    #39 Tulsa
    #53 Ga Tech

    It's interesting that the lowly Independent/WCC Cougars are ranked #34 in both football and basketball;

    while the "mighty" Utes are ranked #37 in football and #326 in basketball.

    After all of the chest-pounding about being in the "conference of championions", Utah is proving that they really don't belong.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Jan. 1, 2012 10:30 p.m.

    Ernest - What's a VCR?

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 1, 2012 7:38 p.m.

    Goll this is so neat. I will probably always remember these really neat plays for a long time. and watch them on my VCR a lot.

  • Jacob's Dad LOGAN, UT
    Jan. 1, 2012 3:43 p.m.

    I struggle with those who still find bad things to say about Riley after that game on Friday. How could a Cougar fan or a Ute fan or an Aggie fan find anything bad to say about Riley the person or the player after Friday's game? He plays with the desire and the ability to win. Congratulations to the Cougars and to the Utes and to the Aggies! It was so close to being a sweep this year. Next year hopefully will be the sweep. Once it is bowl season, I reserve the right to cheer for all three teams. Before then, it is always Utah State hey Aggies all the way. Oh and by the way, in case anyone out there is wondering, we are pretty much obsessed with Riley the person and Riley the player in our house. Those who hate him, don't know him. It is a pleasure to watch him on the field and in life.

  • sls Columbia, MO
    Jan. 1, 2012 2:57 p.m.

    The red alert play will have to be removed from the playbook, or at least renamed. However, future opponents won't be fooled so easily.

    However, the big thing we learned from this game is that Riley Nelson is already up there with Max Hall in ability to outthink the other team to gut out a win. With another year of Nelson at the helm BYU should be able to have some other great plays in the treasure chest.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Jan. 1, 2012 1:14 p.m.

    re: Howard S. - If the Armed Forces Bowl is a third tier bowl, does that make the Sun Bowl a fourth tier bowl? Armed Forces Bowl matched up a couple of teams ranked about 30th. Sun Bowl matched up a couple of teams ranked about 50th.

    And before you give me the standard Utah line that the Sun Bowl pays more, let me share with you that how much the bowl pays is meaningless to me (and most fans) since I don't get a cut. I would much rather watch a bowl that matches higher ranked teams, regardless of the payout.

    In reality, both the Armed Forces and Sun Bowl were great games this year, for anyone who appreciates good football and is not just a hater, spewing negativity.

    re: Patriot - please try to use at least a little bit of objectivity. Hoffman's stats are mostly ahead of Austin Collie's sophomore year.

    Hoffman is listed first, Collie second.

    Receiving yard - 943, 946
    Kick return - 879, 723
    Passes caught - 61, 56
    Avg yds / catch - 15.5, 16.9
    TD's - 11, 7

  • CougarBlue Heber City, UT
    Jan. 1, 2012 11:12 a.m.

    Patriot your comments are becoming pathetic and shows how very little you know about what the Pro Scouts are looking for. They are looking for someone who will catch 90% of the balls thrown at him, regardless of how accurate. Can you say the same about your Christopher. What QB has he had to throw to him, yet he makes the catches he needs to.

    Many of the naysayers, which may have included you, from Utah belittled Cody Hoffman signing with BYU saying that he came from a no name school which could only play 8 man football and he must not be very good because no D1 school offered him a scholarship. Please get a clue before you make more silly comments. This way you won't look so silly on paper.

    Howard S I would not comment with your team loosing to a pathetic Colorado team and almost qualifying for the Championship game with your sorry record in the PAC 10 +2.

    I thought it was great for both BYU and Utah to win. Both won in dramatic fashion.

  • A1994 Centerville, UT
    Jan. 1, 2012 11:04 a.m.

    @Howard S.

    Do you ever have anything positive to say?

  • kokua KAYSVILLE, UT
    Jan. 1, 2012 10:00 a.m.

    I find it funny how all the Riley haters like to point to how horrible he played, granted not his best day on the grid iron.

    Nonetheless, he still managed to gut it out and take a courageous shot at the win and get it.

    This was all reminiscent of the 80 Holiday Bowl Hail Mary toss that Jim took in the closing seconds of that storied games finish.

    I like how Dick has connected the dots of BYU's terrific nail bitter game finishers on ESPN.

    I see why ESPN loves the BYU football program.

  • Cali Coug Visalia, CA
    Jan. 1, 2012 9:57 a.m.

    Re: Howard S

    Meaningless to whom? The game had great meaning for me, a 10 win season, third bowl victory in three years, played an excellent Tulsa team...got to watch all 13 games this year either in person or on TV. Sorry to read you are unable to enjoy the show; but that's OK. At least you got to see memorable football, you'll be able to see more excellent football as you continue to watch BYU in 2012.

    You can now watch some real good BB games in the WCC...where I'll be able to watch all of BYU's games in person or on TV. Loving the Indy, WCC route selected by BYU.

  • kokua KAYSVILLE, UT
    Jan. 1, 2012 9:50 a.m.

    Riley is smart, gutty and brave enough to take the chance and go for the win.

    Nice article Harmon. Dick you must be living up to a New Year's resolution to fallow up on your sources before you print a story about a Nelson.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 1, 2012 9:21 a.m.

    Memorable plays in a meaningless victory against the CUSA in a third tier bowl.

    It's the stuff of BYU lore.

    Jan. 1, 2012 9:01 a.m.

    patriot: Have to disagree. Even without a "QB to throw to him" he is getting plenty of catches and yards. Next year should be even much better. The key will be Apo. The defenses wont be able to double Hoffman with another threat like Apo on the other side. Beautiful!

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Jan. 1, 2012 8:54 a.m.

    Patriot- I disagree.

    Hoffman has great hands, and uses them to catch the ball. If you look at how he positions himself against defenders, and how precise his patterns are, and how good his hands are, I think there are a lot of teams that will be interested.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 1, 2012 4:19 a.m.

    Cody Hoffman is a great athlete and receiver but he won't get much of a look in the NFL because he doesn't have a QB to throw to him. Can you imagine Hoffman with Hall or Beck at QB?? Too bad.

  • Arynen Midvale, UT
    Jan. 1, 2012 2:14 a.m.

    "To my knowledge, this is the first time in BYU's storied football history two plays made the Mother Ship's (ESPN) Top 10 the same day."

    Actually, BYU made 3 of the top 10 earlier this season. If I remember right, it was something like 6, 2, and 1, and it was against USU? It helped that it was a Friday night game. :-) I probably have the wrong game, but we did have 3.

  • cougarNV Las Vegas, NV
    Jan. 1, 2012 2:03 a.m.

    Yup, Dick is correct about these plays being memorable like years past.

    I felt compelled to quote 'Mater from Cars, " I don't care who you are,... That's just fun!".

    Good job Cougars!