BYU football: Lark's performance sparks what-ifs for Cougars

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  • Cougar Claws Lindon, UT
    Nov. 29, 2012 3:37 p.m.

    Re: Ballplayer

    Obviously no one is saying Lark would have led the team to a 50-14 win over Notre Dame, but he also wouldn't have averaged 4 turnovers a game the way Nelson has. If Lark plays Notre Dame BYU likely wins 21-14 or something like that. It's impossible to know how Lark would have played over the course of the season but I'm quite sure that he wouldn't have made most of the dipstick decisions that Nelson has.

  • starthillnotnelson Kamas/United States, UT
    Nov. 29, 2012 2:40 p.m.

    here is what must happen:
    Bronco becomes defensive coordinator.
    doman is fired.
    Detmer is head coach.

  • Ballplayer Spanish Fork, UT
    Nov. 29, 2012 12:26 p.m.

    I'm so tired of "what if's" and second guessing the coaches, even when the fans have about 1% of the information the coaches have when they make the decisions you all complain about. Here's a what if: What Riley N had been healthy and played. What if he would have thrown 9 TDs and run for two more? Against NMSU it could have happened. We'll never know. Great game by Lark. But I'm sure he wouldn't have had that game against ND or any of the other quality teams on the schedule. It is what it is. All you arm chair coaches out there can say what you want, but unless you're actually on the sideline, I'm not giving your comments much credibility.

  • Bear Somewhere, UT
    Nov. 28, 2012 11:33 a.m.

    No way Bronco lets Lark start in the bowl game. I don't think he would even see the field if Riley broke both his legs. Letting Lark loose again would make Bronco and Doman look bad.

  • byufanforever south Jordan, UT
    Nov. 28, 2012 11:16 a.m.

    The only what if that I am wondering about is what if bronco was fired because of how terrible of a job he has done the past two seasons. I am sick of being an average team and its only going to get worse with this guy. Get on Facebook and check out the "dump bronco" page. Like the page to sign the petition to fire Bronco.

  • Proud Ute ,
    Nov. 27, 2012 9:18 p.m.

    Utah fans are only fooling themselves when they try to pretend that Colorado is Utah's "new" rival. Signs that Colorado has replaced BYU as Utah's rival.

    Utah fans will stop comparing EVERYTHING Utah does with BYU.
    Utah fans will stop trolling EVERY BYU article.
    Utah fans will stop showing ANY interest in BYU except during the week BYU and Utah play.
    BYU blogs will become devoid of Utah fan comments.

    Now look below, seem familar? It should, it's one of your many posts from the same Ute article where you once again posted the same U vs BYU comparison you've been posting on Ute articles for months.

    You just can't get us out of your head can you? That little losing streak you've got going there must really smart.

    Even with Utah's "dominance" in recent head-to-head matchups, the Utes still fall short of BYU's overall success.

    Top 25 Finishes
    Bronco 5
    Kyle 3

    Top 15 Finishes
    Bronco 3
    Kyle 1

    Conference Championships
    Bronco 2
    Kyle 1

    Bowl Games
    Bronco 8
    Kyle 7

    8:21 a.m. Nov. 27, 2012

    Just another happy valley hypocrite.

  • phoenix Gilbert, AZ
    Nov. 27, 2012 9:08 a.m.


    Utah fans are only fooling themselves when they try to pretend that Colorado is Utah's "new" rival. Signs that Colorado has replaced BYU as Utah's rival.

    Utah fans will stop comparing EVERYTHING Utah does with BYU.
    Utah fans will stop trolling EVERY BYU article.
    Utah fans will stop showing ANY interest in BYU except during the week BYU and Utah play.
    BYU blogs will become devoid of Utah fan comments.

    Utah fans will start comparing EVERYTHING Utah does with Colorado.
    Utah fans will constantly troll EVERY Colorado article.
    Utah fans will become obsessed with Colorado.
    Colorado blogs will be constantly spammed with Utah fan comments.

    The truth is, Utah fans are and always will be obsessed with BYU, and couldn't care less about Colorado.

    Nov. 27, 2012 8:13 a.m.

    gdog3finally - Oh so close to agreeing with 100% of your post but, have to clarify on CU not being an automatic win. Are you stating this head-to-head for Utah as it's a rivalry game so of course it's going to be close? I'll agree with that but, a (1-11) CU is not much better than a (1-11) NMSU leaving the rivalry out of the discussion...

    Nov. 27, 2012 8:08 a.m.

    Motorbikemike – I see, you were responding to a BYU fan who had indicated a No. of teams ranked when BYU played them. Faulty given currently ranked or ranked at the end of the season is a far better measurement regarding quality of opponent.

    Utah won the game so head to head they were better. No problem with that. Was only pointing out that Utah played 3 ranked opponents and BYU played 5 including the potential NC. Also enjoyed that 2 of the WAC teams Ute fans love to give BYU trouble for playing are ranked when a grand total of 3 PAC opponents Utah faced are...

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Nov. 26, 2012 11:58 p.m.

    Bronco is a great coach. Just look at the difference in the team last year after taking over the job of defensive coordinator. His winning percentage speaks for itself.

    Brandon Doman is an excellent QB coach but he is learning the job of Offensive Coordinator. He made a major mistake last year by changing everything all at one, and Bronco let him do it. Bad decision. Coach Doman should have phased in his offensive system. Too many changes too quickly.

    BYU attracts many top QB's, and too many of them sit on the bench and never get to play and develop their skills. If you play any other position and you are #2 or #3 on the depth chart you get regular playing time. Not at QB. Not other position needs more reps to develop and no other players, other than the top dog, gets less playing time.

    Several of BYU's QBs over the years could have played in the NFL if they only had the opportunity to play in college. I would not go directly to BYU right out of HighSchool. Go to a school where you are guaranteed to play, then go to BYU and play there.

  • Troy06 OREM, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 9:13 p.m.

    Okay, now that we know BD is out of the picture next year and Riley...let's have a more meaningful speculation about who will replace Doman?

    Ty Detmer isn't coming back. And Steve Young won't either.

    Do you think BYU will try to bring in a big name OC? If so, who?
    Do you think Bronco will promote from within? Ben Cahoon is the Jerry Rice of the CFL. Could he be moved from coaching the receivers to OC?

    Weigh in, what is your speculation? Or do you already know and your staying quiet?

    Let's have some fun with this and stop killing the coaches and players.

  • BleedCougarBlue Enid, OK
    Nov. 26, 2012 7:47 p.m.

    Fact: Lark completed 34 of 50 passes for 384 yards and SIX touchdowns, with ZERO turnovers.

    Are you kidding me???

    This is a no-brainer: start Lark.

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 7:39 p.m.

    @WON84, @Truth Machine, @sammyg

    You guys need some lessons in reading comprehension ... go back and read the original comments to which I was responding to and you should all be able to better understand why I listed the SOS rankings and added up how many 'ranked at one point or another' teams BYU and Utah played. Simply responding with factual information that the original poster was pretending was in BYU's favor.

    Now if you really want to get into which team is actually better, blah, blah, blah ... I really don't care ... neither Utah or BYU were impressive this year. I do know Utah won head to head though, and it's laughable how many of you on these threads think BYU "should have won" when Utah had the game in control and made several mistakes in the fourth that even made a close game possible. But whatever, you guys will always think you should've won. I'm just glad I can say Utah actually DID win the game. No ifs. No buts.

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    Nov. 26, 2012 7:26 p.m.

    I was a furious as any of you when I saw a crippled Nelson losing games that Lark might have been able to win. For me, it makes no sense to play an injured guy when he simply can't do what is required of the position. That was the case with Nelson from game 2. He played hurt in every game.

    Bronco has to take the blame for this. Shame on him. Bad coach, bad coach. Don't do it again.

    That being said, BYU can't and won't fire Bronco. He's too good. His record is better than LaVell's. His bowl record is much better. And his defense is as good as any in BYU history, and probably better. And he is recruiting real athletes. These teams will get better. And so will Bronco.

    I was very down on Doman, but he called a great game with Lark. Gosh, a QB who can make the passes kind of helps.

    So my expectation that Bronco has learned a lesson from this season. Both coaches will get another year. And they should.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 6:52 p.m.


    Call me naive or whatever but show me that Mendenhall doesn't win games. Since his tenure only five other coaches in the country have a higher winning percentage.

    That is called winning. By any sane standards, not that many BYU fans are sane these days...

  • Down under Pullman, WA
    Nov. 26, 2012 5:18 p.m.

    I for one am glad the season is over and Riley will be gone. He has great potential but does not get the team concept and thinks he needs to win every game by himself, even injured. He make terrible decisions when pressured which is why his TD and interception numbers are about the same. This isn NOT BYU football. I wondet when Bronco will wake up and smell the roses.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 26, 2012 5:08 p.m.

    @Y grad Y Dad

    I think you will do better than your gloomy 5-7 take next year. Yes the schedule is better, but it's not like BYU doesn't have a chance in the majority of those games. I like your 2013 schedule if it holds up (teams not backing out). It looks as if you will avoid playing four gimmes, but afew of your bigger school opponents like Virginia, Georgia Tech, and Houston are all very beatable. Hawaii will be a win, as will Middle Tennessee State in Provo. You have Boist State at home as well (good chance at a win and revenge). Wisconsin are big boys, but they are usually up and down. Notre dame is a huge challenge, but ya'll are thrilled with that game if the Irish don't back out. From there you have Utah, Utah State, and Texas. Those are tough games but winnable. it will be interesting to see how Texas does at LES. They are a huge name like Notre Dame, but like USC, Texas is often overhyped. I think BYU goes 7-5, but maybe better if Taysom Hill gets healthy, matures, and is used right within the offense.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 26, 2012 4:54 p.m.


    I understand your frustration with BYU's tough losses and yes I am a Ute fan (no secret). I DON'T hate BYU or anything, I just think your comments about a national championship if Hill or Lark played makes you sound delusional. Ask your fellow Cougar fans on this one. Being a Ute doesn't make me irrational. Claiming a national championship from a would coulda shoulda thing where the stars are aligned is grasping at straws to say the least. Forget just the QB issue, BYU had holes despite the strong defense they had in most games. Their kicking game was as bad as can be. The QBs lavked the talent. Yes, Taysom Hill is an athletic youngster, but he has along ways to go to run an offense against solid opponents. Wait and see next year. BYU's offensive line is very average ans their defensive line lacks depth. I think you found something in your freshman RB though.

    Anyway, there is no need to send me bowling at the local bowling alley.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 26, 2012 4:46 p.m.


    I liked your comments (pretty accurate).

    BYU's schedule is challenge for Holmoe. Utah's schedule isn't a world beater. I just think Utah's is barely better.

    BYU's top two opponents (Notre Dame/Boise State) are better than Utah's top two (USC and UCLA). Oregon State nixed (common opponent). Notre Dame = creme brulee. Boise State? Not as good as they have been, but USC was overhyped as well.

    From there, Utah beats BYU and BYU beat Utah State, who beat Utah. All three games instate could have gone either way. All three went 1-1 (could have been 2-0 or 0-2).

    Moving on, both beat Washington State. Utah beat them by more, and lost to Oregon State by less.

    BYU's toughest opponents were nail biters, where Utah lost more convincingly.

    California vs. Georgia Tech; advantage GT.

    BYU's bottom four is where we differ.

    Utah: WAZU is bad (common opponent again), Colorado is awful and Utah played Northern Colorado. Those last two aren't four teams though.

    Colorado is terrible but not an automatic win (kind of like WAZU beating Washington). Idaho, Weber State, Hawaii, and New Mexico State only beat each other (5-37; Big Sky/WAC combined).

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 4:44 p.m.

    Lark threw no picks.

    Enough said.

  • Cougar Claws Lindon, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 4:35 p.m.

    As anti Nelson as I have been guys that are calling for Bronco to be fired are crazy. Like it or not guys, Bronco is by far the best coach for the job. If and when Bronco leaves it will be on his own terms. Some of you might think I'm nuts for saying this but I think Brandon Doman will be a good coach as well. Some of the play calling might be within criticism, but for the most part, look who he has to call plays for. Riley Nelson isn't just part of the problem, Riley is THE problem. He's been the problem the past three years, he will be the problem until this season is over. Just wait until next year, honestly, when Brandon Doman actually has a QB that he can call actual QB plays for. It's a shame that next yer we will likely only be returning 3 starters on defense. What a complete waste. Good for Lark that there is more that's important to him in life than football. I can only imagine how miserable he would feel if that was all he had in his life.

  • Mighty Mouse Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 26, 2012 3:47 p.m.

    Four reasons BYU is a coaching trainwreck:

    1. cupboard bare at o-line and QB
    2. O-line absolutely unprepared to play at Rice-Eccles
    3. 2 QBS suffer injuries from reckless play
    4. Entire team allowed to suffer w/QB at helm incapable of spreading the ball

  • altahoops Provo, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 3:40 p.m.


    Don't get too hyped up about BYU's defense. Yes, they had an exceptional defensive line and linebacker core, but as SJSU and other teams aptly demonstrated, our defensive backs were as weak as ever. Shades of Brian Logan. You remember that guy? I'm sure he holds the record for PI's for never looking back. And then he would mount a guy after the pass and ride him in to the end zone. I give full props to our run defense, but it would be a travesty to lump our pass defense in with them.

  • paulwaldad Kaysville, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 3:36 p.m.

    Bronco Mendenhall is a great Defensive Coach.
    I have observed that, for the most part, those who are tasked with preserving and defending rarely have the ability to be offensive or provide the vision and direction to lead an organization to its potential. We are seeing just that with Bronco as a head Coach. His propensity to protect and defend inhibits his ability to risk, adapt and make critical changes. For several years his QB choices/lack of choice has caused apprehension and confusion for the team. This has also lead fans and media to question various decisions. Simply put, we all are struggling to make sense of many of Bronco’s offensive decisions, which only make sense if you look at them from a defensive perspective. If BYU really intends to be a well-rounded and winning football team and as much as I respect and like Bronco, it is time to make a head coach change.

  • dumprake Washington, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 3:31 p.m.

    Ok, let Riley start, since he's the god of the team this year; but then put in Lark after Nelson's first play--and BYU will win the game. If Nelson plays the whole game, we'll be in a dog fight and Lark will have to rescue us; but wait, Lark can't go in because Nelson wants to keep playing.

  • dave22 SOUTH SALT LAKE, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 2:53 p.m.

    who cares about 6 Touchdown passes and almost 400 yards passing... riley has great leadership skills..

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 2:04 p.m.


    Your SOS means nothing. Your win/loss column does as does your 9th place in the PAC12.

    BYU fans have no axe to grind about scheduling comparisons, Utes schedule was a weak one in comparison to the competition in the conference AND BYU's was something cobbled together at short notice.

    BYU barely lost games to the Utes, BSU and ND. It happens. BYU beat USU, Utes didn't. Pretty miserable seasons for both teams if you ask me but in the end SOS means nothing. It's the scoreboard when you're talking about qualifying for these lesser / insignificant bowl games.

    BYU goes and U don't. So please, no whining about 'tough' competition and SOS.

    U guys lost to a 10 loss Colorado team last year and barely squeaked by this year. Last year the Utes could have been playing in a conference championship game. Utes blew it and are inconsistent.

    Same goes for BYU.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 1:50 p.m.

    Much ado about nothing.

    I am glad that Lark finally got his moment in the spotlight, that he stuck it out, that he has a quality BYU education to boot. He will do well I am sure.

    Second guessing what has happened over the BYU QB issues for these past few years is futile.

    Whether it's Riley or Lark at the Poinsettia Bowl makes no difference to me, it's one more game of BYU football to watch and that has got to be infinitely better than blubbering about a lost season and not seeing a post season for your team... regardless of how insignificant the bowl game is.

    There are far too many bowl games anyway. They are for the most part meaningless but nonetheless... we love our teams and our extended seasons.

  • Truth Machine Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 1:39 p.m.


    SOS doesn't tell the whole story since it doesn't indicate how good or how bad individual opponents were. LOL at you "ranked at some point" spin, but since end of season rankings are the only rankings that matter, here are some much more relevant rankings.

    BYU opponents CURRENTLY ranked in the BCS Top 25:

    #1 Notre Dame (lost by 3)
    #15 Oregon State (lost by 18)
    #20 Boise State (lost by 1)
    #24 Utah State (beat by 3)
    #25 San Jose State (lost by 6)

    Also, Georgia Tech (beat by 24) is playing in the ACC championship game and, with a win, will be playing in a BCS bowl.

    Utah opponents CURRENTLY ranked in the BCS Top 25:

    #15 Oregon State (lost by 14)
    #16 UCLA (lost by 7)
    #24 Utah State (lost by 7)

    BYU's worst loss was Utah's only decent win!

    Your turn...

  • Eric P Boise, ID
    Nov. 26, 2012 1:26 p.m.

    I agree with "eagle" (11/25, 7:56p.m.) that BYU's mission for the football program is different than at other universities BUT the football program is not subsidized by the Church. It is paid for through the football program itself (i.e, ticket sales, TV contracts and the like). If you take away a winning program the TV contracts and ticket sales evaporate in a hurry and so does the "exposure" that the University leadership sought so hard for in going Independent and getting the ESPN contract.

    Winning games is the key to the sustainability of a program that can get the exposure that the university desires. With that said, I'm not ready to see Bronco fired or leave as some have suggested but the debate concerning the QB decision making (and other decisions) is necessary and will hopefully bring about some changes that will result in a more-winning program.

  • Jazzledazzle Provo, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 1:18 p.m.

    @ Pavalova

    Don't forget I am a BYU fan. Just trying to be realistic about our season.

    BYU's schedule:

    Washington State
    Weber State
    Boise State
    Utah State
    Oregon State
    Notre Dame
    Georgia Tech
    San Jose State
    New Mexico State

    Utah's schedule

    N. Colorado
    Utah State
    Arizona State
    Oregon State
    Washington State

    So I don't care how "close" they played Notre Dame, they lost. No consolation prizes for "coming close." Boise is not the Boise of the past, they sucked this year and you know it. We beat USU at home (I am also a USU fan) Utah lost on the road at USU. Every team BYU played should have been a convincing win except Notre Dame, Utah, USU and Oregon. I am hesitant to put USU on that list because BYU should beat USU at home.

    Utah played N. Colorado, Colorado, California and Washington State that were cream puffs. If you compare the rest of the difficulty of schedule, yes, Utah had a Slightly tougher schedule. Come on Boise and San Jose are not very good, they are not in the company of USC, UCLA, ASU.

    Nov. 26, 2012 1:07 p.m.

    "Utah opponents ranked at some point during the season: 8
    BYU opponents ranked at some point during the season: 4

    Try again."

    How about we go by a more appropriate measure of strength such as ranked now which eliminates any preseason bias from the equation?

    Utah - 3, didn't beat any
    BYU - 5, beat one

    Even better, is half the WAC teams Ute fans crucify BYU for playing are ranked - It's going to be a long offseason for you son!

  • rlsintx Plano, TX
    Nov. 26, 2012 12:52 p.m.

    Coulda, woulda, shoulda.... senseless conjecture.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 12:22 p.m.

    LaVell was successful because he was a good manager of his team and his assistant coaches. Bronco apparantly doesn't have that trait. He needs to find a good defensive coordinator and stay out of his way. If he can't do that, then he needs to step down as head coach, stay as defensive coordinator and let Lance Reynolds take over. Bronco's focus needs to be the whole team. He's apparently not getting good input from Doman and his focus is too much on the defense. Bronco is a defensive wizard. That part of BYU's success he can attribute to himself. But he needs to see the bigger picture.

    What would be cool is if Lark got a sniff from the pros and had a successful pro career. He was as cool as a cucumber on Saturday.

  • Ronald Uharriet SWun City, Ca.
    Nov. 26, 2012 12:05 p.m.

    “which QB will be the starter when BYU (7-5) plays in the Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 20 in San Diego?

    After the Cougars' 50-14 victory over New Mexico State last Saturday, coach Bronco Mendenhall wasn't ready to answer that.

    "It hasn't been decided," he said. "In my opinion, Riley is still our starting quarterback at this point. “

    Really Coach???? Are you still in denial??? Do you still have no remorse??? Is your head still
    buried in the sand? What grade do you give yourself for decision making?

    Did you do right running our 5 star QB out of BYU in favor of a no star Nelson Riley?
    Did you do right sitting Lark on the bench for six seasons less mission time?
    Did you do right not giving Muns a single play in all the years he has been with us?
    Did you do right in calling for the game losing 2 point PAT over a sure thing over time kick ?

    Is your thinking still correct in believing that Riley gives us the best chance of winning the next game vs. SDS?

    How would you grade yourself as a decision maker?

  • Obama10 SYRACUSE, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 11:56 a.m.

    I just don't believe that a hurt Riley was still better than a healthy Lark. I like Riley and what he brings to the team, but no other Division 1 coach is going to play a QB with a broken back. Bronco and Doman made a mistake this year, but will not admit it. We have had three disappointing years of BYU football. They have next year to right the ship or we start calling for their jobs.

  • bribri86 Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 26, 2012 11:53 a.m.

    Ok, everyone, to be fair, since some people can't get past the numbers (you can see my earlier post), let's have a look at comparable numbers. Everyone is saying NMST was at most an FCS team, let's compare Nelson's numbers against Weber St. to Lark's numbers against NMST...

    Nelson vs Weber
    18 of 29 for 244 yards - 1 TD, 1 INT
    QB rating - 137.2

    Lark vs NMST.
    34 of 50 for 384 yars - 6 TD, 0 INT
    QB rating - 172.1

    So...who's the better QB?

  • Agustis Sugar City, ID
    Nov. 26, 2012 11:47 a.m.

    What a quandary for Bronco! If he starts Lark against SDSU and he plays any where close to his only start, Bronco's effigy will be burned. If he doesn't start him, he will forever be questioned. Start Lark and let the chips fall where they may.

  • Alaskan Ute Fairbanks, AK
    Nov. 26, 2012 11:41 a.m.

    Lark proved he deserved more of an opportunity than he was given. Nelson is a Tim Tebow type QB that can sometimes have success in college programs. But great QB's, and BYU has had their share, means being able to throw the football in a timely and accurate way. Nelson simply does not have the natural ability to throw the football, while Lark does.

    And before the BYU/Utah trolls start ranting, I'm not a BYU hater, nor a blind Utah fan, the U has our own set of issues. My daughter currently attends BYU. I believe BYU has had tremendous recruiting success, and BYU coaching has not taken advantage of the talent. I wish Lark would have attended the U - he would have had a huge season this year. Lark's a good kid who has always been able to throw the ball, for years, and his ability will never be realized, even if he starts in the bowl game.

  • Bomar Roberts, ID
    Nov. 26, 2012 11:22 a.m.

    For you Riley backers, keep this in mind. On Riley's best days he is not capable of making most of the throws that are required by a Cougar QB. Riley is not accurate nor strong enough to hit the quick slant or quick out. He is also incapable of accurately throwing the deep ball. Granted New Mexico State is not Notre Dame but neither was SJSU, Idaho nor, for that matter, Boise State.
    Bronco has more problems than not playing Lark. The kicking game has been a disaster for the most part. The Cougars give kickers full rides and don't get a consistent kicking performance, meanwhile Utah gets better kickers that are walkons. There is a disconnect, either their talent is overrated or the kickers are poorly coached. It's been several years since the Cougars have had a solid kicking game.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 26, 2012 11:14 a.m.

    Bronco and Doman have devasted the quarterback position for three years. We had excellent quarterbacks Brad Sorenson and James Lark. They were never used. Bronco's and Doman's record of mistakes requires that they be replaced with those capable of making obvious, correct decisions. Bronco is a fine defensive co-ordinator. He does not have the good judgment required of a head coach. Doman does not have the skills required of a competent OC. Riley never had the skills necessary for a Division One quarterback. Each has character,but each has limited talent. Its time to make a change. Three years of underperformance is enough. We certainly do not need a fourth.

  • runsrealfast POCATELLO, ID
    Nov. 26, 2012 11:09 a.m.

    Come one everyone. This was NMST not Boise, ND or Utah. While I do like Lark and think he should have been given a chance, he basically put those numbers up against a D2 school.

  • plyxply SLC, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 11:06 a.m.

    I have to say "eagle" is dead on with his assessment of the coaching situation at BYU. While I agree that Bronco hasn't always made the best coaching decisions, what he gives the players and program is more than winning and losing. He has set a tone of good at BYU, the kids love to play for him, respect him, and have learned more about life than just what playing the game to win at all costs would do.
    I think Lark would've been a better choice for the team, but because I can't be at every practice I don't understand all of the reasons behind his decisions.
    Besides, if Bronco was fired who would take his place? There really aren't many good men to fill his shoes and have the success he's had, and that's what BYU requires of their coaches.

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 10:35 a.m.


    "Did the U play the current #1 team in the nation to a 3 pt loss? BYU also played BSU, OSU and USU who were all ranked when we played them, or are ranked at some point. I'm not a stat guru, but I think BYU has played more ranked teams that the U so your comment has no merit."

    If you're going to tell someone their comment has no merit then you ought to know what you're talking about. Using your own logic ...

    UTAH strength of schedule rank: 26
    BYU strength of schedule rank: 57

    Utah opponents ranked at some point during the season: 8
    BYU opponents ranked at some point during the season: 4

    Try again.

  • LonestarRunner Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 10:26 a.m.

    Henry Drummond

    With the stable of excellent quarterbacks BYU had availabe this season, there's no excuse for BYU starting a quarterback who couldn't throw a decent pass. Riley is a half-back or free safety playing quarterback. He would have been fine as a situational quarterback, coming in on 3rd and 3 as a triple option threat, but expecting Riley to execute a highly effecient passing attack was a big mistake.

  • XelaDave Salem, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 10:05 a.m.

    Bronco has the long term picture in mind- as an organizational genius (just ask him) he knows that by beating sub .500 teams each year he can achieve 7 or so wins- and then occasionally he can win 10- of course in all of this he will only beat decent to good teams about 2 out of 10 times- just look at the last 4 years if you do not think this- but with no name teams on the schedule just enough weeks each year- he has a winning record and all is well (well next year might be a problem)- perhaps he is a genius after all

  • Pavalova Surfers Paradise, AU
    Nov. 26, 2012 9:58 a.m.

    @jazzdazzle "...the utes played a much tougher schedule?" Are you kidding me? Did the U play the current #1 team in the nation to a 3 pt loss? BYU also played BSU, OSU and USU who were all ranked when we played them, or are ranked at some point. I'm not a stat guru, but I think BYU has played more ranked teams that the U so your comment has no merit.

  • BYUfaninWashSt Everett, WA
    Nov. 26, 2012 9:39 a.m.


    No experience necessary ... a little facetious. However, a head coach should be looking at driving a consistent & strong overall vision and direction for the team. LaVell drove that amazing aerial vision with many different OC's, even though LaVell's own background was defense. I think BYU would be years ahead and better off to hire a head coach like Ty Detmer, Steve Young, or even a relative unknown, as long as they have an unshakably strong passing based vision they can drive to any OC that spends some time at BYU. Get QBs and receivers that will hitch their wagon to that vision and start having some memorable seasons once again. Head coach doesn't have to call all the plays or know every nuance of the game ... just drive the right vision consistently and recruit and bring in assistant coaches that can further that vision, not detract from it. Unfortunately, our current coaches don't even have the right vision. They are like the wind. Better off with someone that has less experience, but has the right vision and commitment to make it succeed.

  • Still Blue after all these years Kaysville, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 9:13 a.m.

    Spirals, no pick 6's, 3rd down conversions, passes where receivers have a good chance to catch them. hmmm. didn't know BYU had that.

  • duck Saint George, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 9:10 a.m.

    Of course Bronco likes Riley and we all do because he's gutsy! And that's what I'd expect from a defensive minded coach like Bronco. But, the head coach needs to be more offensive minded and pick the quarterback based on how well he can move the ball--in BYU's case that means through the air consistently. Unfortunately, Riley can't throw the ball consistently well! He overthrows open receivers on critical plays and can't throw a long pass without arcing it like a rainbow that can easily be picked off. What's more, after last week's play, James Lark has earned the right to start the bowl game--just like Riley earned his right to start early in his career.

  • Jazzledazzle Provo, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 8:53 a.m.

    @ BYU alum

    I am a BYU fan, but let's not laugh at Utah for sitting home. BYU is playing in a meaningless bowl game and the Utes played a much tougher schedule than BYU. Put this year's BYU team in the PAC-12, and BYU would be sitting at home too. Don't act like playing in the Poinsettia Bowl is some big accomplishment.

    The Utes and Cougars have the same issue right now, QB. They are pretty equal, Utah probably being the better team right now. I wish Lark would have been given a shot. I wonder why he never did anything about it though. If he can really play, I wonder why he did not transfer. Maybe getting his education at BYU and such was what was most important to him.

    I am happy for Lark for having a start and a good game. I would like to see him get the nod for the bowl game too.

  • woodeye1943 TOOELE, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 8:50 a.m.

    Most teams run balanced attacks. The great teams set the offense with a good running game, Williams is the answer to the(at 17 years old)run. Bronco is just fine as a head coach. Steve Young once said he became a real good quarterback once he learned to think pass first. I'm no coach, but it seems Nelson had problems reading defences. Think the Y is great, glad when I came here my wife was from Orem-Provo area instead of SLC.

  • Parkite1 Park City, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 8:46 a.m.

    gdog3finallyCome on. "A second national championship"?

    First I suspect you are a Ute fan if so go bowling with your team at the local alley!

    Now without doubt had Mendenhall/Doman prepared the team for the noisy environment at Rice-Eccles the miscues would not have happened Cougars would have easily won, against Bosie State tie it and let the defense continue to dominant and in the final minutes or overtime Cougars would have won. Then instead of letting your inexperienced back-up QB incorrectly get in the QB draw formation call the time-out, result no injury to Taysom Hill. BYU probably would have won the Oregon State game had Hill been healthy and maybe if Lark had come in, same with Notre Dame. The Cougars woudl have beat San Jose St. had Mendehall pulled Nelson. So yes undefeated and playing Alabama or Georgia for the Championship but due to poor decision making and terrible head coaching a very disappointing year for fans and a stellar defense!

  • Clint2 Lake Worth, FL
    Nov. 26, 2012 8:26 a.m.

    Another sure sign of the bad coaching this year at BYU. We really do need to dump Doman and it looks like Coach Reid may be leaving the Eagles; if Coach Mindenhall wants to be a Defense Coordinator, then hire coach Andy Reid as the head coach and let Bronco work the best Defence in the country. .

  • Levin Hightstown, NJ
    Nov. 26, 2012 8:24 a.m.

    Let's not forget that this has turned out to be one of the toughest schedules BYU has ever played. Reminder: 5 Cougar opponents will end the season in the BCS top 25, and BYU went 1-4 against those teams. Each one of those games (plus the Utah game) was in play up to the very end, other than OSU who pulled away in the 4th. This feels like a team on the verge, not a team waiting to implode.

    1. Take advantage of more experience on the O-line.
    2. Fix the kicking game.
    3. Keep the passing game developing. I think Doman sees what we see and has no desire to lose his 1st and 2nd string QBs ever again.

  • woodeye1943 TOOELE, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 8:18 a.m.

    Nelson-Lark, vice-versa. Ever heard of Bledsoe-Brady,Tom Brady #199 in the draft and the rest is history. Maybe Bronco had better take a look see and realize that Neson cost the Y 4 of the 5 games. Oh and no kicking game.

  • dave22 SOUTH SALT LAKE, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 8:01 a.m.

    Riley Nelson has great leadership skills..

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 26, 2012 7:57 a.m.

    @Parkite 1

    Come on. "A second national championship"? Sure, BYU had a solid defense and a weak offense. But Lark or Taysom Hill wasn't going to win you a national championship. Don't forget how San Jose lit up the Cougar defense though. What would Alabama do the Cougars on both sides of the ball? Destroy the Y.

    It's not just a QB problem. BYU's offensive line was offensive this year. BYU played Notre Dame to the wire. And that was impressive in South Bend. The Irish were lucky to win that game. The Cougars outplayed Notre Dame I thought. The Irish might have taken BYU lightly by resting their starting QB one more game than they should have. The Irish won a handful of games on the last play while playing sloppy much of the time. It was their year.

    BYU had some heartbreakers and it's easy to think another QB would have made all the difference. Lark finally got a chance to shine and I am happy for him. But it was New Mexico State. Riley beat Idaho just as soundly. The big games are where BYU struggles. Outside the four patsies, BYU was 3-5.

    Nov. 26, 2012 7:35 a.m.

    tlaulu: You wont see Lark complain about lack of playing time. He is a team player that always did what was asked of him. Unfortunately not much was asked of him.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Nov. 26, 2012 7:23 a.m.

    I think BYU fans got spoiled by all those years when they had one great quarterbacks after another. Now they get impatient with anyone who doesn't throw for five-hundred yards on day one. It didn't take long for Jake Heaps to go from being "the next Jimmer" to being ridden out of town on a rail. Riley has played his heart out for the fans and look how they treat him. BYU has the coaching that can get them back on top, but it will take time and patience to develop future quarterbacks. I'm not sure if the fans will permit that though.

  • Parkite1 Park City, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 7:03 a.m.

    A dominant defense wins championships and very easily this year BYU could be playing for it's second National Championship. It's time for Alumni, Booster Club Memebers, season ticket holder and Cougar Nation to pressure Holmoe to either relegate Mendenhall to Defensive Coach or fire him along with Doman. A head coach has to be in control and play to win not keep their favorites in regardless. Every year (unrealistically) we all want our Cougars to go undefeated. This year was different and could have very easily turned out that way!

  • BB Santaquin, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 6:54 a.m.

    I am so tired about hearing how Riley battles... I don't care how hard you battle, if you are hurt you are hurt... for the very first time I am questioning the BYU coaches' choices...

  • bribri86 Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 26, 2012 6:53 a.m.

    I think a lot of Bronco/Doman/Nelson apologists are missing the point here. It's not a matter about the type of defense, Notre Dame vs New Mexico St. It has everything to do with the type of throws each QB has made. For example. How many times has Nelson overthrown a reciever? Lark over threw a few balls, because the guy was covered. Nelson would air it out throwing it short for an interception. And how about a wide open reciever? Nelson missed one completely in the Notre Dame game that would have went for a touchdown. Lark hit Hoffman IN STRIDE during the New Mexico St. game for a touchdown. I won't go into Nelson's one hop throws or throws so low receivers get hurt trying to catch them. The point is, Lark's throws hit a moving receiver. Nelson hopes his receivers hit his errent throw. I'm not worried anymore about what might have been as much as I'm worried about December 20th. Let's see the better Senior QB start. Let's see Lark show us what he can do against a 'good' defense.

  • tlaulu Taylorsville, Utah
    Nov. 26, 2012 6:48 a.m.

    I wanted to write a small complain about why Lark hasn't been playing. But I haven't seen anything from him written here complaining about his lack of playing time. So I'll just keep my complain to myself.

  • DC Alexandria, VA
    Nov. 26, 2012 6:43 a.m.

    Bronco was all over Heaps for his entitlement mentality - the more that comes out from this team, the more I believe that Bronco himself, has embedded an entitlement mentality within his own football program and it's hurt his team beyond repair at this point.

  • taum american fork, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 6:35 a.m.

    Thank you SportsFann for speaking it as it is.
    What mentality we have as byu fans?

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Nov. 26, 2012 6:01 a.m.

    RE BYUFaninWashSt,

    "No experience required". Really?? We seem to want to get rid of coaches who don't perform and hire new coaches - any new coaches - regardless of whether they are proven. Doman had no experience. You can't just through guys out before you have a credible plan for what you will do next.

  • Pa. Reader Harrisburg, PA
    Nov. 26, 2012 6:00 a.m.

    Bronco was hired as a quick solution when BYU alum Kyle Whittingham chose to stay at Utah, and he has done better than anyone could have expected.
    That being said, he should get one chance to fix the current mess by bringing in a new OC and admitting his mistakes in the handling of the offense generally and the quarterback position in particular. If he's not willing to do that then he needs to go now.
    His biggest failing is placing loyalty to his struggling buddies,
    Doman and Riley, over the good of the team.
    As to the patently absurd notion that BYU football is not about winning, when the Y's board of trustees signed off on pursuing football independence, the head of that board, Thomas S. Monson, whose parting admonition was, "Now go win!"
    The clear mission of this program is not accomplished by dominating poor teams, losing or struggling against WAC level opponents and never winning vs. a good team.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 26, 2012 5:12 a.m.

    I am sure Lark wanted more from his career at BYU, but he stuck it out, and we can be happy for him that he shined in the end.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 26, 2012 5:10 a.m.

    Wanting Bronco gone is just like a small number of Ute fans wanting Whittingham gone. Who are you going to replace them with who loves the state of Utah, will want to stick around when offered other good jobs, can fit into the recruiting culture, and win games? Both are hard to replace.

    Both Utah and BYU were down in a big way this year, and the coaches decisions on their QBs the last two years has been part of that. But Jon Hays and James Lark probably weren't the special QB to produce the magical season anyway.

    Utah won with Alex Smith and Brian Johnson. It's not a coincidence. It's the QB position.

    BYU has always won when they had a great QB as well. Their history there speaks for itself. Think about it. The years they lost, rather under LaVell, Crowton and now Bronco, is when they have had guys like Walsh, Feterik, Fowler, the carousel of Crowton QBs, Jake Heaps (highly recruited or not), and now Riley Nelson.

    Flipside, BYU won big with Gifford Nielson, Marc Wilson, McMahon, Young, Boscoe, Detmer, Sarkisian, and recently Max Hall. Coincidence? No!

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 26, 2012 4:51 a.m.

    @Y Grad Y Dad

    You got it right.

    Though Bronco comes across smug to me as a Ute fan (and to some BYU fans as well), who are you going to replace him with?

    I always tell my Cougar friends that Bronco is the right BYU coach. He makes mistakes, but he cares about the program and he honors it's honor code (which the school expects more than ever after some scandals under the Crowton and even LaVell era).

    Bronco recruits unique guys that even Andy Reid and Detmer would have a hard time winning with (less athletic character guys). BYU gets exposed sometimes (San Jose State) but they still played well enough to beat Boise State and Notre Dame. They didn't, and a coaching decision might have been the difference. But close games are like that. Some years the karma ball bounces positive, others negative.

    As for Lark, I expected him to play really good (not that good though) against a weak New Mexico State team. I also said the what ifs would come after.

    And then there is Anae. Man, I told you guys two years ago that those who begged him gone would regret it.

  • wahului Stockton, CA
    Nov. 26, 2012 2:33 a.m.

    Riey's lack of improvement year to year and Bronco's stubborn, delusional continuation of playing him regardless of the consequences is aggravating, to say the least, but the greatest single offensive weakness on this team is the O-line. They couldn't even clear the way for the running game against NMSU !! They are a real dark cloud on this team's horizon.

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 1:54 a.m.

    NMSU HC DeWayne Walker knew the playbook for stopping the one dimensional, Riley NElson-led BYU offense. Just stack the box. It took Doman about a quarter and a half to shift gears and remember that he had a real QB now taking snaps and he could open up the play book. Once he did BYU started clicking.

    Bronco talks a lot about "trust". I think he forgets it is a 2 way street and if he's going to "expect" it from his players he needs to earn and be deserving of their trust in return. Holding deserving players down for no reason other than you're playing favoritism with "special" players is an abuse of that trust, the trust that players have in him, their parents have in him when they allow their sons to commit to him and to the fanbase that supports the program and helps to pay his salary. The contempt he shows to fans and others who express their displeasure when he abuses that trust is a disgrace and tarnishes the program and is something the AD needs to address with him in the off-season as an expection of his job.

  • OCoug Ogden, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 12:07 a.m.

    Y Grad/ Y Dad,

    A five and seven season is possible next season.


    While I agree that LDS Church leaders place a high premium on high character athletes in their programs, it would be interesting to see what happens if the Cougs suffer multiple five win seasons. I'm willing to bet that there would be a shake-up in the athletic department and Bronco would be headed down the road. I don't think that any of us can speak absolutes about how church leaders measure success within a program. That is unless your a member of the Quorum of Twelve, then disregard prior sentence.

  • Guam_Bomb BARRIGADA, GU
    Nov. 25, 2012 11:59 p.m.

    Milkshake, I have to agree with you. The problem at BYU isn't the talent, it's how they utilize it. The result will be talented QB's will choose a school where they can shine. BYU better address the offensive problems this offseason. Otherwise, what kid, or should I say, what responsible, informed parent, will want their child going to a program where talent is chewed up and spit out without. If they don't fix it quick, it will be hard to imagine a Jake Heaps level recruit taking a risk on BYU.

  • Kouger Lehi, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 11:45 p.m.

    @ eagle:
    "The mission of BYU football is different and I think that is a good thing. It is not about winning games ...."

    Really? Give me a break! That is ridiculous, if not shallow and ill-informed. If anything, the "mission" you're alluding to can and will be accomplished more by winning than losing - and not winning by any means either. You can STILL accomplish that mission and winning with integrity at the same time. Until I see the fans, coaches, etc., running on the field - or on the court for that matter - to celebrate a loss, I am not going to believe and accept a single iota of what you're saying.

  • ET Bass Idaho Falls, ID
    Nov. 25, 2012 11:37 p.m.

    Riley is not a good quarterback. Bronco chose to play Riley anyway. There were other viable options at quarterback . Riley will soon be gone and bronco should go with him!

  • Northwest Coug Pasco, WA
    Nov. 25, 2012 11:26 p.m.

    No one knows how good Lark really is. New Mexico State is no barometer.

    I'm sticking with Bronco and trust his judgment (Except the 2-point conversion at Boise).

    I hope Riley is ready for the bowl game. I think if Lark starts, we'll get a true barometer of his skills. And it might be ugly.

    Time will tell, but I'm comfortable with Riley as the starter.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 11:18 p.m.

    Many head coaches call the offense, it doesn't mean they favor the offense necessarily over the defense. It is their skill set, it is what they are good at. I mean Brian Kelly calls the plays for ND and they do pretty good. Their defense is real good, they don't feel ignored, slighted etc. I've seen plenty of head coaches call the defense as well and be real successful. Some like Urban Meyer even call the Special Teams plays. Some like Lavell delegated it all to the assistants. There's many ways to coach and be successful. I think BYU has improved overall since Mendenhall took over the defense. They won 10 games last year and the offense has scored points. I would be concerned if Mendenhall wanted to do the offense. I've seen many coaches, especially defensive oriented coaches do this, and not do it well but felt that was what head coaches did. Again, I think people are overreacting...

  • sky2k1 Provo, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 11:14 p.m.

    I have been on the Riley bandwagon since high school, and the anti lark bandwagon just as long (he was a cross town rival) but I wish Lark had started all year, or at least Riley's unhealthy games. What I don't get is last year when Heaps was bad, Lark was #2 on the depth chart but they jumped Riley up because they wanted a change on offense. Then this year when Riley got hurt they went to Hill because he was a lot like Riley. I'm not saying playing Hill was a bad choice, I just don't follow the logic and I feel for James. I'm really hoping he somehow gets a look at the next level, but I highly doubt it. Maybe he could go the Kurt Warner route and play in a different league and then try and go NFL?

  • Chicago Cougar Fan Chicago, IL
    Nov. 25, 2012 10:50 p.m.

    The Story of James Lark is only the most recent confirmation of Bronco's inferior coaching abilities. It's not Riley's fault that he's not the best quarterback on the roster. It's Bronco's fault that he has played him all season anyway, simply because he likes his "grittiness." Bronco's a great guy, that much is beyond dispute. But he is a bad coach. We don't hire coaches, or make contracts with ESPN, based on a metric suitable for hiring a bishop or stake president. Winning games is low on Bronco's priority list (by his own admission, football comes FIFTH). If BYU is serious about moving to the next level, it's time to hire a new coach and start building a powerful independent program. The schedule next year is the most difficult in the program's history. If BYU continues down the current path they will be lucky to make a bowl game. Sign the petition to restore BYU football's proud tradition on Facebook: search for and "like" the "Dump Bronco" page.

  • Aloha Saint George Saint George, Utah
    Nov. 25, 2012 9:57 p.m.

    This was the first game where BYU looked like BYU. Who cares if it's New Mexico. Riley played pretty against Notre Dame, however, consistently he's been mediocre. Anyone can be up for one big game.

    Riley is summed up in 4-5 record, 17 TDs and 16 interceptions.

    Coach Mendenhall needs to become the head coach again. Fire Doman and bring in Ty Detmer. Both Gary Andersen and Ed Lamb at SUU did the same thing in becoming the HC and stopped being the DC. It created a rift in the team as a perception that he was biased toward the defense. Who should become DC?

    Riley Nelson was perceived to be dual threat QB- NOT an RGIII or Chuckie Keaton= I agree with the article from earlier in the week- he should have been on Defense. Maybe have some of the influence of Manti Teo', then maybe not.

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    Nov. 25, 2012 9:50 p.m.

    I feel for Lark and his family. To be treated this poorly by these coaches is shameful. Lark is a class guy. I hope some NFL scout saw this game and Lark gets an invite to NFL camp. There is a problem with the football coaches at BYU and I hope it is dealt with.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Nov. 25, 2012 9:34 p.m.

    Lark was spectacular, but I recognize it was against a sub par team. But then again, it was his first real game. Sure he's had some mop up duty, but this was the first time he really got to throw the ball.

    I have no problem that Nelson beat Lark for the starting job, but here's the three things I do have a problem with.

    1. I have a problem with the coaches leaving Nelson in against Utah, BSU and SJSU. He was in pain and completely ineffective. Lark or Hill would have been able to win these three games.

    2. I have a problem with an OC who promised a pro style offense and runs the QB 15 - 20 times a game. If Doman and Dupaix want to coach a QB running attack, they can go to Air Force, Navy or Georgia Tech. We will always have injured QBs if we run them into the ground.

    3. I have a problem with how much latitude Bronco gives Doman. We really don't have a head coach. Bronco is the DC, and a good one. Doman is the OC and can do as he pleases on the offensive side.

  • truth_avenger Lehi, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 9:29 p.m.

    Please, anyone would have looked great against New Mexico State. Look at reality, Bronco has been promoted to his level of incompetence and Doman was the worst of all possible in-bred choices. If there isn't better coaching talent in the LDS community then it's time for BYU to demolish the stadium and build a new building for the MTC. Lark played well against the worst team in the WAC. Give Riley an offensive line and he would have beaten Notre Dame. BYU does well against poor teams no matter who plays. They don't have a head coach they have an over-paid defensive coordinator. The offensive coordinator was the worst of all choices, he can't see good talent and can't call plays. NMSU was 1 and 9 going in; its only victory was against a Big Sky opponent. If the coaches knew anything Lark would have played against Weber, Nelson and Hill would not be injured and BYU would have had a respectable record--but the coaching staff can't coach a dog to scratch a flea. Losing to Utah looks worse and continues to prove that BYU can't win against a winning team.

  • milkshake St. George, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 9:23 p.m.

    Speaking of "what if's." There is one more QB that BYU kicked down the road to SUU, Brad Sorenson. talk about old school, 6'5, 240 lbs, rocket for an arm, BYU prototype. Look at the records he broke and awards Brad has won at the FCS level with an average o-line and average receivers. I have watched this kid play, there is a reason he is the 10th ranked QB in this years draft. It certainly seems that the BYU coaching staff cannot see a good thing when it is right under their nose...both Lark and Sorenson would have won many more games. As a side note, BYU also lost the top deep snapper in the country to S. Utah and also from Pine View. Doesn't seem that important, however, when you break down Special Teams this year, SUU was a leader the Big Sky in Punting and Field Goals which Coach Ed Lamb attributes to this true Freshman long snapper and the fact that he didn't miss a single snap or have a blocked punt or kick all season. Both the QB and spec. Teams situation need a real hard look!

  • Blue Rampage Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 9:00 p.m.

    During the "slow start," Lark was 100% in completions. The slow start was play calling, lack of a running game, a missed field goal and under performing defense.

    My next note is the observation that about 20% of Hoffman's 1,000 yards came from completions by James Lark.

    We can spend the rest of our lives wondering what the year would have been without Bronco's man crush on Riley Nelson.

    P.S. Nelson is not to blame. He's a stud and did everything he was asked to do to the best of his ability and beyond. Which leaves us with the question, "What if," and "What now?" I just hope we do not preordain another QB, i.e. Taysom Hill. Not that he may not be the guy, but be careful because Ammon Olsen throws the ball like Lark.

  • bbzebra Sandy, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 8:55 p.m.

    I remember the day when playing hard each week against whatever opponent is on the schedule was commendable. Could you imagine being a fan of New Mexico State or Idaho, where 10,000 is a good crowd? I, as a long-time Cougar fan, and 30 year season ticket holder, love the opportunity to see BYU play teams like Notre Dame, Texas, Wisconsin, etc. They compete well against all of them, with few exceptions. I am saddened that Utah feels the need to schedule a patsy, instead of a tough traditional rival. We should enjoy the opportunity to watch a class program compete every Saturday each fall. A bowl game is a reward for the team and the fans for a successful season, which isn't measured by just wins and losses. The work and commitment of the players and coaches should be appreciated and not constantly second-guessed and criticized. Do you think there are any of them who isn't doing the best they can? Finally, for all of those calling for Bronco's removal...... Be careful what you wish for.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 8:54 p.m.

    Absolutely in agreement with Oatmeal and Meckofahess here- playing Riley so much when he was injured was a mistake, and giving Riley more recovery time and Lark more minutes and experience would have benefited both of them as well as the team's overall performance.

    Riley is quite a player, and I'm not joining those who criticize the coaches for having him as the starter when he was healthy. But he's not some kind of superhuman who's better than everyone else even when he's badly injured, and he doesn't have any super mutant healing powers either.

  • EdGrady Idaho Falls, ID
    Nov. 25, 2012 8:53 p.m.

    NMSU isn't exactly Alabama, but you can't help but wonder "what if."

  • BYUfaninWashSt Everett, WA
    Nov. 25, 2012 8:45 p.m.

    WANTED: One Head Football Coach
    No experience required. Must be LDS. Critical: Must be willing to fire current OC and hire new OC with true passing game credentials, who will ensure exciting & high flying air attack. Will treat fans, supporters, and alumni with utmost respect. Football success must be top priority. Benefits include good pay, national TV exposure, greatest fan support in the nation, and divine assistance if you do not behave piously. Please apply as soon as possible!

  • Bifftacular Spanish Fork, Ut
    Nov. 25, 2012 8:37 p.m.

    I have no doubt Lark is a great player but let's see how he does against someone other than the Nazarene Sisters of the Poor before we heap on the platitudes. And "yes", Bronco needs to go. Why? 1- He continues to make repeated bad coaching decisions... some of them so boneheaded it defies logic, 2- He'll never admit when he is wrong, 3- He's boring as boring gets. I'd rather listen to an old guy whistle through his nose set to background noise of a dentist drill than listen to Bronco's pre or post game comments. Unlistenable.

  • Robert Rexburg, ID
    Nov. 25, 2012 8:35 p.m.

    There can only be one criterion for who to play at QB: Who performs best in games?

    Forget practice. Forget anything else. PERFORMANCE.

    For the past couple of years, the BYU coaches have been BLIND.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 8:26 p.m.

    The problem is that the coaching staff played an injured QB when they had talented backups. One talented QB injured with a miscommunicated play. The players are inexperienced young men working hard to represent BYU. The coaches are highly paid professionals who will be held accountable for their decisions. Wait for Holmoe to make adjustments (private and/or public) after the bowl game.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Nov. 25, 2012 8:23 p.m.


    He's already tired of fair weather fans, and his attitude towards them ticks them off even further.

    But hey, remember the war cry, "Anyone but Anae!" Now, it's Anae's replacement AND the head coach. Many of these fans DESERVE several 5-7 seasons to help them regain their perspective.

  • SportsFann Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 8:04 p.m.

    Really...hey, here's a message from earth...Lark is a tremendous quarterback, but he played against New Mexico State. Not exactly Notre Dame, folks. I am amazed at some of the people who post here calling for Bronco's job. He was the coach during the Beck and Hall years, guy. I hope he doesn't get tired of fair-weather fans and leave on his own. Seriously, get a grip.

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 7:59 p.m.

    Hire Gary Andersen as head coach.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 7:56 p.m.

    Let me come clear on this one.

    Bronco Mendenhall will not be fired nor should he be.

    The mission of BYU football is different and I think that is a good thing. It is not about winning games, though Bronco has one of the highest winning percentages of any active coach, it doesn't seem to matter much to many BYU football fans.

    Notwithstanding the incident at the Mexican restaurant, BYU's players under Mendenhall have been stellar citizens representing the program and the school and the church well. This is viewed as much more important by the BYU leadership and church leadership than whether BYU beats Notre Dame or San Jose State. This might be hard for some BYU fans to handle but this is the case.

    Now if BYU players were continually getting in trouble, graduating in lower and lower percentages, and the coaches were breaking NCAA rules, then this would cause a coaching change.

    It's not that continually less than stellar performance will not cause a BYU coach to be let go as volleyball in baseball in recent years have shown. But again Mendenhall wins games and his team is generally good citizens.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 7:55 p.m.

    BYU will keep Bronco and Doman. Everyone should stop trying to throw them under the bus. They have done a great job and had a winning record. We are going to a bowl game while the Utes sit home!

    We are grateful that James Lark had "his" game at BYU. He was composed at the end of the game and not throwing darts as many on this blog are doing. What is done is done. Why rehash it? It won't change anything. I think Lark has as good a chance to start in the bowl game as Nelson. Let the coaches decide. And, enjoy the game!

    BYU also has a great basketball program. It's great to gravitate from football to basketball. Coach Rose is also an outstanding coach. And, the BYU fan base is all over the place, wherever they go. Even in New Mexico the announcers said that half of the 14,000 in attendance at the football game Saturday were loyal BYU fans. Plus these games on BYUtv are broadcast all over the world. How sweet it is. Enjoy!

    Proud to be a BYU alum. Go Cougars!

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Nov. 25, 2012 7:46 p.m.


    I'm as disappointed as the next Y fan but who will we get to coach the team if Bronco leaves? Why are we ignoring the horrific job the line has done protecting the QB and opening up the run? Reynolds has been at BYU since the Edwards era. Games are won and lost on the line. We have no schemes to bust open plays.

    Why isn't anyone talking about Ty Detmer as OC? The guy lost his fortune to a swindler and now coaches HS football in Texas. He needs a real job and is one of the best offensive minds to ever suit up at BYU.

  • BYUfaninWashSt Everett, WA
    Nov. 25, 2012 7:33 p.m.

    Bronco needs to go. He has no commitment whatsoever to BYU as a passing team. Bronco says,

    "I believe Riley Nelson earned the chance to be our starting quarterback. And then again, when Riley started to get banged up, I believed we would have more continuity by having the same style of system and similar plays that Taysom [Hill] and Riley could RUN."

    Note the emphasis on "RUN." Where is the commitment to BYU tradition & legacy of the aerial attack system, and exciting style of a passing game that has characterized BYU at its finest? Why not find the best QB for the passing system (which appears to have been Lark) instead of turning the entire system upside down for a single player? That is what you call letting the tail wag the dog. His own words state that is why he chose Taysom ... to find the most gritty athletes and build the team around them. That is flawed thinking and will carry over to next year. GET RID of BRONCO and BRANDON!

  • Riley Mendenhall Provo, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 7:23 p.m.

    No way we would have won 5 games with Lark at QB.

  • why play SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 7:15 p.m.

    I've watched Lark play for many years as he was on a rival team in SG. I remember distinctly one night watching him in a high school game and saying to my friend, "He looks way too comfortable out on the football field!" His presence as a high school QB was unlike any I have been around. He has always had a natural feel at the QB position. I was excited for him when he selected BYU, the QB factory.

    I've read the posts and all the comparing of Nelson to Lark. What bothers me is that Lark is being compared to Nelson as they both are now. I wonder what James would look like had he started every game this year and many games last year and had all the practice and attention that Nelson has had? He had a GREAT foundation for building a traditional BYU QB upon, which is why they originally recruited him. Bronco always talks about Tradition, why did the coaching staff get away from the effective coaching traditions of the past? The factory should have went Beck, Hall, Lark, Heaps, Hill. Stop throwing grit in the machine!

  • fan32 St. George, Utah
    Nov. 25, 2012 6:45 p.m.

    no controversy at all. Fire Bronco and Doman for coaching incompotency.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 6:43 p.m.

    I guess we will never know what would have happened if James Lark had played more for the Cougars. However, one can surely surmise that when Riley Nelson was playing hurt and less than 100% effective that it would have been a smart coaching decision to put James in. Not having all the information that Coach Mendenhal has when making the decisions puts me at a disadvantage in doing any second guessing I suppose. That said, if winning football games is a high priority for BYU then it appears that the Coach needs to make better decisions. Lets hope some lessons have been learned. Importantly, I hope we can keep all this in the perspecive for what is supposedly is - a game!