BYU football: Riley Nelson joins dubious company after trying to gut it out vs. Boise

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    Sept. 22, 2012 8:38 a.m.

    One of the great customs of football happens when a player is injured on the field.

    The game stops and fans from both sides wait for the injured player to get up. When he does the crowed cheers in unison. It is a shared moment when fans of all sides agree that an injury is bigger than the moment and they join together in support of the injured player who has dedicated himself to the game.

    For true lovers of the game this custom continues off the field as well. When a man is injured enough to be limited, sidelined or career ending we stop our cheering against him and join together in our hopes that he recovers to full strength.

    We do run out on the field and kick him while he is down. We all wish him a speedy and full recovery. Hope for his future and thank him for his performance and contribution to the game we love.

    This is true sportsmanship and class. We engage in the practice because we know that no matter who the young man plays for that his health and safety is above the game.

  • LeftTurnClyde South Ogden, 00
    Sept. 21, 2012 6:05 p.m.

    I'm tired of hearing about Nelson playing poorly because he's not 100%. A 100% healthy Riley Nelson is still a fumble/int waiting to happen. A 100% healthy Riley Nelson still can't throw an accurate ball beyond 15 yards or stretch a defense. A 100% healthy Riley Nelson still makes bad decisions. A 100% healthy Riley Nelson rarely sees beyond his primary receiver. Riley Nelson healthy or not, has not won a game of any significance, since he became the starter. He has however contributed to losses in significant games far more than one player should.

  • yankees27 Heber, Utah
    Sept. 21, 2012 4:55 p.m.

    This is hilarious! You Y fans were so high on Heaps a few years ago, saying he was the next Detmer, he was on watch lists and was soooo much better than any QB that Utah had ever had. After the blowoutlast year, you were all calling for a replacement, and the next "it" guy of your team was Riley Nelson, now he struggles and you guys jump off his band wagon and onto the Hill kids. I'm going to predict that after the Hill kid struggles, that this same thing happens to him.

    Saying that U fans did the same thing about Wynn is laughable, most of us supported him and his comeback, until it was more than apparent that his shoulder was still not repaired. I do fault the U coaches for staying with him too long, but at least there was a medical reason that he faltered so badly, Riley is just a head case.

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    Sept. 21, 2012 12:40 p.m.

    I don't know about Lark - he has only played one quarter, but looked OK. Not great. Hill seems to be the next anointed one. Might as well let him play. Nelson is probably done.

    Frankly, I think Doman is the problem. Heaps looked all-world under Robert Anae. Under Doman, Heaps got worse every game.

    Maybe Doman's trying to protect Nelson, but his play calling is certainly not what you would expect in a close, tight game. But again, whomever is calling the plays, the players have to execute. Nelson could not execute his plays. So why did they keep him in the game so long?

    Well, let Hill play and see how he develops. Meanwhile, look for a new OC.

  • abejones SCOTT DEPOT, WV
    Sept. 21, 2012 11:43 a.m.

    Looking ahead... more big games in the other goy's house thanks to Independent scheduling, and a good chance those teams playing in Provo will not take place. Mr Gilmer of ESPN is a most practical and honest color man. BYU, in spite of two bitter pills in a row, is still a BIG TIME name in sports. It can probably dictate its terms and save the Big East while maintaining its cherished TV rights. So far, "exposure" has not been what BYU hoped it would be. The Big East will ofcourse chane its name or deignate East/West Divisions.We must not judge conferences by any one year. Pitt and Syracuse are old money names living in genteel poverty at present. But Central Florida and South Florida are BIG schools with a bright future.Houston and SMU can easily return to past glories. ( Rice once ruled the great Southwest) Vision beats today's edition of the news.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Sept. 21, 2012 10:46 a.m.

    I'd like to ask Brave Sir Robin one question: Why is it I read about 100X more about "Riley's Heisman chances" from snide Ute trolls than from actual BYU fans? The vast, VAST majority of Y fans sees Nelson for what he is . . a gritty but limited Tebow lite-lite.

    Here's the difference between you and me: When Wynn struggled with injury and play, I felt bad for him and always rooted for him to come back and do well. I'm glad Hays is getting his chance and hope he makes the most of it, though I root for the Y. And though it's not remotely a universal truth, I think this attitude kind of defines two fan bases: Ute fans get more pleasure out of seeing the Y lose than they do watching their own team win. Y fans root for their team and are only mildly interested in Utah outside of the rivalry game.

    Though, full disclosure, I did giggle like a schoolgirl after the Colorado game last year. Nobody's perfect.

  • Runner Chandler, AZ
    Sept. 21, 2012 10:27 a.m.

    2-pt conversion, ok, maybe I could see that. I mean didn't BYU kickers miss 4 FG in SLC? I can see that they wouldn't exactly give you a lot of confidence going into OT. But why not go for the on-sides kick? What happened? BYU's defense didn't give up, why did BYU's coaches?

    Accountability? Yeah, this coaching staff should be accountable.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 21, 2012 10:24 a.m.

    Was the recruiting of Riley worth having the NCAA change a rule, just to get him?

  • Pipes Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 21, 2012 9:35 a.m.

    Riley is toast. His legacy is cemented in place. He will be soon forgotten. Unfortunately, it is as much Doman's fault as anyones. With his predictable play calling and lack of imagination not to mention hesitancy to test a defense over the top, he put Nelson in a no win situation. Sure Nelson threw the passes but Doman's play calling is at least equally to blame for Nelson's utter failure the past 2 games.

  • Eddie Syracuse, UT
    Sept. 21, 2012 9:23 a.m.

    Think how the entire Defense must fill. To be out there busting your back side and doing so well, only to have the coach's lose the game for you because they want to play a guy who has "guts" but is injured or is just playing terrible. IMHO, these past two losses fall completely on the coaches. First, they let the Utes get into their heads and preform like a Jr High team. Then last night the pages of the whole play book must have been stuck together because we had only two or three plays and had NO imagination whatsoever.

    These kids are serious about playing and so why can't we get some coaches that are serious about winning and bringing these kids along with success. Bronco is a wonderful Defensive coach, but he is no Headcoach. Doman is just not an OC. Sorry, but you would think that he would have learned from last year.

  • fender Washington, UT
    Sept. 21, 2012 9:18 a.m.


    You can't lay that on the O line. The defense can always bring more guys than the offense can block--simple numbers. You can't stretch the field on the goal line, so the defense has lots of blitz options. The best O line in the country isn't gonna prevent a run thru in that situation. It's just up to the QB to make the read quickly and get the ball out.

    Everything that happened first with Heaps and now with Nelson was completely predictable. Lark was always the best option and Y fans have no one to blame but Doman, who has to be the worst judge of QB play in the country. Hill has Lark type skills and makes sense now, if Mendenhall is willing to commit yet another injustice to Lark. I wish Hill the best of luck and predict he'll do well, but this coaching staff should be ashamed with its treatment of Lark. The kid deserves a medal.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Sept. 21, 2012 8:59 a.m.

    I'd like to get an answer from one of the 6 remaining Y fans: What does this game do to Riley's Heisman chances?

  • Ifel Of'a-sofa Alpine, Utah
    Sept. 21, 2012 8:58 a.m.

    Riley/Hill reminds me of Riley/Heaps

    Riley struggles and they throw Heaps in too soon. He does ok for a while but is too young and loses confidence. They they go right back to Riley.

    They are going to do the same thing with Hill... just wait.

  • trueblue87 Provo, UT
    Sept. 21, 2012 8:56 a.m.

    Love the cougars but I have to put this loss mainly on the backs of the coaches. The 2 bad decisions during this game: playing an injured Riley Nelson and going for 2 instead of pushing it to overtime. The defense was great and Hill played exceptional for the time he was in. Let's get the house in order, give Riley some rest, and get ready for Hawai'i next week.

  • cedarcityute cedar city, UT
    Sept. 21, 2012 8:51 a.m.

    I just had to see how many of you were going to trash Riley Nelson. Last year you were praising his name and wanting Heaps out of there. It is similar with the Utes and Wynn. Give your QB at least another game or two. Remember, he is a person too and he is going to work his hardest to adjust and fix the issues he had yesterday. I realize the most popular guy is the backup QB, just remember the grass isn't always greener.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Sept. 21, 2012 7:53 a.m.

    Bronco got out-coached again. Yes, I would have gone for the 2 pt conversation at the end, too, but when Boise called time out after they saw the players lined up to tun the play, I'd have then sweitched back to the PAT and over-time. If they hadn't called time out, I'd have run the original play. But that's why you have coaches and time outs; to make adjustments. When the adjustments are one-sided only, one can only ask of the coach: What were you thinking?

  • OhioCougar Madison, Ohio
    Sept. 21, 2012 7:52 a.m.

    I like Riley and I hate to see him benched, but he's been terrible in these last 2 games. I hope it's injury and something he can come back from, but it's time to play Lark, Munns and/or Hill until Riley is 100%. And I'm in love with our defense. Go Van Noy!!

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Sept. 21, 2012 6:55 a.m.

    If Riley is hurt they must give him the chance to heal. Let Taysom play. He is good and when Riley is back to 100% then we can benefit from his special talents and senior leadership again.

    It is not helping Riley any to play hurt and play poorly.

  • Marine1 Apollo Beach, FL
    Sept. 21, 2012 6:54 a.m.

    I partially agree with you gdog, which is hard to admit. I for one do not think it is time for the end of Riley. He is a good leader, but as a leader he needs to know when he should step back and get healed so that he is able to perform like he started the season. He has never been the greatest quarterback and often made ill timed and inacuarte throws, but most often he gave his own player at least an equal chance at the ball. The past couple of weeks he has been throwing horribly and the coaches and he should realize this sit him out a game or two to heal and then let him have his chance again. If he doesn't heal, oh well at least you are gaining experience for the future. A young inexperienced quarterback is more effective than an experienced quarterback at 60%. Time to step aside for a game or two.

  • Ifel Of'a-sofa Alpine, Utah
    Sept. 21, 2012 6:35 a.m.

    Dear Riley,
    Thank you for transferring to BYU.
    Utah State

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Sept. 21, 2012 5:33 a.m.

    It is just too much of consequence that for the second year in a row, at the same point in the season, we see another QB who is losing confidence, forcing passes and doesn't know what to do with the football. First Heaps and now Nelson. The only common factor here is Doman. Doman is the QB coach, the one who calls the plays and preps the QB for each game. Doman is the one who needs to be replaced - NOW.

    Consider how lopsided the game was: this was the first time in years that BSU has been shut out at home. Our defense was outstanding! But just as impressive was how bad BYU's offense was. Perhaps our best defense and worst defense - at the same time.

    I say get rid of Doman and this time, please hire someone who actually has coached an offense before!!! One other note: strange we ran Anae off when UA is now highly productive on offense. What is it about our system that our OC's can't flourish??

  • ET Bass Idaho Falls, ID
    Sept. 21, 2012 5:32 a.m.

    Nelson is Utah States version of the Trojan Horse. He has absolutely disrupted the BYU football program since his mission and could well be the cause of bronco's dismissal as head coach. In the meanwhile, could we get Doman to jump on this grenade of an offense. It's time for a change! There is precedent for sacking a coordinator in this program. It's time.

  • Black&Blue St George, Utah
    Sept. 21, 2012 12:56 a.m.

    Riley Nelson is a great competitor and has plenty of heart, But my wife can throw a football with more zip and accuracy than he can. Seriously, she can. Riley cannot throw the ball more than 15yds downfield without it turning into a wounded duck. He makes terrible decisions and is a fumble/int waiting to happen. Doman shows in his playcalling that he is aware of this, every route is under 15yds, unless we get into a 3rd and long. We will not beat any decent defense or coaching staff as long as we run this pathetic offense.

    Taysom Hill has been recognized since springball as being faster, stronger, and smarter than Riley. Not to mention has a vastly better passing arm and upside. And he's a freshman! There is no reason Riley should start another game for BYU. Taysom is already a better Qb. He almost single-handedly won the game for BYU if it weren't for a terrible 2pt conversion call. He carried 4 BSU defenders into the endzone! Seriously, its time to make some changes. We lose way too many winnable games

  • wer South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 21, 2012 12:35 a.m.

    Clearly, the issues with the team go far beyond the QB.

    The offensive line has repeatedly underperformed. Prime example is the 2 point attempt when Hill was flushed away from the end zone by a defensive player who just blew by the ill prepared BYU O lineman.

    Special teams are so up and down as to make one's head spin. When the Cougars absolutely had to have a stop at the end of the game, they gave up a 40 yard return.

    Penalties are beyond belief. There isn't a successful coach in the country that would consider more than a handful of penalties acceptable. False starts? Are the only two noisy stadiums in the nation at Utah and Boise?

    Play calling-well, an entire book could be written on that.

    Hat's off the stellar defense!! The only thing they didn't do was produce a turn over. But, in reality, they shouldn't have had to.

  • RepresentBlue West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 21, 2012 12:13 a.m.

    Its time to hand the keys to Hill. BYU is playing in the Poinsettia Bowl if they win 8 more games or just 4. They might as well begin building for the future with Taysom Hill, especially with the brutal schedule they will have next season. There is little to be gained by playing Nelson even if he can figure things out and stop throwing the ball to the other team.

  • Locro Mexican hat, UT
    Sept. 21, 2012 12:06 a.m.


  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 20, 2012 11:48 p.m.

    What about all of those BYU fans that said Utah fans were down on Wynn after he got hurt. That is the kettle calling the pot black. I think Riley should be benched but the rise and fall of Riley is a thing that is real big time. BYU fans are jumping off of the Riley train in droves. And it might be that Riley's troubles are his hurt back. Wynn hid his shoulder injury from the media and fans almost the entire season in 2010. Utah beat Pittsburgh in the opener and Wynn looked tremendous in the first half. After that he was bad. Then he got hurt again in a blowout win at Iowa State. From there on he was terrible the next two years.